An Example of Qualitative Research

Participant Observation

In Summerville, I have observed such health issues as the presence of rodents on the street. In addition, I have seen such safety issues as the lack of proper control over children as they ride bikes. Moreover, they ride too close to the traffic.

In Ironridge, I have noticed such health issues as the lack of control over the garbage storage procedures as there were several garbage bags on the street and the garbage deposit was not closed so everybody could have access to it. Besides, I have identified such safety issues as inflammability of a passing-by truck that could possibly have hazardous or flammable materials on board.

This participant observation is an example of qualitative research because the study of the above-mentioned phenomena was conducted in natural settings and with the use of inspective techniques. Additionally, the observation aimed to research the quality of the phenomena under consideration (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

Other ways, both qualitative and quantitative, that I could utilize to research this question are (1) statistical analysis; (2) thematic analysis; (3) in-depth interviewing; (4) cross-sectional study; (5) longitudinal study; and (5) experimental study (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

To identify if the study is qualitative or quantitative, it is important to define the main objective of the study (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). Particularly, the type of study depends on whether the primary objective of the given research is to define the quantity of the phenomena or its quality (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

Theory, research, and practice are advanced by the combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches by means of eliminating the limitations of the two studying procedures (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). Thus, the research results appear to be more precise and trustworthy.

Other Reasons for Doing Qualitative or Quantitative On the Subject Matter

When a researcher chooses the type of research for the study, one has to consider the following factors: (1) the place of research: whether an investigation is to be conducted in the real world or in the laboratory; (2) the objective of research; (3) characteristics of participants; and (4) the choice of the data analysis methods based on the amount and type of available research data. In connection with the above-mentioned, the participant observation done in Summerville and Ironridge can be characterized as qualitative research since the place of research was the real-world conditions, the objective of the research was to identify health and safety risks present on the street of those towns, the participants of the research were people present on the streets of the towns, and to analyze the data, qualitative methods were chosen.


Using the PICO(T) format, I conducted a search on the health-related dangers connected with the presence of rodents on the streets. I have found 48 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) in comparison to other types of studies. I realized that although RCTs were convenient for data analysis and they provided reliable information, they were not as common as other types of research.

During my research study, I came to a conclusion that the advantages of RCTs in comparison to other types of studies are (1) effective measurement of casual relationships, (2) effective control of biased practices, (3) ability to measure multiple outcomes; and (4) high degree of reliability of research results due to the implementation of randomized research practices (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). The disadvantages of RCTs are high costs, possible compliance to ethical values and norms, and the lasting duration of research procedures (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

Generally, I would summarize the articles I studied within my research on the rodent–related health issues, by identifying their common feature of listing the pathogens of varied diseases in humans that rodents carry and explaining the negative health implications of these pathogens (Brown & Grimness, 2012; Pitts, Mauldin, Thompson & Choate, 2013). These articles enumerate such hazardous pathogens as hantavirus, plague bacteria, leptospirosis bacteria, hemorrhagic fever virus, rat-bite fever bacteria, salmonellosis bacteria, tularemia bacteria, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (Brown & Grimness, 2012; Pitts, Mauldin, Thompson & Choate, 2013). Besides, the articles focus on the identification of the seriousness and extent of rodent-related morbidity and mortality. Finally, they make proposals concerning preventive measures aiming to eliminate rodent-related health problems.

PICO(T) Implemented in Doing Rodent Health Issue Research

The PICO (T) Terms: 206

P = patients with diseases transmitted by rodents

I = removing rodents from streets

C= alternative strategies

O = reducing the spread of diseases transmitted by rodents

Search: MEDLINE.

Search Number P I C O T # of Results Notes
1 patient with diseases transmitted by rodents 12,515 I searched on the P, “patients with diseases transmitted by rodents
” by typing it in the search field and clicking “Search”
2 removing rodents from streets 1,613 I searched on the I, removing rodents from streets
” by typing it into the search field and clicking “Search.”
3 alternative strategies 436 I clicked “Clear” and typed “alternative strategies” in the search field along with the phrase:reducing the spread of diseases transmitted by rodents” in order to specify my search results.
4 reducing the spread of diseases transmitted by rodents 2,356 I clicked “Clear” and typed “reducing the acute syndrome” in the search field and clicked “Search.”
5 #1 #2 #3 112 I clicked on “advanced search” and combined Search #1 with Search #2 and Search #3 using the Boolean operator “AND”. I clicked “Search.” The Results were 212 abstracts. I further checked the found articles and found that only 48 of them contained RCTs-based research.

I did find other types of studies. They were case studies (the most common type), cohort studies, and controlled clinical trials. The main advantage of case studies is their high degree of incidence. Cohort studies are the best option when a researcher needs to know how the studied phenomenon affects the study population in comparison to a similar group unaffected by this phenomenon. Controlled clinical trials are less advantageous since they allow the presence of bias because the randomized choice of subjects is not possible within this type of study.


Brown, C., & Grimness, R. (2012). Rodent exposures: Quantitative human health risk assessment. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 47, (1), 371-384.

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice. (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Pitts, R. M., Mauldin, M. R., Thompson, C. W., & Choate, J. R. (2013). Evidence of hantavirus exposure in rodents from North Texas. Western North American Naturalist, 73(3), 386-391.

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Premium Papers. 2023. "An Example of Qualitative Research." January 11, 2023.

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