Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Nursing research is a fundamental tool that promotes evidence-based practice and decision-making processes. Often, researchers use qualitative or quantitative research methods to investigate answers to questions and obtain evidence regarding clinical problems. Qualitative research methods entail collecting, analyzing, and interpreting un-quantifiable aspects, including population reactions and interconnectedness between phenomena. On the other hand, quantitative methods focus on collecting, analyzing, describing, predicting, and controlling numerical data regarding research variables. Although these research designs are prominent in promoting nursing research, they vary in strengths and limitations depending on how researchers leverage them.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Strengths and Limitations of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Qualitative research methods include various strategies such as observation, ethnography, field research, and focus groups. Arguably, these approaches emphasize the role and relevance of different social contexts, provide in-depth findings, and establish a holistic understanding of the human experiences regarding study questions (Rahman, 2017). Also, they allow researchers to define how socio-cultural events shape individual perceptions or experiences about the topic of concern. Finally, various qualitative research methods enable investigators to collect firsthand information about participants by encouraging direct observation, unstructured interviews, and describing records (Almeida, Faria & Queiros, 2017). However, these strategies are time-consuming, limited in establishing information for generalization, and require significant preparation. Other limitations include overdependence on the observer’s impartiality, complexities in data collection, and ethical questions.

On the other hand, quantitative methods include simulations, surveys, field experiments, multivariate analysis, and correlational research. Arguably, these strategies are crucial because they allow researchers to obtain a lot of information, establish the association between variables, and reach a large audience base. Also, they avoid generalization by observation because investigators rely on several statistical tests and analysis techniques. However, they have multiple disadvantages, including incidences of internal or external invalidity, time and resources constraints, and the need for sophisticated data analysis software (Almeida et al., 2017). Researchers face challenges in controlling variables and complying with ethical considerations for research. Notably, quantitative and qualitative research methods require investigators to consolidate relevant resources, prepare adequately, and delegate time to avoid various limitations.

References for Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

  • Almeida, F., Faria, D., & Queiros, A. (2017). Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies3(9), 369-383. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.887089
  • Rahman, M. (2017). The advantages and disadvantages of using qualitative and quantitative approaches and methods in language “testing and assessment” Research: A Literature Review. Journal Of Education and Learning6(1), 102-108. https://doi.org/10.5539/jel.v6n1p102