Last updated: August 29, 2019
Topic: Science
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This formal account
report aims to analyse the two research papers on basis of comparing strength
and limitations for qualitative and quantitative approach. These papers are
based on suicide research screening carried out in America which identified
suicide risk for psychiatric outpatients (Finch, J 1986).  Included will be a literature review to
enable the argument upon the approach used of qualitative and quantitative
research papers and whether the researchers could have completed these studies
using a different method. The qualitative and quantitative research papers were
produced by the same writer; (Lang, M. Uttaro, T et al, 2009). Using the 6
month pilot screening period. Both papers had similar outcomes in their
abstract and conclusion. They showed that type of research met the aim required
for the purpose; therefore both papers are valid and reliable, arguably the
study could show subject bias due to the same researchers carrying out two
different methods for the same study. The subject for the key word is the public mental health system, risk screening
suicide prevention by: (Lang, M. Uttaro, T et al, 2009).




The qualitative paper
shows that a screening method was used to collect data, based on an incident
reporting system, to monitor patients and establish if there is an increase in attempting
suicide to a complete suicide. The focus was based on dynamic risk factors such
as “Change in mood and thoughts or recent
stressors based of family history, suicidal childhood emotional, physical and
sexual abuse” (Lang, M. Uttaro, T
et al, 2009). Part of this method was to send an invitation email to collect
data through a secure intranet system. Some ethical issues were identified as; the
assessment of the site to whether it was going to cause issue, location was not
a problem as this was the aim of the researcher to target this particular area,
the risk development of screening and duration of the pilot period was also
considered. This was considered as a low risk as information was collected
anonymously, the effectiveness of staff showing that patients are low risk in
suicidal behaviours in chosen geographical areas (Lang, M. Uttaro, T et al, 2009). The ethical barrier was overcome
through the assessment and also consent was granted by mental health
authorities prior to starting the screening. (Lang, M. Uttaro, T et al, 2009).




Quantitative paper
shows that 153 clinicians were provided with a list of randomly selected
patients for a routine of a 6 month pilot period. The paper also shows that 719
patients went through screening routine for suicidal risk. Out of 719 patients  a figure was obtained, in percentages showing
the mixture of different ethnic backgrounds as follows:


56% female 44% male  78% White17% Black 5% Asian 18% Other 

 Each clinician had to screen 5 of their clients
monthly, for a 6 month period. This shows that the researcher was more
interested in facts and figures above all else. (Lang, M. Uttaro, T et al,





In the United Kingdom many
professionals believe that numbers of the official statistics are never
accurate (Samaritan, 2017). This does not apply to the United Kingdom alone,
but also in other countries. For many different reasons the under reporting of
suicide is prevalent especially in ethnic and minority groups because of
misclassification. The explanation for this is due to cultural and religious beliefs,
and how reports are presented to the coroners. This can cause associated stigma
for families and can be additionally attached to cultural or religious taboo. Therefore
when carrying out a quantitative research, considerations should be made to
finding an appropriate approach to include people of varying cultures and
religious beliefs as such mixed methods can improve data. (Leo 2002; 2009).



The end results of
both papers show the positive outcome though there were many challenges, such
as ethical issues and limitations.  This
shows that some clinicians declined to be involved in the research itself.
Clinicians response was positive in theory but in practice there was concern
for triggering more negative responses in patients and reluctant to get
involved (Neuman W L, 2000).  A number of
people and patients stated this is a good thing to do to minimise the risk of
suicide. Others did not feel strongly towards the questionnaire either way, but
some people did feel it may trigger the risk of suicide. Both qualitative and
quantitative show that the results are low risk.  Everitt, B and Hay, D (1992).


To evaluate the
qualitative and quantitative papers there is no wrong or right way of carrying
out the research depending on the target, geographical area, location and the
subject (Mcdowell, I. and Maclean, L. (1998). For a wider topic such as suicide
it may suggest using a different research method such as a mixed method. This
is because both qualitative and quantitative would join together from both perspectives
using triangulation for a positive outcome, aiming for the bigger picture (Cassell,
C and Symon, G. (1994).


Literature Review:

Research which has been undertaken with humans has a
certain level of complexity involved, which is unique with such studies due to
ethical issues, beliefs and bias (Mason, J, 1994).  Carrying out the screening of suicide as a subject,
is already anticipated to be difficult to engage the public because of ethical
issues such as social, environment political matters and also legal. Rocha
S (2004). Both
qualitative and quantitative looked into analysing ethical issues which could
have potentially involved those participating, both methodically considered
ethical issues and addressed them. (Stanley, L (Ed) (1990).


To evaluate the current state research;

History of suicide has come a very long way from the time
it was classed as a criminal offence in all countries (Mcdowell, I. and
Maclean, L, 1998).  To now being
recognised that it can be linked to many other issues; including, family
history, social issues and mental health problems and many more contributing
factors  Suicide should be considered as
a very sensitive issue or topic when speaking to people about it.  Although some countries still see it as a
criminal offence, therefore a stigma is still attached and this should be
considered as part of the ethical issue. Neuman W L (2000).



Existing knowledge:

The social science
researchers like Lincoln and Guba (1985) and Schwandt (1989)
accept qualitative and quantitative approaches as incompatible with each other.
Patton (1990) and Reichardt and Cook (1979). 
believe that approaches can be combined if the researcher is competent
and skilled. The arguments can be based
on different philosophical nature of different paradigm as others concentrate
on the compatibility of each research these arguments can be muddled between
parties. Some methods, enjoy the rewards of both numbers and words.
Quantitative research use numbers for the data. The data can be scrutinised
because statistical tests can allow for comparing between the data gathered for
the final conclusion. (Atieno, 2009).


It may argue that
more females were involved in the screening program than males as shown on the
quantitative paper but in the United Kingdom and Ireland it shows that men of
the middle age are at higher risk of suicide than females. To prove this fact
it would have been good to balance the gender or more men to prove this
statistic. (Cantor, Leenaars & Lester, 1997). To come up with accurate
numbers of suicide is not easy because the coroners system also requires more
evidence and indication to conclude if the some deaths are caused by suicide or
not. (Stanley, L (Ed) (1990).



The researcher could have used three different groups for


one of the population, which is never attempted or thought about any suicidal
ideation. Graham, H (1984).


Group two of a population of people who have
attempted suicide before or thought about it. Graham, H (1984).


Finally third group of a population of people
who are at higher risk and or they have suicide before or current intent as
such the sampling could be compared to identified in results. Graham, H



There are advantages and this advantage is using qualitative and quantitative.
It has been recognised that research is formed to study human behaviours and
understand the world regardless of what approach is used it will always ague
that they all have their strength and weaknesses below are some examples of
advantages and disadvantages of qualitative and quantitative. Bryman, A (1988).

In its advantage included a specialised in viewing in the
screening, which was the process of sending unanimous emails and collected data
from intranet. There enquiries were broad which allowed open ended
investigations and included the values of behaviours and assumptions. Bryman, A


It was not easy to demonstrate the research to be
accurate even though it was justified in the conclusion. They did not evaluate
the type of interviews that clinicians, who provided the screening did. The data
was selected from an intranet which may suggest to have known how this
information was obtained and risk assessed before creating the file to store on
client information. It has shown that there was no time recorded to how long
the interview process took individually, even although the screening period
took 6 months period. Carr, L. T. (1994).



Quantitative strength

The qualitative proves
that selection of the sampling was generalized to study its population because
the researcher mixed gender, and other ethnic minority which means we may
suspect that they had mixed religion and sexual orientations. The paper of the
screening was easy to understand and it looks precise and reliable. Disadvantages
included some context which was difficult to understand on the table of data. Carr,
L. T. (1994).


Future study;

For the product development research will require qualitative and
quantitative as both play a big role in research. Quantitative provides data
such as demographics, numbers and other element and qualitative provides data
which is valuable based on need, behaviors and many others. Each of the
approach has strength and limitations as such they both can benefit from
combining together and form a mixed method to enable findings from a different
perspective. Blaxter, L, Hughes, C and Tight, M (1996).



There are many debates about qualitative and quantitative
approach, however they both have been chosen for research purposes. Critics and
comments will always appear regardless of what methodology is used because they
all have advantages and disadvantages. The effectiveness of each approach
depends on the competence of the researcher and the purpose of the research.
For a broad subject such as suicide it would suggest to use a mixed method to
come up with a solid outcome, looking at triangulation by combining both
qualitative and quantitative approach as they have different perspective.  However the advantage of using mixed method
would be to support a wider and more in-depth project. Collaboration and
understanding of the data as triangulation these are one of the advantages of mixed
method. Triangulation may be responsible as it uses several means such as data
source and researchers to look far more deeply at the same phenomenon.