Step-by-Step Guide to Critiquing Research. Part 2: Qualitative Research.
As with a quantitative study, critical analysis of a qualitative study involves an in-depth review of how each step of the research was undertaken. Qualitative and quantitative studies are, however, fundamentally different approaches to research and therefore need to be considered differently with regard to critiquing. The different philosophical underpinnings of the various qualitative research methods generate discrete ways of reasoning and distinct terminology; however, there are also many similarities within these methods. Because of this and its subjective nature, qualitative research it is often regarded as more difficult to critique. Nevertheless, an evidenced-based profession such as nursing cannot accept research at face value, and nurses need to be able to determine the strengths and limitations of qualitative as well as quantitative research studies when reviewing the available literature on a topic.