What is it about?

A common consensus regarding the way in which qualitative and quantitative approaches to research are viewed within nursing has existed unchanged for many years, i.e. the quantitive or positivistic research paradigm has traditionally been viewed as being more scientific, logical, rigorous and superior to the naturalistic/qualitative approach. Indeed, there is little evidence to refute the suggestion that these two approaches are perceived as being separate to, and independent of, each other.

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Why is it important?

This article suggests that this long-standing division has served to create many of the problems and barriers surrounding qualitative research in nursing. One of the main reasons for this division results from the inherent interpretation of each approach and also the perceptions of nurse researchers. Qualitative research is traditionally viewed as the weaker of the two approaches and therefore qualitative researchers are often left to actively promote the standing and credibility of this research paradigm. This article aims to identify how nurse researchers can strive to resolve the imbalance that frequently exists between these two paradigms and, consequently, redress any related misconceptions within the nursing profession.

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This page is a summary of: The challenge for qualitative research in nursing, British Journal of Community Nursing, October 1998, Mark Allen Group,
DOI: 10.12968/bjcn.1998.3.9.7182.
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