Nick and Catherine Pope, who are both authors of this article, have mentioned in their research that Qualitative research has been an important part of social sciences and that it deserves to be a significant element of research of health services. The aim of the authors of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of qualitative research techniques and various ways are described in which qualitative research helps in conducting quantitative research. In other words, we can say that authors of this study have attempted to bring in various effective techniques of qualitative research which are at present being used by researchers of health care.
Qualitative research helps researchers in developing concepts which would be essential and helpful in future understanding of social phenomena. Qualitative research is mainly concerned with answering the question like what does “X” mean and how and why does it vary in various different situations. Moreover, quantitative research can be complemented by qualitative research, i.e. the authors of this article have identified fruitful relationship between quantitative and qualitative research methods.
The purpose of qualitative research is to help understand social phenomena in their natural context. It attempts to define a criterion and to know the variations according to different circumstances. For example, how is the appropriation of a clinical practice by health professionals and how this aspiration varies depending on the context. It does not want to know how professionals are appropriate practice. The latter question is important and complementary, but it remains in the realm of the quantitative approach.
The qualitative and quantitative approaches are not competing. They respond to different problematic questions. The quantitative approach truly relies on hypothesis through a countdown which is mainly reductive in nature (positivism). The approach of qualitative research leads to a hypothesis or a classification which can then be explored by the quantitative approach (constructivism). This qualitative approach is part of a comprehensive, contextual and holistic vision. The quantitative approach seeks to corroborate hypothesis through a series of measures, often in an experimental context. The researcher makes test a hypothesis by reasoning deductive.
This method is to give the results a certain level of reliability and reproducibility. Pope & Mays have identified three ways to achieve this complementary relationship. They stated that qualitative methods like in-depth interview, observations, and focus groups can be used simply to identify or describe a behavior or situation. Another way in which quantitative method can be used to complement qualitative research is validation process in which three methods of research are used to examine a specific phenomenon.
The last way in which both methods can be used is by exploring complex phenomena. In short, the authors stated that the difference between quantitative and qualitative research method possibly increase problem complexity which usually affects results of the study also make it less effective. The significance of qualitative methods to enrich our knowledge in health services is demonstrated effectively in this article.
From this article I learnt that Qualitative research has been ...