Historically, these two forms of inquiry have been large described as opposing methodological views in research. But are they? This topic invites you to discuss the implications, contributions, challenges and complementarities of quantitative and qualitative inquiry in the study of occupation and occupational therapy. Which form of inquiry for you most often use? Why? How can they both help us see the bigger picture... and the smallest detail?
Leave us your comments!
These are references I have used when writing about this issue:
Casebeer, A. L., & Verhoef, M. J. (1997) Combining qualitative and quantitative research methods: considering the possibilities for enhancing the study of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases in Canada, 18(3), 18-3.
Creswell, J. W. (2003) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Suter, N.S. (2012) Qualitative data, analysis, and design. Introduction to educational research: A critical thinking approach (2nd ed.) (Chapter 12, pp 342-386). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Thomas, D. R. (2006) General inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27, 237-246.
This is from an article reporting results of a qualitative pilot study of elementary-aged children conducted to generate descriptive data for revision of a new assessment for therapists and teachers (currently in press):
Authors contrasting qualitative and quantitative research believe that it is not possible to judge qualitative research by using criteria designed for quantitative research, such as reliability, validity, and the ability to generalize the results to other populations. They describe qualitative methods as naturalistic, observational, and holistic, which are appropriate for studies of learning styles (Mays & Pope, 2000). For example, one of the findings of a qualitative study exploring mainstream classroom teachers' opinions about meeting the academic needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) was their strong belief that differentiated assessment and instruction was the only way to insure success (Palmer, 2014). Furthermore, since qualitative methods are now widely used and increasingly accepted in the education and health fields, some authors suggest that qualitative explorations can lead to measurement instruments being developed for later quantitative research (Biddix, 2014); Casebeer & Verhoef, 1997; Lazaraton & Taylor, 2001; Suter, 2012; & Sandelowski, 2000). One research design has been categorized as Sequential Exploratory, with a purpose of investigating a phenomenon, a useful strategy for developing and testing a new instrument. It is characterized by an initial phase of qualitative data collection and analysis, followed by a phase of quantitative efficacy research (Creswell, 2003). This author proposes that the concept of the Sequential Exploratory design could be incorporated into two separate studies (qualitative investigation and then quantitative research), rather than one mixed-methods strategy.
Thank you RPERH! This is very helpful for clinicians and evolving scientists to consider! Have you experienced tensions between them on the field?
Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward tpo hear your comments on this. Leave them here!
There is no conflict between the 2 approaches. Quantitative research in OT emerged when we started following the medical models. Qual is more holistic, naturalistic. Problem is lack of funding for qual research because of its limited generalizability