Quantitative and qualitative research data and their relevance to policy and practice
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Quantitative and qualitative research data and their relevance to policy and practice

Tom Dodd National primary care programme lead and national dual diagnosis programme lead, Care Services Improvement Partnership, UK

Tom Dodd explores the nature of the relationship between qualitative and quantitative data in research, and reflects on how these methods can affect policy

Crotty (2003) suggests that when taking into account human knowledge and the status and value that can be attributed to it, the four basic elements of any research process that must be considered are:

Methods – the procedures or techniques used to gather and analyse data related to a research question or hypothesis.

Methodology – the strategy, plan of action or design behind the choice of particular methods, which links the choice of methods to the desired outcomes.

Theoretical perspective – the philosophical stance informing the methodology, providing a context for the process and grounding its logic and criteria.

Epistemology – the theory of knowledge embedded in the theoretical perspective and thereby in the methodology. A way of understanding and explaining how we know what we know.

Nurse Researcher. 15, 4, 7-14. doi: 10.7748/nr2008.

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