Quantitative research
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Quantitative research

Roger Watson Editor-in-chief, Journal of Advanced Nursing, and professor of nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of Hull, Hull, England

This article describes the basic tenets of quantitative research. The concepts of dependent and independent variables are addressed and the concept of measurement and its associated issues, such as error, reliability and validity, are explored. Experiments and surveys – the principal research designs in quantitative research – are described and key features explained. The importance of the double-blind randomised controlled trial is emphasised, alongside the importance of longitudinal surveys, as opposed to cross-sectional surveys. Essential features of data storage are covered, with an emphasis on safe, anonymous storage. Finally, the article explores the analysis of quantitative data, considering what may be analysed and the main uses of statistics in analysis.

Nursing Standard. 29, 31, 44-48. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.31.44.e8681

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 13 December 2013

Accepted: 25 February 2014