Critical Research Appraisal: Critiques of Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research Design

Qualitative research involves data collection and analysis using non-numerical data such as documented text or audio. Features that identify qualitative research methods include a natural setting, complex reasoning, and multiple approaches in research (Fetters & Molina-Azorin, 2019). The standard methodologies used in qualitative research are grounded theory, narrative analysis, and case study research. The grounded theory involves collecting data on a chosen topic and developing ideas inductively to produce the desired results. In the case study, researchers work with participants in linking theories to practice to promote socio-cultural changes on the subject of interest. On the other hand, narrative research focuses on existing ideas to understand the perceptions leading to particular practices.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research

Using the qualitative design method in conducting research is beneficial in many ways. Firstly, since the technique involves multiple designs in obtaining the desired outcomes, it covers various details regarding the population and interest under investigation. Secondly, qualitative research is holistic in understanding the emotional and cultural aspects of the people in a given setting. Thirdly, the whole population participates in qualitative research, representing all voices and events during the study. Limitations of this study method include focusing more on social experiences, leaving out contextual aspects, and data collected may lack credibility due to individual perceptions and biases (Fetters & Molina-Azorin, 2019). Researchers use the qualitative design method to investigate the occurrence of particular phenomenons in a given population.

Critique of Qualitative Research in Clinical Studies: Research on Mental Illness

The Study Purpose and Methodology

The study aims to identify the cultural perspectives of mental health and cultural barriers limiting modern treatment in rural South African Americans. The research uses a narrative research qualitative design, providing participants’ actual stories and experiences to understand better the concept in obtaining the required data. The primary data collection method used was participant interviews, and participants included primary caregivers, college students, the community, administrators, and patients with mental disabilities.

The snowball technique recruited participants by connecting selected group leaders to the other participants. Interviews allow researchers to obtain information through participants’ answers and observation, which is relevant in obtaining the specific details (Haynes et al., 2017). Using the snowball technique in recruiting participants enhances trust, which promotes better participation; therefore, the methodology is appropriate to the purpose of the study considering the sensitivity of the research, which requires personal information.

Data Analysis, Findings, and Limitations

Data analysis involved coding information using the MAXQDA software. Results indicated that most participants perceive mental illness as a severe illness involving isolation, drug and substance abuse, and criminal activity (Haynes et al., 2017), and also participants were not aware of the clinical diagnosis of mental illnesses except the caregivers. However, the study’s limitations include selecting participants involving more literate populations than the actual population sample. In addition, the research does not mention any ethical issues considered, such as confidentiality and privacy of participants in preserving anonymity and free will participation.


The methodology used in this study is appropriate regarding the recruitment of participants through snowball technique, collecting data using interviews, and coding information during data analysis. The study passes some of the criteria for qualitative research: credibility, dependability of the findings, confirmability, and reliability (Fetters & Molina-Azorin, 2019). In this research, credibility is acquired through face-to-face interaction with the participant during interviews, while confirmability is achieved through submitting the results and data scripts to the community association board (CAB). The study is reliable as it acquires information directly from the source. This study improves nurses understanding of patients with mental illnesses who are ignorant of the illness enhance efficacy in handling the patients.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research involves the collection and analysis of numerical data in investigating the phenomenon. Characteristics identifying quantitative research include collecting data through structured research tools, repeating studies with high reliability, and using numerical data. In addition, quantitative research involves observational and interventional research techniques. In interventional research, the outcome of the results involves specific interventions to particular groups of study to obtain the required results.

On the other hand, observational research does not work with interventions; therefore, all participants go through the same procedure to get the desired objective. Thus, experimental designs go hand in hand with interventional research, where experiments involve intervention to measure outcomes. At the same time, quasi methods use randomized participation in experimenting effects without using interventions or control groups (McCarthy et al., 2017). The research uses inferential and descriptive statistics in measuring variables. Descriptive statistics describe the characteristics of a particular population, whereas inferential statistics gives room for testing the given hypothesis in generalizing the features of the entire population. This type of research method is usually used to find patterns, make predictions, surveys, and test causal relationships between variables.

Critique of Qualitative Research in Clinical Studies: Health and Demographics Survey

The Study Purpose and Methodology

The study aims at identifying factors determining institutional delivery by women in Sub-Saharan Africa. The countries include Ghana, Malawi, and Senegal, among others. The study used previous data from (DHS), Demographic and Health Survey in collecting information regarding institutional versus non-institutional delivery services performed in recent years from the nine countries. Samples were obtained using cluster sampling involving a cross-sectional survey in the first stage (Gebremichael & Fenta, 2021). Participants included women between 15 to 49 years who submitted information through questionnaires indicating the determining variables. Blinding and randomization techniques were not used in this study. Blinding refers to investigating subjects without their awareness, while randomization is a technique of randomly grouping subjects into subgroups to receive the same treatment during study interventions.

Data Analysis, Findings, and Limitations

Statistical analysis involved Pearson chi-square(X2) in testing the relationship between choices in the place of delivery where no and yes represent home and institutional delivery, respectively (Gebremichael & Fenta, 2021). No errors were found from the test. The study considered all ethical issues by presenting a letter of permission to access the required information. Determinants of accessing institutional services include women’s literacy, accessibility to institutions, financial stability, marital status, among others (Gebremichael & Fenta, 2021). Also, older women between 35 to 49 years have a higher likelihood of delivering from hospitals than younger women below 24 years.


This method is appropriate to this study because it develops actual numbers of both home and institutional deliveries. Statistical data is relevant to this study since it involves numbers in determining women populations utilizing institutional services. The sample population is also valid for the study as the study involves delivery services. However, the study fails to mention the validity and reliability of data. Reliability measures the consistency of data collection instruments to yield the same results every time, while validity determines the accuracy of the research tool in calculating the intended data. Statistical significance measures the likelihood of variables having a relationship either by chance or in actuality. For example, the statistical significance in this study reveals that Antenatal care (ANC) visits determine institutional deliveries. This study is relevant to other clinical research in providing information related to ANC and the sexual health of women living in rural regions.


Fetters, M., & Molina-Azorin, J. (2019). A Checklist of mixed methods elements in a submission for advancing the methodology of mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 13(4), 414-423. Web.

Gebremichael, S.G., Fenta, S.M. (2021). Determinants of institutional delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa: Demographic and health survey (2013–2017) from nine countries. Trop Med Health 49, 45. Web.

Haynes, T., Cheney, A., Sullivan, J., Bryant, K., Curran, G., Olson, M., Bryant K., Cottoms M., & Reaves C (2017). Addressing mental health needs: Perspectives of African Americans living in the rural south. Psychiatric Services, 68(6), 573-578. Web.

McCarthy, C. J., Whittaker, T. A., Boyle, L. H., & Eyal, M. (2017). quantitative approaches to group research: Suggestions for best practices. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 42(1), 3-16. Web.

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