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Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodologies
Pages 16 (4016 words)
Research efforts can be described as "a systematic inquiry that uses disciplined method to answer questions or solve problems" (Polit et al., 2001 p4). From this viewpoint, it is apparent that the aim of every research effort is to create knowledge, in the relevant field, to develop, refine and expand the horizon of what is known, and also attempt to proffer answers to the unknown, within the chosen field of study (Polit et al., 2001).
Unlike research studies in other fields, studies in health and social sciences involving the use of human subjects requires greater caution. The Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association declares that, though progress in health-related fields requires research and experimentation involving the use of human subjects, considerations related to the 'well being of the human subjects should take precedence over science and the society' and that the primary objective of such studies, involving human subjects, is to better understand and improve on diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and to better understand the causes and progression of diseases (WMA, 2000).
Furthermore, the drive towards evidence-based practice in several fields has also meant that professional decision must be made on the basis of the best available evidence (Crawford et al., 2002). Putting all these factors together, it becomes obvious that making use of the most appropriate research instruments/methodology is not only important for the validity of the final result, but also for the utility and relevance of the result findings to professional practice. ...
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