Nursing research: science, visions and telling stories


  • Liam Clarke RNMH RMN DipN DipEd RNT BA MSc PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Lecturer in Mental Health, University of Brighton, Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, Brighton, England
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Dr L Clarke, 11 Battle Crescent, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1EN, England


Some aspects of qualitative and quantitative approaches to nursing research are described, with particular emphasis on the critical assessment of the qualitative approach While common objections to quantitative (statistical) studies are mentioned, the main thrust is against the lack of generalizability of much contemporary qualitative work Concepts of validity and reliability are additionally scrutinized in the context of their use by ethnographers Grounded theory is a primary focus since it harbours most of the departures — and terminology — of the non-quantitative schools It is surmised that much of what passes as qualitative research is really a creative activity akin to the writing of the poem or novel