combining qualitative and quantitative research methods can be beneficial in nursing and health science. Notably, the usefulness of mixed research methods in nursing is due to the complexity of the phenomena studied in nursing and health science. One of the major aspects of both qualitative and quantitative research methods is that they are usually associated with inductive and deductive approaches respectively (Casebeer & Verhoef, 2002). Researchers who use both methods tend to operate with a different series of assumptions regarding the world and learning methods about it.
Since qualitative and quantitative methods have varying approaches when conducting a nursing study, none of them is effective when used alone. However, the use of mixed research methods has several advantages and disadvantages that determine their strengths and weaknesses in nursing study. Combined methods of research has several advantages including offering narrative to add meaning to numbers and also use numbers to provide precision to narrative data (Connelly, 2009, p.31). This is achieved because researchers can produce theory through quantitative research and then analyze it qualitatively. Secondly, mixed methods enable researchers to answer a wider and more complete set of questions because they are not restricted to a single research approach. Third, both qualitative and quantitative research methods in nursing study can generate improved knowledge that is required to inform medical practice.
The disadvantages of using mixed methods include the difficulties and complexities associated with combining the approaches, particularly when data is gathered at the same time. Secondly, the use of combined research methods is normally expensive and time consuming to carry out. Third, there is lack of clarity regarding how the findings from each approach was linked or incorporated to offer a complete understanding of the phenomenon.
Examining a Problem in Nursing:
One of the major problems that I have seen in the nursing field is pressure ulcers, which requires nursing research to study the problem. Pressure ulcers have affected people for several decades to an extent that dealing with the overall management of this disease is currently a popular national healthcare issue. Regardless of the existing interest in nursing care, self-care education, surgery, and medicine, pressure ulcers is still a major factor that contributes to morbidity and mortality (Salcido & Lorenzo, 2012). The increased morbidity and mortality because of pressure ulcers is particularly evident in people with advanced age, impaired sensation, and extended immobility.
The need for conducting nursing research on the problem of pressure ulcers is justified by various factors including the fact that research in this area is vital in preventing secondary complications in people with disabilities. This is particularly significant in the classification, prevention, and treatment of this illness. The prevention of secondary complications is increasingly a major concern in the nursing field because of the increase in the population of people with lifelong functional impairments. Moreover, conducting nursing research on the problem of pressure ulcers is necessitated by the constant improvement of standards of post-traumatic, acute, and rehabilitation care.
The other major factor for the need of nursing research on pressure ulcers is that the disease is not only a concern in the nursing field but also a global health concern (Ayello & Baranoski, 2005, p.192). In this case, the frequency and prevalence of pressure ulcers is generally considered as an enigma. Furthermore, this global health care concern is not a reportable occurrence across all health care settings, which implies that data regarding this problem is speculative.
Ayello, E.A. & Baranoski, S. (2005, May). Examining the Problem of Pressure Ulcers. Advances in Skin & Wound Care: The Journal for Prevention and Healing, 18(4), 192-194.
Casebeer, A.L. & Verhoef, M.J. (2002, October 29). Combining Qualitative and Quantitative
Research Methods: Considering the Possibilities for Enhancing the Study of Chronic Diseases. Chronic Diseases in Canada, 18(3). Retrieved from http://web.pdx.edu/~stipakb/download/PA555/Qual-Quan3.htm
Connelly, L.M. (2009, February). Mixed Methods Studies. MEDSURG Nursing, 18(1), 31-32.
Salcido, R. & Lorenzo, C.T. (2012, January 18). Pressure Ulcers and Wound Care. Retrieved May 11, 2013, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/319284-overview
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