Quantitative and qualitative research..........
distinction is that of quantitative and qualitative methods.
Quantitative methods have a much longer history in research into
aspects of healthcare and the use of medicines. Nevertheless, qualitative methods are now well established as well as being seen as
essential for many research questions.
Researchers who come from health professions, including pharmacists, are generally more familiar with quantitative approaches to
inquiry than qualitative approaches.Quantitative studies are those
in which the researcher aims to quantify phenomena. They may be
small or large, or local, national or international. In terms of design,
studies may be:
assessments of the frequencies of events
establishing the proportion of people in a population/sample who
hold particular views or attitudes
audits of professional practice and use of medicines, requiring
assessment against set criteria
assessment of rates of adherence among particular populations
the timing, duration and resources associated with activities
a comparison of prescribing patterns and rates between hospitals
examination of associations between variables in a data set, e.g. number of medicines prescribed and reports of medication-related problems, or attitudes and population characteristics or experiences
randomized controlled trials in which differences in outcomes
between groups are measured and compared
studies that involve the application of statistical procedures