Quantitative and qualitative research articles provide different types of data and results to analyze and apply to practice. It is important to critique the effectiveness of these two approaches with reference to the articles which address the topic of spreading infections while using central venous catheters in acute dialysis patients. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the types of data received as a result of reviewing and critiquing quantitative and qualitative research articles.
Contrasting the Types of Information in Quantitative and Qualitative Articles
In the qualitative article by Zargham-Boroujeni, Mahdavi-Lenji, Hasanpour, and Sadeghnia (2013), the main focus is on identifying specific barriers to using central venous catheters in newborns. The collected data is presented in the form of narratives that reflect nurses’ and other specialists’ ideas regarding the use of catheters, possible infections, and other barriers to applying the technique in the context of Iran.
From this point, the collected information is subjective. In the quantitative article by Souweine et al. (2015), the statistically significant findings demonstrate that the use of the ethanol lock is inappropriate to prevent infections while working with acute dialysis patients. The focus is on the numbers and the statistical significance of the ethanol lock’s effectiveness. The reference to numbers allows for speaking that these findings are objective, and they can be generalized.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Research Approaches
The advantages of the qualitative research are in possibilities to receive detailed information regarding a concrete phenomenon. In the discussed article, narratives reflect the opinions of healthcare professionals regarding barriers to using central venous catheters in newborns in Iran. However, disadvantages include impossibilities to generalize data to be used in other contexts and the necessity for further research (Holloway & Galvin, 2016).
The advantages of quantitative studies are in providing reliable and credible results that are objective and can be generalized or replicated if necessary. For instance, the conclusion that the ethanol lock for catheters is ineffective in preventing the spread of infections in intensive care units is based on statistics, and they are viewed as credible. Researchers are inclined to refer to these results as valid (Clifford & Gough, 2014). Still, a typical disadvantage of this approach is the lack of details and information to explain the identified tendencies.
Efficacy of the Qualitative Research
Although researchers and healthcare providers tend to refer to evidence from quantitative articles, it is impossible to state that the results of qualitative research are inefficient. Qualitative articles provide researchers with opportunities to examine phenomena, cases, and processes, the outcomes of which cannot be adequately represented only in the form of numbers. The methodology of qualitative studies is as complex as in quantitative studies (Holloway & Galvin, 2016).
However, qualitative studies can be rather descriptive in their nature when quantitative studies help find relationships between variables. Thus, the purposes of quantitative and qualitative studies are different in spite of the opinions that qualitative research is easier to conduct (Clifford & Gough, 2014). Depending on the purpose of the study and formulated research questions, investigators can require different methodologies to apply and find answers to the set questions.
Qualitative articles provide results in the form of themes and narratives, which can be used to analyze concepts, cases, and phenomena in detail. When the focus should be on finding relationships between variables, quantitative studies are more appropriate to provide statistical data. Still, both approaches are equally used in nursing and healthcare practice.
Clifford, C., & Gough, S. (2014). Nursing and health care research: A skills-based introduction (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Holloway, I., & Galvin, K. (2016). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare (4th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Souweine, B., Lautrette, A., Gruson, D., Canet, E., Klouche, K., Argaud, L.,… Cayot, S. (2015). Ethanol lock and risk of hemodialysis catheter infection in critically ill patients: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 191(9), 1024-1032.
Zargham-Boroujeni, A., Mahdavi-Lenji, Z., Hasanpour, M., & Sadeghnia, A. (2013). Discovering the barriers to spread the usage of peripherally inserted central venous catheters in the neonatal intensive care units: A qualitative research. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 18(4), 259-265.