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The Theoretical Foundations of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Are Very Different, but Many Researchers Believe Both Methods Should Be Used in the Research Study to Increase Validity and Reliability. What

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Qualitative research is a different approach to problem solving than quantitative research. The primary difference is in how a problem is approached. In the qualitative realm the method is primarily exploratory in nature. The researcher gradually delves deeper into the subject until reaching a core of information that can be used to implement problem solving. Qualitative research often depends on in depth interviews with small groups of individuals where quantitative method can take vast amounts of information, sometimes from millions of people and quantify it into trends that can improve medical practices over the norm. The purpose of Qualitative research is to gain an understanding of underlying reasons and motivations as well as to provide insights into the setting of a problem, generating ideas and/or hypotheses for later quantitative research and to uncover prevalent trends in thought and opinion. The advantage includes testing and validating already constructed theories about how and why phenomena occur, testing hypotheses that are constructed before the data are collected. It is used to generalize research findings when the data are based on random samples of sufficient size and generalize a research finding when it has been replicated on many different populations and subpopulations. It is useful for obtaining data that allow quantitative predictions to be made. Data collection using some quantitative methods is relatively quick (e.g., telephone interviews). It provides precise, quantitative, numerical data and the research results are relatively independent of the researcher (e.g., statistical significance). Data analysis is less time consuming (using statistical software). The disadvantage includes the fact that the categories that used in the research might not reflect local constituencies’ understandings. The researcher might miss out on phenomena...

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