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NURS 8200/NURS 8200F/NURS 8200M/NURS 8200C/NURS 8200A: Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice | Week 09

Week 9: Methods of Qualitative Research

In the past eight weeks of this course, you focused on quantitative research concepts and methods and have been critically evaluating a quantitative research study. This week allows you to step outside the realm of quantitative research and begin an examination of qualitative research concepts and methods.

Whereas quantitative research is based on numerical data, statistics, and mathematical approaches, qualitative research involves rich descriptions, critical analyses, and investigations into the conceptual nature of experiences and occurrences. Qualitative methods of study and analysis allow researchers to present vivid details and engage in logical and ethical discussions.

This week, you begin to explore the different concepts and methodologies related to qualitative research. You also consider challenges to performing qualitative research, including issues related to ethics. You formulate the basic components of a qualitative research study of your choice and discuss the application of qualitative methodologies to evidence-based practice.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Differentiate among phenomenology, ethnography, and grounded theory
  • Using one of the qualitative approaches, formulate a research question for a qualitative research study and anticipate challenges

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Gray, J.R., Grove, S.K., & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

  • Review Chapter 4, “Introduction to Qualitative Research”This chapter provides an overview of the logic and philosophy of qualitative research based on a holistic worldview. Review this chapter and refresh your understanding of the various types of qualitative research and the application of qualitative research in health care research and evidence-based practice.
  • Chapter 12, ““Qualitative Research Methods” (pp. 274 – 281)This section of Chapter 12 focuses on relevant methods of qualitative studies, including content analysis, narrative analysis, phenomenological research methods, and grounded theory methodology.

Allbutt, H., & Masters, H. (2010). Ethnography and the ethics of undertaking research in different mental healthcare settings. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 17(3), 210–215. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01493.x
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article details the efforts of a year-long ethnographic research study in three mental health settings and discusses the difficulties and problems associated with trying to perform a qualitative, noninterventionist study design in a practice setting.

Sternberg, R., & Barry, C. (2011). Transnational mothers crossing the border and bringing their health care needs. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(1), 64–71.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article discusses the procedures and findings of a qualitative study involving eight transnational Latina mothers from South Florida who came to the United States without their children and without legal documentation. The article describes essential themes in the experiences of these mothers and the implications of these themes for health care providers.

Van Aken, R., & Taylor, B. (2010). Emerging from depression: The experiential process of healing touch explored through grounded theory and case study.Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 16(3), 132–137. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.11.001
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article focuses on a qualitative study analyzing the experimental process of healing touch for people with moderate depression. Several theories were used to perform this analysis, including grounded theory and middle-range theory.

Whiting, L., & Vickers, P. (2010). Conducting qualitative research with palliative care patients: Applying Hammick’s research ethics wheel. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 16(2), 58–68.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
This article elaborates on the ethical issues that surround the pursuit of research involving patients accessing palliative care for cancer. Using Hammick’s research ethics wheel (REW), the article identifies ethical issues and dilemmas and discusses the importance of ethics in research studies involving vulnerable patients.

Discussion: Formulating a Qualitative Research Study

The process of formulating a qualitative research study is very similar to that of a quantitative research study. A qualitative research study, like its quantitative counterpart, begins with a broad topic of interest, which is then narrowed down to a specific research question or set of questions about which the researcher would like to gather data. As with all research, it is important for the researcher to identify an appropriate methodology to provide a focus for the procedures of gathering data in a qualitative study.

To prepare:

  • Using the Learning Resources as a guide, determine a qualitative research topic that is of interest to you and applies to a clinical practice area.
  • With your selected topic, formulate at least one research question that could serve as the basis for a qualitative research study.
  • Consider which of the following qualitative research methods would best address your selected research question: phenomenology, ethnography, or grounded theory. Why is that method appropriate?
  • Anticipate any issues (related to ethics, credibility, management, funding, etc.) you might encounter if you were to engage in this research project, and consider how you would handle them.
  • Ask yourself: What other qualitative methods could be used to address my selected qualitative research topic? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these methods?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

  • Summarize your selected qualitative research topic and research question(s) and identify your selected methodology for gathering data about the question(s). Explain why you chose that particular methodology and how it would be useful to the qualitative research topic you selected.
  • Identify and elaborate on the challenges (related to ethics, credibility, management, funding, etc.) you might encounter if you were to engage in this research project.
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of your selected research method (phenomenology, ethnography, and grounded theory) in terms of the research project you selected.
  • Discuss at least one other qualitative method that could be used to research your selected topic.

MUST USE REQUIRED READINGS

Allbutt, H., & Masters, H. (2010). Ethnography and the ethics of undertaking research in different mental healthcare settings. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 17(3), 210–215. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01493.x

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