PUB 550 Describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods

PUB 550 Describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods

PUB 550 Describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods

Qualitative research methods focus on data in form of words compared to quantitative methods that use numerical data. According to Busetto et al. (2020), qualitative research methods refer to the techniques used to study the nature of phenomena and subject perspectives. Qualitative methods are mainly applied in psychology, sociology studies, and human geography whereas quantitative methods are applied in natural sciences (Busetto et al., 2020). Quantitative methods focus on objective measurements, analysis, and interpretation of research data in numerical forms. This method relies on polls, surveys, experiments, questionnaires, and measurements for collecting data (Strijker et al., 2020). Therefore, qualitative methods are subjective while quantitative methods are objective. Qualitative methods rely on field notes, audio recordings, observations, focus groups, and document studies for data collection. In essence, qualitative research methods are characterized by participants’ openness, responsibility to context, honesty, and flexibility (Busetto et al., 2020). Quantitative methods are dependent on numerical facts and evidence supporting conclusions whereas qualitative methods depend on logic and reasoning. Another difference is that quantitative methods enable researchers to test hypotheses and measure variables whereas qualitative methods enable researchers to expound on major concepts and participants’ experiences.

           Qualitative and quantitative methods are important in public health. Qualitative research methods are applied in studies investigating health problems, barriers to quality health delivery, and access and solutions to healthcare issues (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Qualitative methods enable researchers to explore and understand public health-related social, cultural, and behavioral issues. In addition, qualitative methods provide insights into participants’ perspectives, opinions, and attitudes towards health phenomena. Furthermore, qualitative methods describe the rationale for risk behaviors that predispose certain populations to diseases and infections. On the other hand, quantitative methods are used in epidemiology to identify disease incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and rate of the spread of diseases (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Quantitative methods are also used in studying the degree of law enforcement and adherence to proposed interventions. In addition, qualitative methods define job satisfaction among public health professionals and patient satisfaction.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, December 13). Collecting and Analyzing  Qualitative Data         Data.html

Strijker, D., Bosworth, G., & Bouter, G. (2020). Research methods in rural studies: Qualitative,  quantitative, and mixed methods. Journal of Rural Studies78, 262-       270.

Busetto, L., Wick, W., & Gumbinger, C. (2020). How to use and assess qualitative research            methods. Neurological Research and practice2(1), 1-10.

Click here to ORDER an A++ paper from our Verified MASTERS and DOCTORATE WRITERS PUB 550 Describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods:

Quantitative method refers to the investigation of a problem using numeric data with statistical analysis (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). It emphasizes the use of accurate measurement of variables such controlled studies. In contrast, qualitative method refers to conducting investigation or research without use of numeric form such as personal interviews (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019). It usually describes the subject being investigate or the phenomenon being studied.

Qualitative method clarifies the experience of certain individuals under specific circumstances. It can be use in public health when we are seeking information regarding the experience of some people with different health issues or cultures. It also provides support or foundation when creating quantitative research. Quantitative research is used in public health to assess and understand the health of the population affected by health issue or phenomenon. It is usually involves experimental research to determine possible solution to health issues and promote the health of the community being studied.


Melnyk B.M. & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2019). Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare.          

China: Wolters Kluwer.

I will be adding some pros and cons between Qualitative and Quantitative. Creative freedom, many interpretations, and flexibility are all possible with the qualitative technique. As new information becomes available, the study project’s focus may shift. Quantitative investigations, on the other hand, are more subjective in their conclusions and interpretation. Because personal bias is challenging to manage, the researcher’s knowledge and viewpoint may have a significant impact on how data are interpreted and conclusions made. Furthermore, qualitative studies frequently utilize a short sample size due to the expenses and time required to obtain qualitative data.

Quantitative studies generate objective data, unlike qualitative research, which are subject to subjectivity. Statistics and figures may explain the results. The use of data processing tools allows quantitative research to be created fast. 

However, while the quantitative method’s impartiality is a virtue, it might be considered as a more limited style of research. Participants are unable to customize or contextualize their replies. Statistical analysis also necessitates a big data sample, which necessitates a large group of individuals.


Lissie Hoover. (2021). What Is Qualitative vs. Quantitative Study?. Retrieved from:

The nature of the targeted outcome is one of the elements that distinguish qualitative research from quantitative studies. Qualitative researchers want to learn from the specifics of the testimony of the people they’re researching, often known as informants. 

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is quantitatively evaluated to produce a statistical picture of a trend or link. These statistical findings might provide insight into cause-and-effect linkages. They might either support or refute the initial hypothesis of the investigation.

Because qualitative and quantitative research collect distinct types of information, their data collecting procedures are often diverse. Quantitative research is based on numerical or quantifiable data. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is based on personal narratives or records that show in great detail how individuals think and react in society. One way we can use it in public health is by collecting Age, weight, temperature, and the number of persons with diabetes, all examples of quantitative data.

Example of qualitative data from a health care setting includes (Curry, Nembhard, & Bradley, 2009):

  • Measuring organizational change.
  • Measures of clinical leadership in implementing evidence-based guidelines.
  • Patient perceptions of quality of care.


 Common data types in public health research. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved June 20, 2022, from

Lissie Hoover. (2021). What Is Qualitative vs. Quantitative Study?. Retrieved from:

Quantitative studies strategies are designed to collect numerical facts that can be used to measure variables. Quantitative facts is structured and statistical; its effects are objective and conclusive. Qualitative data collects statistics that seeks to describe a topic extra than measure it. This kind of studies measures critiques, perspectives, and attributes vs. difficult numbers that would be offered in a graph or a chart. Quantitative research targets may be to set up the occurrence or occurrence of a fitness problem; the fitness personnel diploma of adherence to a brand new intervention; or, the customers’ level of delight with a provider. Qualitative research ambitions at know-how what exists from social actors’ views.


Sechrest, L., & Sidani, S. (1995). Quantitative and qualitative methods:: Is There an Alternative?. Evaluation and program planning18(1), 77-87.

Baum, F. (1995). Researching public health: behind the qualitative-quantitative methodological debate. Social science & medicine40(4), 459-468.

The quantitative method is concerned with the collection and analysis of numerical data and statistics, whereas the qualitative method is concerned with the collection and analysis of non-numerical data such as video, text, and audio. Quantitative methods allow for the testing and confirmation of theories and assumptions as well as the establishment of generalized facts about a specific topic. Whereas qualitative methods allow for the understanding of concepts and experiences as well as the gathering of in-depth insights on topics that are not well understood. In aspects o public health, quantitative research methods are employed to aid in analyzing and describing a population’s health. It is also used to determine the elements that contribute to and impact public health.

Examples of quantitative methods can consist of age, weight, or the number of people suffering from a certain disease, which is reported in numerical data. These can help determine what causes the disease, who is more prone or at higher risk of getting infected by this disease, and where this disease is more prevalent as far as communities, regions, or certain populations.

Some examples of qualitative data that can pertain to public health can include the vast population that is being studied for a certain disease. These data are often reported in a non-numerical form which can be mostly observed rather than being reported in numbers. They can include surveys or questionnaires that are being part of the study in order to gather as much information related to the study. They can also be a descriptive observation of a particular disease that is being studied.


Corty, E. (2016). Using and interpreting statistics: A practical text for the behavioral, social, and health sciences (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan Learning. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Common data types in public health research. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved June 20, 2022, from 

A quantitative method of research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. It can be used to find patterns and averages, make predictions, test causal relationships, and generalize results to wider populations. You can use quantitative research methods for descriptive, correlational, or experimental research, (National Institutes of Health Library, 2022). Quantitative research is good for repeating the study if needed, results can be compared statistically, data from large sampling can be processed, and hypothesis testing can be done. Quantitative research questions are typically set up so that the answer is numerical or statistical or so that the answer is objective. Typically, this process is automated, and answers can’t be followed by more questions, (National Institutes of Health Library, 2022).

A qualitative method of research is a behavioral research method that relies on non-numerical data derived from observations and recordings that approximate and characterize phenomena. It’s collecting, analyzing, and interpreting non-numerical data, such as language, (Renijith et al., 2021).  It sometimes seeks to understand how an individual subjectively perceives and gives meaning to their social reality. Instead of numbers, qualitative data comes from studying subjects in their natural environment and focusing on understanding the way and how of human behavior in each situation. It’s especially effective in obtaining information about people’s values, opinions, and behaviors. Qualitative research questions are open-ended. The interviewer can react to answers and probe for more detail, (Renijith et al., 2021).

As public health professionals, we can use statistics to critically appraise articles and see if the statements accurately reflect the data. A qualitative research method can be used in public health when collecting data on age, weight, temperature, or the number of people suffering from a chronic disease. Qualitative data can be used in public health to measure organizational change and measures of clinical leadership in implementing evidence-based guidelines and patient perceptions of quality of care.


National Institutes of Health Library (2022), Common Data Types in Public Health Research. retrieved from

Renjith, V., Yesodharan, R., Noronha, J. A., Ladd, E., & George, A. (2021). Qualitative Methods in Health Care Research. International journal of preventive medicine12, 20.

Researched data is broken down into quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data is related to numeral data while qualitative data is broken down into categorical data and can be measured. With quantitative data, we ask closed ended questions and gain hypothesis to describe populations and study association with exposure outcomes to answer the what, when, where, and who. Some great examples of collecting quantitative data is questionnaires, surveys, and secondary data collection. With qualitative data, we ask open ended questions in interviews, focus groups, and participant observation in order to see the relationships and variations between variables in order to answer the why or how questions.

There are some complicated challenges in obtaining quantitative data. I am sure that qualitative data may not be so easy to obtained either. Jensenius (2014) mentions that pestering officials and building community rapport is what it took to gain qualitative dataset information in which it requires cultural competency to understand the type of cultural you are researching on and obtaining the data from. Epidemiologists and health educators often collect data in order to access and diagnose the health behavior or health issue in a population to help with eradicating or managing the problem.


Jensenius, F. R. (2014). The Fieldwork of Quantitative Data Collection. PS, Political Science & Politics, 47(2), 402-404.