Quantitative research is the methodical scientific assessment of observable phenomena through computational, mathematical, or statistical methods. For example, the observable phenomena in health and social care may include HIV prevalence in expectant mothers, rate of mother to child HIV transmission, and infant deaths resulting from mother to child HIV transmission. Quantitative uses a systematic approach through actual data collection and analysis rather than making assumptions on describable phenomena. The purpose of the quantitative approach is to develop hypothesis about the observable phenomena. The research technique goes a long way in testing the hypotheses or theories so developed in order to ascertain their veracity or otherwise. In social and nursing care, scholars may use quantitative research to develop hypotheses around mother to child HIV transmission. The testing and proof of such hypothesis can bring significant benefit to the nursing fraternity (Daly, Speedy, & Jackson 2009, pp. 135-140).
Health and social care demands evidence-based practice, which quantitative research provides in hard data. In essence, evidence-based practice (EBP) or Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the point at which the patient values & preferences, best research evidence, and clinical expertise converge. Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves the prudent utilization of the most reliable contemporary evidence in making critical decisions about the health of patients.