Research Designs or Study Designs in Nursing Research

Afza.Malik GDA

Quantitative or Qualitative Research Designs or Study Designs

Research Designs or Study Designs in Nursing Research

Study Design or Research designs referred to  Two basic study Designs Qualitative and Quantitative.


On the Basis of Interventions 

    A fundamental distinction in quantitative studies is that between experimental and non-experimental research.

    In experimental research, researchers actively intervene or introduce a treatment, while in non experimental research, researchers observe existing situations and characteristics without intervening.

    On the Basis of Types of Data

1:Qualitative research is often deeply rooted in research traditions originating in the disciplines of anthropology, sociology and psychology. Three of these traditions have greatly influenced qualitative nursing research: grounded theory, phenomenology, and ethnography.

    Grounded Theory tries to describe and understand the main social, psychological and structural processes that take place in a social environment.

    Phenomenology deals with people's lived experiences and is an approach to thinking about what people's life experiences are like.

    Ethnography provides a framework for the holistic study of the meanings, patterns, and experiences of a defined cultural group.

   1:Project flow for a qualitative study

Conception and planning of a qualitative study

  • Identification of the research problem
  • Do literary reviews
  • Choose and get access
  • Research sites
  • Research design in qualitative studies
  • Address ethical issues
  • Conducting the qualitative study
  • Dissemination of qualitative knowledge

    Qualitative researchers begin with a broad question about the phenomenon of interest, often focusing on an understudied aspect.In the initial phase of a qualitative study, researchers choose a location and attempt to key in it and the specific environments in which the data collection will take place. Gaining access or entry usually requires gaining the cooperation of the Guardians or gate keeper within the site.

    The research design of qualitative studies is often an emergent design. Once on site, researchers select informants, collect data, and then it relatively analyze and interpret it; Field experiences continuously contribute to shaping the study design.

    Early analysis leads to refinements in sampling and data collection until saturation (information redundancy) is reached.Qualitative researchers conclude by disseminating results that can then be used to 

    (1) direct the direction of further studies (including more controlled quantitative studies)

  (2) lead the development of structured measurement tools for clinical and research purposes

  (3) shape nurses' perception of a problem or situation and their conceptualization of possible solutions.

Key Steps 

2:Qualitative Study

1: Descriptive Research
2:Correlational Research
3:Experimental Research
4:Quasi Experimental Causal comparative Ex-post facts Research

    In quantitative studies, researchers move from the beginning of a study (asking a question) to the end point (getting an answer) in a fairly linear sequence of steps that are very similar.

Steps to Carry Quantitative Research 

    The steps required to conduct a quantitative study are fairly standard; Researchers generally take a linear approach from asking a question to answering that question.

    The most important phases and steps in a quantitative study are the 1)conceptual, 2)planning, 3)empirical, 4)analytical 5)dissemination phase.

    The Conceptual phase includes

1: define the problem to be studied

2: conduct a literature review

3: participation in clinical fieldwork for clinical trials

4: develop a conceptual framework and definitions

5: Hypothesis be tested

    The Planning phase includes

6: selection of a research design;

7: develop intervention protocols if the study is experimental

8: indication of the population

9: develop a sampling plan

10: specify methods of measuring the research variables through approaches such as self-report, observation, or the use of bio physiological methods

11:take measures to protect the rights of subjects

12: Finalizing the research plan, consulting with colleagues, pre-testing instruments and in some cases conducting a pilot study.

    The Empirical phase includes

13: data collection

14:  Data preparation for analysis

    The Analytical or Statistical phase includes

15: analyze data using statistical analysis

16: interpret the results.

    The Dissemination phase includes

17: communicate findings by preparing research reports that may be presented orally or published in writing, most often as journal articles

18: Efforts to promote the use of academic records in nursing practice.

    Conducting quantitative studies requires careful planning and organization. It is recommended to draw up a schedule with the expected deadlines for completing the tasks.The flow of activities in a qualitative study is more flexible and less linear.

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