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Research Approach

One of the main reasons for doing research is to generate new knowledge or validate current knowledge (Taylor, Kermode & Roberts 2006). There are many ways (research approaches) this can be done and the choice of a research approach is determined by the research problem and questions being asked.
Topic two aims to extend your understanding of different ways of thinking and reasoning and their link to two research approaches (quantitative and qualitative), to show how they generate different types of knowledge and address different research problems and questions. Part A of this topic focusses mainly on Qualitative research approaches and Part B mainly Quantitative.

Topic : Research Approach

Topic Objectives

On completion of Part A of this topic students should be able to:

  • Reflect on the different ways of knowing, thinking and reasoning
  • Describe the distinguishing features of qualitative research and it’s associated methodologies


In order to be able to engage with the literature which provides the disciplines of nursing and midwifery with evidene for practice an understanding of different research approaches is needed.
At the beginning of your program, either in Being a Health Professional or Professional Practice N, you were introduced to the different types of knowledge underpinning the different ways of reasoning (inductive and deductive) that inform decision making in nursing and midwifery practice. In the next activity you will re-connect to the work you did in the beginning of your program.

As you watch, note down the definition for the following words:

  • paradigm
  • ontology
  • epistemology
  • methodology

What is Qualitative research?

Nurses and midwives often have an interest in questions that involve gaining a holistic understanding of people and their experiences. This means that nurses and midwives often use a qualitative research method that seeks to understand and explore the whole phenomenon.





What is the qualitative research process?

This topic outlines common features and processes of qualitative research.


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