Sample English Essays on Types of Research

Types of Research

Research approaches are diverse and adopt different methodologies towards their investigations. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies are the most academically accepted means of conducting investigations (Johnson & Christensen, 2019). Quantitative research focuses on identifying patterns, relationships, and generalized statistical results of a larger population. Qualitative investigations take a different approach and focus on non-numerical data and gain an in-depth perspective of a problem. Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative data into their research in a systematic approach towards answering the research questions. The mentioned research approaches have different investigative features but the mixed methods would be effective in analyzing the lack of knowledge about the use of probiotics amongst the family of pediatric patients.

Types of Research Methodologies

Qualitative research focuses on the participants’ experience and perceptions rather than quantifying data as done in quantitative methodology. For example, Petersen et al. (2018) and Lunden et al. (2018) analyzed their participants’ value, perception, and experience through a thematic process. However, Mukumbang & Alindekane (2017) and Giles et al. (2017) quantified their data collection process to find correlations and trends of the data. Both approaches are applicable, but it depends on the context of the research. Investigations that need to analyze entire populations to identify trends, relations, and patterns need to utilize a quantitative methodology (Johnson & Christensen, 2019). Studies that focus on understanding a problem from an individualistic approach need to use qualitative research. The basis of the collected data determines whether a quantitative or qualitative research methodology is required.

The sample size is another significant difference between qualitative and quantitative methodology. For qualitative methodology, the focus is on the participants’ in-depth knowledge, and hence, a smaller sample is used. Quantitative research aims to describe population traits and phenomenons and uses larger sample sizes. For example, Petersen et al. (2018) investigated 24 participants, while Giles et al. (2017) questioned all nursing consultants at a local health district. As such, quantitative and qualitative methodologies adopt different sample sizes depending on the research.

The mixed-methods approach takes a different approach from the two methods mentioned above. The mixed-methods combined both qualitative and quantitative data into its data collection and analysis process. The approach is highly efficient when there is a contradiction between qualitative and quantitative results (Johnson & Christensen, 2019). In such cases, mixed methods allow the researcher to analyze the contradiction in both sets of data in the same study and make proper conclusions. Mixed methods are highly flexible compared to the other two methods. The reason for flexibility occurs since mixed methods can assess a wider scope of variables. For example, Craft et al. (2017) assessed factors affecting student knowledge from the individual issues to institutional entities. Hence, mixed methods are highly efficient in investigations that need the researcher to include qualitative and quantitative data.

Selected Research Method

Probiotics consist of live bacteria and yeasts that people consume and provide health benefits, but knowledge on this value is limited. Probiotics provide significant benefits to the human gastrointestinal duct, such as releasing natural antibiotics that prevent infections (Draper, Ley, & Parsonnet, 2017). However, there is a significant research gap in the mode of action by probiotics that leads to the health benefits mentioned above (Munir et al., 2019). The knowledge gap has contributed to the low knowledge level of the importance of probiotics. Also, among pediatric patient families, the knowledge of probiotics and its health benefits is even lower. For example, an assessment identified that 45.6% of the participants had zero knowledge about probiotics, and only 15.7% have ever heard of the word (Munir et al., 2019).  Without factual information on probiotic health benefits, medical stakeholders cannot educate the public on a large scale. The realization showcases that the majority of people lack crucial knowledge of the health benefits of probiotics.

The low knowledge of probiotics among pediatric patient families warrants the need for an investigation into this problem. However, the main issue lies in which method, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approach would be efficient in researching this area. Based on the assessment of the different research methods, the mixed methods approach would be highly efficient (Johnson & Christensen, 2019). The reason being that while assessing the issue of low knowledge of probiotics among pediatric patient families, both qualitative and quantitative data are vital. The quantitative data will be needed to assess the patterns and scale of the families’ knowledge level. The approach will prove or disagree that there is a low probiotic knowledge level in the research location. After that, there is a need to identify how the family’s perceptions and experiences affect their probiotic knowledge level (Draper, Ley, & Parsonnet, 2017). However, by using the mixed methods approach, the complexity of the study would increase. The researcher needs to utilize a systematic process in analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data to mitigate the mentioned problem. The mixed-methods approach would be effective in assessing the low knowledge of probiotics among pediatric patient families.

Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research methods have unique features and respective investigative benefits. Researchers need to assess their research problem and identify which investigative method features are applicable. Through this mentioned approach, scholars can utilize research methods that are highly effective in assessing the different data types available. In assessing low knowledge of probiotics among pediatric patient families, it was shown that both qualitative and quantitative data was crucial. Hence, the mixed methods approach is needed to measure the probiotic knowledge level and identify the reasons for the low knowledge scores. With such an effective research methodology selection process, scholars can effectively investigate problems and discover new information.

References

Craft, J., Christensen, M., Bakon, S., & Wirihana, L. (2017). Advancing student nurse knowledge of the biomedical sciences: A mixed methods study. Nurse Education Today48, 114-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2016.10.003

Draper, K., Ley, C., & Parsonnet, J. (2017). A survey of probiotic use practices among patients at a tertiary medical centre. Beneficial Microbes8(3), 345-351.

Giles, M., Parker, V., Mitchell, R., & Conway, J. (2017). How do nurse consultant job characteristics impact on job satisfaction? An Australian quantitative study. BMC Nursing16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-017-0246-y

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2019). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

Lunden, A., Teräs, M., Kvist, T., & Häggman‐Laitila, A. (2018). Transformative agency and tensions in knowledge management—A qualitative interview study for nurse leaders. Journal of Clinical Nursing28(5-6), 969-979. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14694

Mukumbang, F. C., & Alindekane, L. M. (2017). Student nurse-educators’ construction of teacher identity from a self-evaluation perspective: A quantitative case study. Nursing Open4(2), 108-115. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.75

Munir, M. K., Khaliq, S., Rehman, S., Azhar, H., Riaz, I., & Baig, A. A. (2019). Parental experience and use of probiotics among children aged twelve months and above. Asian Journal of Medicine and Biomedicine3(1), 9-14.

Petersen, H. V., Foged, S., & Nørholm, V. (2019). “It is two worlds” cross‐sectoral nurse collaboration related to care transitions: A qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing28(9-10), 1999-2008. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14805