discussion forum is based on your readings from Chapters one and two from your course text. What type of research topic would be of interest to you? Elaborate on factors that motivated you and what are you seeking?

Make sure that you select a topic that is something that you are passionate about. Remember this is a subject matter that you will investigate for the duration of our semester.

Let us also look at whether or not you want to conduct qualitative versus quantitative methods for your research project. Please take a look at the following article that may provide you with some guidance.

2015, Vol. 30(7) 537 –542

© The Author(s) 2014
Reprints and permissions:

DOI: 10.1177/0267659114559116



Qualitative research is characterized by its aims, which
relate to understanding some aspect of social life and its
methods which (in general) generate words, rather than
numbers, as data for analysis. For researchers more
familiar with quantitative methods, which aim to mea-
sure something (such as the percentage of people with a
particular disease in a community or the number of
households owning a bed net), the aims and methods of
qualitative research can seem imprecise.

Qualitative methods generally aim to understand the
experiences and attitudes of patients, the community or
healthcare worker. These methods aim to answer ques-
tions about the ‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘why’ of a phenomenon
rather than ‘how many’ or ‘how much’, which are
answered by quantitative methods. If the aim is to
understand how a community or individuals within it
perceive a particular issue, then qualitative methods are
often appropriate.1

The personality of the researcher (and his/her integ-
rity) may play a much greater role than in quantitative
research. Therefore, the quality of raw data is essential.
If the data are not of high quality, all statistical calcula-
tions will be either wrong or of inferior quality. So, for
qualitative research, the researcher will be important to
ensure the quality of the process, since he/she will need

to interpret data after its acquisition; in contrast, in
quantitative research, the quality of the raw data will be
more important.

Numerous studies have been constructed into the
field of research on human services, utilizing both quan-
titative and qualitative methodologies and, in some
instances, a combination. For the purposes of this paper,
quantitative research is selected as a possible methodol-
ogy, therefore, elements of this type of research are eval-
uated regarding if quantitative research meets the
criteria needed when investigating the broad topic per-
taining to general human services.

Adding to this observation, it is interesting to note
that numerous scholars are of the opinion that the “gap”
between qualitative and quantitative research is too

Research using qualitative, quantitative or mixed
methods and choice based on the research

K McCusker1 and S Gunaydin2

Research is fundamental to the advancement of medicine and critical to identifying the most optimal therapies unique
to particular societies. This is easily observed through the dynamics associated with pharmacology, surgical technique
and the medical equipment used today versus short years ago. Advancements in knowledge synthesis and reporting
guidelines enhance the quality, scope and applicability of resu