4.1 Application of Qualitative Research in Healthcare

As a scientifically oriented health professions student, you may be more acquainted with quantitative research than qualitative research. As shown in the opening scenario, quantitative research can aid the collection of a large amount of data about how many people are involved in a particular activity or situation. However, it doesn’t capture the study participants’ voices in relation to their experience of the situation. In the healthcare setting, quantitative research can help examine how many people have certain attitudes about health issues, thereby allowing for the generalisation of findings to the wider population. On the other hand, qualitative research focuses on exploring and interpreting research participants’ experiences of phenomena of interest to explain their behaviour and actions within specific contexts.1,2 In addition, other uses of this type of research include the exploration of patient satisfaction and level of engagement.3 Health professionals’ work usually occurs within social, interpersonal or clinical contexts wherein statistical methods may be inadequate to aid the investigation of these concepts among stakeholders’ (particularly patients, their carers and healthcare providers) perceptions of the quality of healthcare services provided.4


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An Introduction to Research Methods for Undergraduate Health Profession Students Copyright © 2023 by Faith Alele and Bunmi Malau-Aduli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.