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Critiquing Qualitative and Quantitative Research

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  • Pages: 6
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  • Category: Qualities

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The research conducted by Foster-Fitzpatrick, Ortiz, Sibilano, Marcantonio and Braun (1999) is a quantitative study of the significance of crossing the legs while blood pressure is being measured. The purpose of the research was to determine whether leg-crossing impacted the results of blood pressure measurements. The research conducted by Palese, Skrap, Fachin, Visioli and Zannini (2008) is a qualitative study of the subjective data collected from patients who experienced while-awake craniotomies.

Identification of Design Quantitative Research Article Design The design chosen for this research was a pretest-posttest design, the quasi-experimental design, for answering the research problem, “Does crossing the leg during blood pressure measurement effect on the patient’s blood pressure reading? ” Crossing the leg is the manipulation, as the independent variable, and the patient’s blood pressure is the dependent variable. This design is appropriate for this research problem because it is the method available for testing the hypothesis of cause-and-effect relationships between two variables in this study (Polit & Beck, 2012).

Qualitative Research Article Design The design for this research was a descriptive phenomenology study. This was clearly identified “a phenomenology study was conducted with the purpose of describing the human experience of patients undergoing awake craniotomy. ” (Palese, et. al. , 2008 p. 167). Critique of Design Quantitative Critique of Design Article The research question concerns a possible causal relationship between the independent and dependent variable. Crossing the leg is the manipulation, as the independent variable, and the patient’s blood pressure is the ependent variable.

The study illustrates the limitation of the quasi-experimental design is lack of randomization which according to Polit and Beck (2012) is “the signature of a true experiment” (p. 217). When Foster-Fitzpatrick, et. al. , (1999) chose known hypertensive males on hypertension medication, they eliminated randomization from their study. What was the rationale for using only patients with a diagnosis of hypertension that was currently being treated? There does not appear to be an independent control utilized in this study.

This lack of an independent control limits the validity of this study. Qualitative Critique of Design Article Phenomenology is utilized in the area of inquiry in the experiences of individuals within their life world. The qualitative study has the required characteristics of data collection, flexibility, holism, researchers were intensely involved and were the research instrument through the use of interviewing techniques and there was ongoing analysis of the data to determine strategies to enhance the experience of the subjects during awake craniotomy (Polit & Beck, 2012).

The researchers indicate that bracketing was used before data collection. “The researchers’ ideas were bracketed to identify personal biases and to clarify any personal experiences or beliefs that may color what they were going to hear and report. ” (Palese, et al. ,2008 p. 167). Descriptive phenomenological was appropriate for the design of this study. Identification of Sampling Methodology Quantitative Sampling Methodology Polit and Beck (2012) describe convenience sampling as “using the most conveniently available people as participants. (p. 276).

Foster-Fitzpatrick, et. al. , (1999) utilized convenience sampling when they selected patients presenting for an outpatient appointment at Veteran’s Administration Clinics. This study meets criteria for convenience sampling. Qualitative Sampling Methodology Palese, et al. , (2008) chose a purposeful sample selection for this research project. Polit and Beck (2012) described purposeful sampling as “volunteer informants . . . selecting cases that will most benefit the study. ” (p. 517).

The inclusion criteria “patients (a) with a brain neoplasm who were awaiting surgery under local anesthesia, (b) who were older than 18 years, (c) without language or cognitive disabilities, and (d) who were ready to collaborate and accept an interview. ” (Palese, et al. , 2008 p. 167). This study meets the criteria for purposeful sampling. Critique of Sampling Methodology Quantitative Critique of Sampling Methodology The convenience sampling that was used in recruiting all male patients who were on blood pressure medications is a glaring bias in this study.

There was no information provided addressing why the patients were presenting to the clinic. There are many interventions that can raise blood pressure. For example, the study conducted by Marshall, Anantharachagan, Choudhary, Chue and Kaurhis, (2002) investigated the effect of situational anxiety on blood pressure experienced in anticipation of a blood test. Marshall, et. al. , (2002) found that anticipation of a blood test can raise blood pressure. Foster-Fitzpatrick, et. al. , 1999 did not address the purpose of the patient’s visit to the clinic.

The researchers addressed known influential factors verbally, but not all factors were controlled during the experiment. For example, time of day, the white coat effect along with respirations and heart rate were not addressed in the results. Qualitative Critique of Sampling Methodology Based upon information provided this study was appropriate conducted as a purposeful sampling but, this study also appears to meet the criteria for convenience sampling. The participants were volunteers undergoing awake craniotomy which were easily identified and they were recruited from a specific clinical setting (Polit ; Beck, 2012).

Polit and Beck, (2012) acknowledge that “many qualitative studies eventually evolve to a purposive (or purposeful) sampling strategy – that is, selecting cases that will most benefit the study. ” (p. 517). This study’s beginning could have originated from convenience sample and evolved to purposeful sampling. There may have been more information provided if the study was expanded beyond 21 participants and occurred at more than one facility. The researchers did not indicate if saturation had occurred and in light of 21 participants this is not surprising.

The experiences of the 21 participants were adequately described and their personal experiences were documented. (Polit ; Beck, 2012). Ethical Considerations Quantitative Ethical Considerations Foster-Fitzpatrick, et. al. , (1999) study was neither reviewed nor monitored by an Institutional Review Board, Research Ethics Board, or an ethics review board. Verbal consent was obtained; informed consent does not appear to have been obtained. Confidentiality and privacy rules were not addressed. The study consisted entirely of males and the rationale for the exclusion of females was not addressed.

There are also ethical concerns when you involve a specific group (veterans) who are dependent upon a certain facility for healthcare. Because of this dependence the participants may have felt coerced to participate. Qualitative Ethical Considerations Palese, et. al. (2008) protected the rights of the participants by assuring that participation did not affect the quality of care and confidentiality as well as anonymity was observed. Approval for the study was obtained from a university research headquarters and all involved departments.

Informed consent was obtained for the first contact and was reevaluated throughout the process. The participant’s emotional needs were respected and there was the consistency of the same researcher conducting the interviews. The quantitative research performed by Foster-Fitzpatrick et. al. , (1999) failed to follow research process guidelines when they designed their study. They limited their study when they focused on males with known hypertension that was currently being controlled by medication.

For a quantitative study the Foster-Fitzpatrick et. al. (1999) study lacks representativeness and cannot be generalized and, in my opinion, representativeness and generalization would be the essence of a quantitative study. At first look, I connected with the quantitative study on a professional level. I initially thought this was good research that would apply to my practice of nursing. After critiquing this study I was surprised and disappointed, but it was a good lesson learned. The qualitative research performed by Palese, et. al. , (2008) followed research process guidelines for a convenience sample. Their sample size was small, but the reported experiences were rich with information.

The qualitative study was esoteric and loosely organized. This is what qualitative study is about. Qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or to interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Qualitative research is intended to penetrate to the deeper significance to the subject being researched. It involves an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter and gives priority to what the data contributes to research questions or existing information. (Polit ; Beck, 2012).

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