QUANTITATIVE NURSING RESEARCH
Quantitative research is a process for gathering and statistically analyzing information that is measured by an instrument. Empirical research is another name for this research method based on something that the researcher can measure precisely and accurately.
For example, you can measure the temperature or heart rate. When you gauge the effect of exercising on blood pressure, it is a research question that you can answer by conducting quantitative research because it is measurable. The unit of analysis is blood pressure measurements before beginning and after completing exercises.
There is much confusion between quantitative and qualitative research. Both methods are quite different as the basis of qualitative research is on something without precise measurement.
These characteristics of quantitative research apply to nursing practice:
Focused on concise and narrow
Uses deductive reasoning to synthesize data
Basic elements of analysis are numbers and statistics
Narrows down to single reality that you can measure and generalize
The purpose of using quantitative research for nursing is that it uses an accurate approach for collecting and analyzing measurable data. It is number oriented and precise thus accuracy is high. It is also simpler to make conclusions because the numbers are clear. Before you begin a quantitative research, you should first develop a hypothesis. Select an approach to research that suits your subject.
It is precise- Quantitative research is a number based method. It provides very accurate results which are a crucial factor in medical field outcomes. It is also possible to generalize the results for an appropriate purpose.
Fast data collection- A major advantage of quantitative research is that it allows fast speed at which you can collect data. It is also simpler to analyze data faster than when you use other known- precise methods.
Generalization- You can use statistically valid random samples to generalize a survey to an entire population. The finding can be generalized even beyond the participant groups.
Anonymity- Quantitative research can be tailored to be anonymous. It is a helpful aspect when dealing with a sensitive issue for the patients.
Complete and extensive picture- Quantitative evidence provides an excellent overalls picture for a geographical region or population. It is the type of evidence that describes who, what, when and where. Additionally, it helps to measure trends over time such as the frequency of measles outbreaks in a particular community.
Challenges of Using Quantitative Nursing Research
Limited probe- One con of using quantitative research is that it has limited ability for probing answers as it does not use open ended questions like qualitative method. A person who is willing to share might not share characteristics applicable to an entire audience thus creating a potential for bias in the study findings.
Restricts evidence- Since the results of quantitative evidence should be precise, it requires much polishing. The purpose is to limit the influence by unusual cases and for comparison of evidence to other populations or places. Unfortunately, it can result in hiding of rare cases that are out of tune with the precise finding and numbers that a researcher intends to provide. For example for a quantitative research on the number of aged citizens who have diabetes may not include results of evidence on the existence of the disease in children.
For the success of quantitative research, it is necessary to narrow research studies to one problem you are surveying. They will produce more precise details with similarity to the situation at hand.
Reliable information from this type of research provides trustworthy statistics that create more confidence to make correct plans.