Quantitative and Qualitative Studies

Quantitativeand Qualitative Studies

Quantitativeand qualitative approaches to research are different in severalaspects. For example, quantitative approach uses statistical analysisand numerical methods to quantify variables of the study. On theother hand, qualitative approach uses a narrative description of thevariables by considering the narrative aspects of the study. Both ofthese methods complement each other to enhance an effective study.This essay compares quantitative and qualitative studies of twodifferent articles. Bronder et al (2015) uses quantitative approachwhile Rubbo et al (2015) use mixed methods design. Both articlesaddress the use of electronic health records to address certaindiseases.

Comparisonof data collection and analysis

Thetwo articles used different methods to collect and analyse data intheir studies. Bronder et al (2015) used primarily statistical datafrom the study to analyse its variables and produce viable results.The study yielded data that was analyzed from DocStyles. Panel surveywas carried out on primary healthcare providers in United States andthe results were analyzed using statistical methods. Obesity relatedfunctions were analysed through a logistical regression method toshow the characteristics of obesity-related electronic health recordsin United States. This is purely quantitative method because the datacollected from the survey were quantified and analysed usingstatistical methods. On the other hand, Rubbo et al (2015) use mixedmethod design whereby quantitative and qualitative approaches wereused to collect and analyse data. Unlike the former article whichused primary source of data, Rubbo et al used existing data fromprevious studies to determine the number of AMI diagnosis derivedfrom electronic health records. Using these records, the studyanalysed the accuracy of AMI diagnosis from EHR. The diagnosis isconsidered high if it was 90% derived from EHR and moderate if it was70-80%. The quantitative approach was also used in terms of aWilson’s binomial proportions method which was used to analyse datain STATA 3.1 at 95% level of confidence. This shows a similarity withthe other method which used statistical approach in its quantitativeanalysis.

Advantagesand Disadvantages

Theadvantage of Bronder et al (2015) is that it enhances broad studyinvolving a greater number of subjects. The study used 1507 careproviders unlike Rubbo et al (2015) who used only a few studies assubjects. It enhances objective results and conclusions which lead tohigher chances of accuracy of the study (Bernard, 2000). Thequantitative method used in this study also uses standards which canbe replicated and compared with other studies (Hartas, 2010). Thelimitation of Bronder et al is that it uses a narrow and superficialdata set consisting of electronic health records related to obesityonly. The method used also provides numerical description and lacksdetailed narrative to make it clearer.

Oneof the advantages of Rubbo (2015) is that it combines the goodaspects of both qualitative and quantitative approaches (Tashakkori &ampTeddlie, 1998). The study provides in-depth analysis with a lot ofdetail because it combines the feelings, attitudes and suggestions ofseveral studies from the past. The study also enhances opennessbecause it enables the researchers to focus on all aspects of thesample studies used in order to expand from the chosen topic and openup for other possible findings that may be important to the study(Neuman, 2007). The method also stimulates the individual experiencesof the researchers and avoids pre-judgment and bias.

Thedisadvantage of the study of Rubbo (2015) is that its qualitativedata analysis involves a few people studied. Actually, only a fewstudies were analysed. Data collection is also time consuming for thestudy and causes the researchers to use a smaller sample size. Thestudy was also difficult in terms of data generalization becausefewer subjects are chosen for the study. Systematic comparison of thechosen studies is also difficult because research from those paststudies may give highly differing views or opinions. The researcher’sskills are therefore depended on to provide accurate results. Withoutskills and knowledge from the researchers, the study would likelyresult in inaccurate and unreliable results.

Thecommon disadvantage in both studies is that they focus on limiteddata from specific diseases which may not reflect the overall stateof electronic health records in United States and the rest of theworld. The studies could become more reliable if they considered awide range of electronic health records from different sources ordifferent hospitals and health care facilities. The sources of datafor both studies are therefore insufficient or unreliable for bothquantitative and qualitative method designs.


Thiscomparison has been made on two articles that utilized qualitativeand quantitative research designs. It is clear that the first articleby Bronder et al (2015) uses quantitative approach of research whichcollects data from 1507 primary care providers and analyses it usingstatistical method involving regression analysis. The study has theadvantage of objective results and conclusions and replication.However, its limitation is that it is narrow and lacks narrativedescription. On the other hand, Rubbo et al (2015) use bothquantitative approaches which include narratives and statisticalanalysis of limited amount of data.


Bernard,H.R. (2000). Socialresearch methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

Bronder,K.L., Dooyema, C.A., Onufrak, S.J. and Foltz, J.L. (2015). Electronichealth records to support obesity-related patient care: Results froma survey of United States physicians. PreventiveMedicine,77, 41–47.

Hartas,D. (2010). Educationalresearch and inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.London: Continuum.

Neuman,W.L. (2007). Basicsof social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Rubbo,B., Fitzpatrick, N.K., Denaxas, S., Daskalopoulou, M., Yu, N. andPatel, R.S. (2015). Use of electronic health records to ascertain,validate and phenotype acute myocardial infarction: A systematicreview and recommendations. InternationalJournal of Cardiology,187, 705–711.

Tashakkori,A., &amp Teddlie, C. (1998). Mixedmethodology: Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.