Qualitative Research in Healthcare and Counseling

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 2
Words: 544
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Key Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Quantitative and qualitative research uses several techniques to gather and evaluate information necessary to answer different research questions. Quantitative research is based on testing theories and hypotheses, and data analysis is done through mathematical and statistical procedures. Qualitative research primarily focuses on exploring ideas and formulating summarized, categorized, and interpreted theories. This type of research collects data through literature reviews, interviews, and focus groups (Films Media Group, 2005). Qualitative research designs are helpful in many ways and have been embraced, especially in the medical field. In this case, we will evaluate a qualitative study on stakeholder views and opinions about how the new virtual reality group therapy technique can be used to deal with depression.

Cognitive-behavioral group therapy helps mitigate depression by mainly assisting patients in being aware of their state and working towards recovery. The use of teletherapy has been a safety measure embraced during the recent pandemic period. It has enabled many people to deal with the tough social and economic times resulting from the spread of the disease (Dilgul et al., 2021). A study was conducted through semi-structured interviews to examine stakeholder views on group therapy delivered through virtual reality technology (Balkin & Kleist, 2017). The participants were both patients and therapists, and counseling sessions were conducted using this new system, where they used avatars for anonymity.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research Designs

Strengths of qualitative research designs include that rich data is collected in a coherent manner by not limiting responders to pre-defined questions. Instead, a researcher can guide and redirect specific questions in real-time, thus examining issues in detail and depth. The data collected is based on first-hand experience and may be quickly revised whenever new information emerges. Through the interviews conducted, information about depression and the effectiveness of using virtual reality group therapy was gathered. The stakeholders affirmed that therapists could effectively deliver their services to many patients through cognitive-behavioral group therapy using virtual reality technology. In addition, physically disabled patients and individuals who feel anxious when around people are more comfortable.

There are various weaknesses of qualitative research designs, such as that they heavily depend on the individual expertise of the researchers and may be easily influenced by personal biases. The researchers must adhere to solidly defined methodologies to ensure high-quality work (Films Media Group, 2005). The procedures are time-consuming and labor-intensive due to a large amount of data that requires practical analysis and interpretation.

Components of Qualitative Methods

Therapists view virtual group therapy as an acceptable treatment method that would significantly improve healthcare services in the future. For a study to be effective, essential components of qualitative design methods such as the context, purpose, questions, and evaluation have been put in place to ensure positive counseling outcomes. Furthermore, various adjustments need to be implemented to improve the treatment procedures.

The Use of Qualitative Methods in Counseling Research

Qualitative methods can be used when clinicians decide which treatment procedures to use and establish barriers to making treatment decisions. Additionally, these methods help explore the role of community health teams, especially in assisting people who struggle with mental illness. Conclusively, qualitative research is vital in scientific inquiry to develop modern treatment procedures that would be useful in fighting various illnesses.


Balkin, R., & Kleist, D. (2017). Counseling Research: A Practitioner-Scholar Approach. American Counseling Association.

Dilgul, M., Hickling, L., Antonie, D., Priebe, S., & Bird, V. (2021). Virtual Reality Group Therapy for the Treatment of Depression: A Qualitative Study on Stakeholder Perspectives. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 42(3).

Films Media Group. (2005). Exploring Qualitative Methods. Films on Demand.