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Qualitative Research Designs

For the past 2 weeks, you have focused on the features and considerations of quantitative research designs. However, quantitative designs are not appropriate for all research questions. Perhaps you are concerned with how patients react when confronted with negative test results, or you wish to study how views on a certain health topic change over time. In each of these cases, the emphasis is more on understanding the thinking and experiences of an individual or group than on numerical measurements. For these types of questions, a qualitative or mixed methods research design is the most appropriate.

For this Discussion, you focus on the different types of qualitative research designs, when they are used, and why they are important.

To prepare:

  • Reflect on the comments made by Dr. Mauk in this week’s media presentation on the value of qualitative research in nursing.
  • Locate the journal Qualitative Health Research in the Sage Premier database in the Walden Library.
  • From this journal, select an article of interest to you that was published within the last 3 years.
  • Review the information on different qualitative research designs in Chapter 21 of your course text.
  • Determine what qualitative research design was used in your selected article and evaluate whether it was the best choice.
  • Consider ethical issues involved in the study and how the researchers addressed them.
  • Think about how using a quantitative design would have affected the type of data gathered.

Post an APA citation for the article that you selected and provide a brief summary of the content and the qualitative research design used. Evaluate the appropriateness of the design, and explain how ethical issues in the study were addressed. Analyze how the study would have been different if a quantitative design had been used.

Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

  • Chapter 21, “Qualitative Research Design and Approaches” 

    This chapter introduces qualitative research designs. It provides an overview of the different types of qualitative research and then describes each one in greater detail, outlining how and when they should be used.

Houghton, C. E., Casey, D., Shaw, D., & Murphy, K. (2010). Ethical challenges in qualitative research: Examples from practice. Nurse Researcher, 18(1), 15–25.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article explores ethical challenges associated with qualitative research. Specifically, the authors examine the challenges of informed consent procedures, the researcher-participant relationship, risk-benefit ratio, confidentiality, and the dual role of the nurse-researcher.

Pringle, J., Hendry, C., & McLafferty, E. (2011). Phenomenological approaches: Challenges and choices. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 7–18.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article examines the dilemmas faced by a researcher looking for appropriate methods and approaches for investigating the experiences of stroke survivors. In addition, this article reviews the challenges of using phenomenology as a research method.

Ryan-Nicholls, K. D., & Will, C. I. (2009). Rigour in qualitative research: Mechanisms for control. Nurse Researcher, 16(3), 70–85.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The authors of this article provide recommendations for improving the control mechanisms of methodological rigor in qualitative research methods. The text establishes the basis of criticism on the rigor of qualitative work, ways of demonstrating methodological rigor, and the definition of rigor.

Smith, J., Bekker, H., & Cheater, F. (2011). Theoretical versus pragmatic design in qualitative research. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 39–51.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article assesses the benefits of using a generic qualitative approach to design studies for understanding user and caregiver perspectives. The authors assess these benefits in the context of a qualitative study that focused on parents’ experience of living with children with hydrocephalus.

Walker, W. (2011). Hermeneutic inquiry: Insights into the process of interviewing. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 19–27.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article examines the process of interviewing from a research perspective. The authors supply personal and theoretical insights into using the research interview, along with a guide to the practicalities of interviewing.

Williamson, K. M. (2009). Evidence-based practice: Critical appraisal of qualitative evidence. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 15(3), 202–207.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article highlights the importance of qualitative evidence to mental health clinicians. The author stresses that critically appraising evidence is crucial to the EBP process and provides guidelines for appraisal.

Wuest, J. (2011). Are we there yet? Positioning qualitative research differently. Qualitative Health Research, 21(7), 875–883.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article focuses on the shifting role of qualitative research in the past two decades. The author discusses the merits and detriments of concrete distinctions, the hurdles of flexibility and convergence, and the need to develop a complete research toolbox for improving health.

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