12 Pages, Grade: 60% (England)
Qualitative research question and critique of underlying perspective
Quantitative research question and critique of underlying perspective
What are German women´s perceptions about antenatal classes in the preparation for motherhood?
Knowledge about childbirth and parenting has historically been gained informally from other women, mainly family members, and through practical experience of assisting with childbearing in extended families (Renkert & Nutbeam 2006). Nowadays the family structures have changed, the families are smaller and therefore midwives in Germany and worldwide offer antenatal classes during pregnancy in preparation for motherhood. With qualitative or quantitative research this topic can be explored to improve antenatal classes. The outlined information’s in this assignment about qualitative and quantitative research and the principles and critique of both perspectives will include strengths, limitations and assessment and relates to my final research proposal about antenatal classes.
A definition of qualitative research is stated by Sandelowski (2004) that with its emphasis on the contingencies, subjectivities, discursiveness, and politics of evidence, qualitative research can make evidence-based practice a truly mindful methodology for improving the public health. Qualitative research can be used to support and explain quantitative research in unknown areas or in describing new phenomena which need to be explored in more breadth (Giacomini et al. 2000). The rationale underpinning the choice of qualitative methods lie in an exploration of how people make sense of their social world, in order to provide insights into people’s health-related behaviour that is not readily accessible through surveys. Bradly et al. (2007) mentioned that the strength of qualitative perspective is that qualitative inquiry can improve the description and explanation of complex, real-world phenomena pertinent to health services research. Greater understanding of the processes of qualitative data analysis can be helpful for health services researchers as they use these methods themselves or collaborate with qualitative researchers from a wide range of disciplines. Quality in qualitative research can be assessed with the same broad concepts of validity and relevance used for quantitative research, but these need to be operationalised differently to take into account the distinctive goals of qualitative research (Mays & Pope, 2000). In addition Green and Britten (1998) mentioned that rigorously conducted qualitative research is based on explicit sampling strategies, systematic analysis of data, and a commitment to examining counter explanations. Ideally, methods should be transparent, allowing the reader to assess the validity and the extent to which results might be applicable to their own clinical practice. Furthermore Grypdonck (2006) stated that qualitative research has much to contribute to the appropriateness of care, so qualitative researchers must be assertive in affirming the value of their work: good qualitative research is characterized by congruence between the perspective (or paradigm) that informs the research questions and the research methods used (Fossey et al. 2002). But the reliability and validity of the findings of qualitative studies has been questioned because of small sample sizes and the scope for subjective judgements and personal biases. To face this problem qualitative findings can be validated by triangulation, in which evidence is sought from other independent sources, sometimes in quantitative methods (McNally et al. 1998) because it seems likely that the quantitative researcher working in the human sciences is not as precise as he or she would like to be and that the qualitative researcher is not as insightful as he or she would like to be. Coyle and Williams (2000) found out that nurse researchers are increasingly combining qualitative and quantitative methods in order to understand more fully the world of research subjects. Relating to the different types of data qualitative research is a flexible research design with an in-depth view and a holistic aspect as well. But because of the subjective nature of qualitative research it is often regarded as more difficult to critique. However, Ryan et al. (2007) concluded that an evidence-based profession cannot accept any research at face value and needs to be able to determine the strengths and limitations of studies when reviewing the available literature on a topic. In context to the midwifery work the qualitative research question seems to be a good tool to assess women’s expectations and needs. Midwives are companions for a long time during pregnancy and after the birth and they are in a very close relationship to their clients. Considering this, the midwives have an easier access and more possibilities of a better assessment about women’s expectations and needs. Considering this the drawback of the qualitative research perspective is this fact of closeness that may influence the results. Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2007) pointed out the emphasis in every qualitative inquiry, that findings, interpretations, and conclusions should be assessed for truth value, applicability, consistency, neutrality, dependability, credibility, confirmability, transferability, generalizability, or the like.
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