Quantitative and qualitative research use very different methods and approaches to gathering and analyzing data.

Quantitative and qualitative research use very different methods and approaches to gathering and analyzing data.

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Quantitative and qualitative research use very different methods and approaches to gathering and analyzing data. While numbers and statistics are the primary focus of quantitative studies, qualitative research analyzes human responses, words, and meanings (Helbig, 2018). It is difficult to separate the two as the information often goes hand in hand. While quantitative studies may tell us that a medication is successful in treating a specific disease process, qualitative research may inform us that the cost to the quality of a person’s life is so drastically affected, that they do not want the treatment.
Quantitative research has the advantage of obtaining clear statistics that are not open to individual interpretation. However, that same quality can also be the disadvantage – there is no personalization or quality of life that can be gauged by those numbers. Qualitative research, while it has the advantage of helping us understand the human experience, can, by the same token, be difficult to apply to a larger group on a consistent basis due to the fact that humans experience the world differently, with individual preferences influencing their feelings and outcomes.
The pyramid of the levels of research are solely focused on Quantitative Research and do not account for the insight that qualitative research gives us (McNair, 2012). Humans are not simply cut-out, cookie-cutter-stamped beings that can function as robots based off of qualitatively researched numbers and outcomes. Individual natures, personalities, and simply being human compels us to look at not only the physical well-being of an individual, but the psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual being as well.
Helbig, J. (2018). History and Process of Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Quantitative and Qualitative Research Process. Nursing research: Understanding methods for best practice. https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs433v/nursing-research-understanding-methods-for-best-practice/v1.1/
McNair, P., & Lewis, G. (2012). Levels of evidence in medicine. International journal of sports physical therapy, 7(5), 474–481. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474306/