Document Type


Journal Title

Air medical journal

Publication Date





Although both the assumptions and methods of qualitative and quantitative approaches in nursing research are different, both have the goal of furthering the scientific basis for practice. A variety of qualitative approaches are available, and which approach to use depends on the purpose of the research. In general, qualitative investigations address broad questions related to description, discovery, or theory building, and, as a consequence, the researcher is concerned with the entire context surrounding the phenomenon of interest rather than concentrating on specific variables thought to influence that phenomenon. The type of data collected and the methods of analysis differ, but qualitative research demands the same careful attention to selecting a design appropriate to answer the research question and the same assurance of rigor in conducting the research and interpreting the results as is required in quantitative studies. When these issues are thoroughly addressed, the clinician has a basis for judging both the accuracy and the applicability of qualitative research findings.

MeSH Headings

Anthropology, Cultural, Data Collection, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Humans, Information Management, Nursing Care, Nursing Research, Research Design, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Stress, Psychological, United States




This article was published in Air Medical Journal, Vol 17, Thompson, C. B., & Walker, B. L. , Basics of research (part 12): Qualitative research, 65-70, Copyright Air Medical Journal Associates (1998)

Included in

Nursing Commons