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Critical Appraisal Of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Articles

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The article titled Analyzing Qualitative interview data. Addressing issues of reliability and validity presented by J.V. Appleton deals with the aspects that must be taken into consideration while conducting a qualitative research study to ensure the reliability and validity of the data (Appleton, 1995). In contrast, Shuster and Shannon (1994) in their article titled Differential Prehospital Benefit from Paramedic Care present the aspects affecting the efficacy of quantitative research methods. Both article authors have based their findings on the results of actual studies they have personally carried out in order to assess the relative efficacy of either method. The two articles present a valuable insight into the process of conducting research and the means that may be employed to ensure that data obtained are as valid and reliable as possible. Both these studies were conducted using health professionals as the source of the data. J.V. Appleton (1995) is a healthcare visitor/worker and the aim and objective of her research effort were to identify a set of criteria to identify and determine which families could be considered vulnerable from the point of view of child protection. The method chosen for her research study was a qualitative approach based on a two-fold process – the administration of questionnaires as well as follow up interviews. The reason for the choice of a qualitative approach lay in the fact that this was an exploratory study designed to elicit the perspective of healthcare workers. Therefore the quality of the data was dependent upon the richness and quality of the responses that needed to be obtained rather than upon statistical numbers and figures that could be used as the basis for the study. Qualitative research has been found to be useful in the study of exploratory phenomena (Morse, 1991). Appleton’s study was based upon questionnaires administered to 12 healthcare workers followed up by face to face interviews, with a tape recorder being used in all cases.