Comparing Research Methods Qualitative Versus Quantitative Mindset Essay

The controversy of qualitative versus quantitative research is one of the oldest in cultural research and particularly in mental health investigations. Simply put, the quantitative strategy is differentiated by its emphasis on organised, pre-planned design and a categorization of possible research results. It focuses on numbers: situations are counted, categorized and interpreted through statistical models and tools (Neill, 2007). Options are discrete, and email address details are directly comparable to likewise conducted analyses. The numerical representations of behavioral data lead to a typical methodology of receiving and rejecting hypotheses and suggested correlations. Qualitative research, however, offers a far less objective analysis of context. Essentially, it could be termed a 'descriptive' perspective-areas appealing are highlighted, but a report focusing on them is not ready as definitively to work at a specified question from the very start (Neill, 2007). The topic and designs of qualitative research may advance with the results throughout the course of the study, and the results obtained therewith are in the form of detailed descriptions or the impressions of the researcher, that are not as easily similar or generalizable. Qualitative research has been criticized for the rigid objectivity it sacrifices, however the higher depth of research and contextual relevance it provides tend to be the specific requirements of certain research matters.

The discussion of these major categorical solutions from apparently reverse camps seems to argue that they are mutually exclusive or that certain must be rejected in favor of the other. It is straightforward to expect that such is the situation, while highlighting their distinctions, but this is not, in fact, true. Even engaging to dispute which method is shown to be the "superior" of both is an unprofitable debate. What matters is understanding which methodology is suitable for specific research goals, and many studies today adopt a blend of these viewpoints, in varying proportions.

Analyzing Qualitative Research

For this assignment, I will evaluate and compare two research articles, each adopting one of these approaches. The foremost is a study entitled Review of analysis and treatment of PTSD among elderly American armed forces veterans that I've determined from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The authors comprise five school professors and scholars at medical centers from San Diego, Kentucky and Cincinnati. The experts begin with an explanation regarding the dearth of materials pertaining to the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of PTSD, specifically in the growing experienced population. The mentioned objective of the study is to "summarize" existing research and circumstance reports relating to the topic appealing. It is visible that exactly what will follow is a qualitative research, as the experts are not attempting to address specific research questions nor are they proposing a hypothesis to check. This sort of review-based undertaking is rather common, and because of its intents and purposes, qualitative evaluation will best answer.

From the objective, it has already been clear that in providing a descriptive roundup, statistical and numerical complexities can be brushed besides altogether, and an intensive survey of supplementary sources should be the best focus. The info collection is carried out through the experts themselves, and the methods outlined include an intensive search of scholarly papers from specialist online databases. Included in these are PsychINFO, Medline and the Country wide Centre for PTSD's PILOTS repository. The strategy here is apparently rather simplistic, but this will not be puzzled as necessarily being truly a element of qualitative research-however, it's the means that was considered most suitable for the purpose of the review and the resources of its creators.

The results put together are portrayed in in depth, descriptive writing and are actually, the put together impressions of five skillfully developed. It still varies from quantitative research for the reason that, despite the reliability and projected impartiality of its writers, qualitative research, through its reliance on the descriptive narrative, is inevitably subjective, even if it is not unreasonably skewed. However, the in-depth research allows more discourse of value that provides a deeper understanding of the condition and its own impact on effective functioning. The analysis finds that elderly veterans experience better somatic symptoms of PTSD than their more radiant counterparts. The study records that comorbid diagnoses with depression, drug abuse or cognitive drop impede the evaluation and prognosis of PTSD in older people.

The authors go on to add an view culled using their knowledge of literature pertaining to the disorder, by recommending that existing diagnostic tools including specific assessments and batteries need to determine changed cut-off rates for the correct examination of PTSD in older patients. The writers also critique major healing approaches they encountered in published books, asserting that subjection therapies for this patient group have been insufficiently recorded, which supportive remedy research yields blended conclusions. Managed pharmacological assessment is also minimal. The creators conclude that some medication and psychotherapeutic interventions employed in treating more radiant patients may verify successful with older veterans if the programs are designed to address this needs and encounters of this population. This particular qualitative study has its merits in providing comprehensive interpretations of existing peer-reviewed research, and as such, does justice to the purpose it had set out to fulfill. Regardless of the lack of numerical objective evaluations, the discussion confirms its level and dwells on whatever is pertinent and interesting for the enlightenment of both the analysts and their targeted audience. Qualitative research, therefore, provides additional time and breadth for assimilation of the depth of a particular problem, somewhat than its generalizability and comparability with other studies. The subjective element of human view and reasoning may in simple fact be a attractive outcome for documents such as these, where the reader may desire to benefit from the delivery of condensed knowledge through creditable field experts.

Analyzing Quantitative Research

In contrast to the, I shall now review a study grounded in quantitative research methodology. An Open-Label analysis of Mirtazapine as Treatment for Combat-Related PTSD is a pharmacological treatment exploration conducted by Australian psychiatrists and university or college professors, highlighted in the journal, The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The authors start with the hypothesis that "antidepressants work in lowering symptoms and associated disability" for a few PTSD patients. The study declares an obvious purpose for the research-assessing if mirtazapine works well for dealing with combat-related PTSD among war veterans. So, in the beginning, the study commences with predetermined possible benefits and the manner in which the research is conducted is rigorously systemized and checked. The methods used in this quantitative research, and this study specifically, are in stark contrast to the staple of qualitative examination. The subjects were medically diagnosed PTSD patients, recruited over an 18-month timeline where 13 of the 17 things admitted completed the tests protocols. A treatment timeline for examining ramifications of the dose-regulated pharmacotherapy intervention was occur progress. Since quantitative research is often about testing and demonstrating or disproving relationships through numerical representations rather than logical argument, it uses that the tools utilized by quantitative analysts will also greatly differ. The instruments and methodology were of particular relevance to the original research questions posed, and were chosen because of their repeatability and re-evaluative properties. The lack of an engaged subjective conversations means that PTSD and its own symptomology and functional impact is not explained in all the depth, but then this is not highly relevant to the question posed by the analysis, to commence with.

Quantitative research in cases like this depends on standardized psychological musical instruments (tests) for diagnosing and examining PTSD conditions. Specifically, these included the Mississippi Level for Combat-Related PTSD, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Level (CAPS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Melancholy Scale (HADS). A number of biochemical assessments accompanied the psychometric measurements, including blood glucose, total serum cholesterol and serum triglycerides, with baseline measurements repeated after three months.

The study's results are organized into statistical measurements looking at pre-and post-treatment ratings. Mean CAPS scores lowered, and in four instances, even travelled below diagnostic cut-off levels, indicating a remission of PTSD. The mean Mississippi scale and HADS measurements also lowered, though a larger proportion of themes still tested at higher-than-cut-off levels. All subject matter had gained weight from baseline measurements. The study continues on to document specific aberrations in two things in terms of screening positive for diabetes mellitus and increasing a much bigger percentage of weight than others. It is important to report every part of the biomedical and psychometric pre-and-post-treatment screening so that the effects of extraneous factors and individual variations can be considered while interpreting the final results. The creators limit their commentary on their findings to the bare bone fragments of the facts themselves. That is commensurate with the quantitative essence of representing facts verbally as succinctly as functionally possible, to limit the entry of notes of personal view and observation. In later elements of the analysis, the conclusions may of course be utilized to remark after and identify fads within repeated or similar tests, but here again, some qualitative elements must necessarily be ushered in.

The creators view the lowered post-intervention results on the diagnostic lab tests as an indicator of decreased sign display in PTSD and a mental health alleviation of the problem and the impairment associated with it. The gain in weight in addition has been recognized as a positive effect, and linked to reduced unhappiness. The authors recognize that the study suffered with methodological limits and a tiny test size, but, for what it will probably be worth, its conclusions do imply that mirtazapine can be prove useful in treating combat-related PTSD. Even though the authors go on to state that additional research using double-blind, placebo-controlled research designs would deliver more conclusive results, they may have managed to establish, within their contextual construction and resources, that there is some substance with their hypothesis.

Here again is one of the most fundamental distinctions between quantitative and qualitative research perspectives. For qualitative research, the debate, questions and ideas generated by an overview of a topic of interest is often the objective itself. Qualitative methodologies will illustrate, interpret, question, identify fads and qualitatively compare the potency of treatments, the impact of conditions, the applications of particular subconscious models, etc. However, qualitative research is largely unconcerned with demonstrating or disproving speculated associations, and even though it looks for to argue a point, it does so through reasonable, narrative question which continues to be, ultimately, a matter of personal wisdom.

Quantitative research is particularly interested in examining and modeling hypothetical interactions between variables, to demonstrate how these might be manipulated and the knowledge gained ideally used to benefits.


Which research method of choose will not rely upon a citation of the individual merits and demerits of each-in reality, the worthiness of either is relative to the purpose for which it is required. For the compilation and understanding of syptomology and treatment strategies within maladjustment circumstance studies, higher depth of psychological coverage would be needed, and the experts involved would almost certainly draw after the qualitative ways of observation, history research and patient self-report. If the concern is a medicine trial, as the one reviewed above, or the social-issue questionnaire, quantitative methods will provide the most extensive platform within which research data may be pooled and portrayed in a standardized, condensed form. Qualitative data is specially relevant in sharing and validating information over the scientific community, as founded protocols and musical instruments which are often comparable and repeatable, are utilized. A mixture of the two strategies now targets pulling more commentary and research on quantitative conclusions, also to understand their contextual, somewhat than mere reductionist paper-based, framework.

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