Using a women’s health perspective to guide decisions made in quantitative research
Women’s health, as an emerging area of nursing scholarship, is based on a set of philosophical assumptions. These assumptions are: (i) women’s health can best be understood by examining women’s lived experiences within a specific context; (ii) gender bias must be avoided; (iii) the focus should be on health rather than illness; and (iv) non-exploitative relationships should be established between the researcher and research participants. Assumptions from a women’s health perspective can be used by researchers to guide decisions made in conducting research with women. In order to strengthen the correspondent validity (i.e. the fit between theory and methods), research decisions need to be consistent with the philosophical assumptions of the inquiry. Examples of quantitative research decisions influenced by a women’s health perspective are illustrated using a study of binge eating in women.