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Searching for Qualitative and Quantitative Studies and the Basic Search Process


Basic Search for Qualitative Studies in CINAHL

Sample CINAHL search showing "qualitative Studies" in the first search box with the option set to MW Word in Subject, and "diabetes type 1" in the second search box

Basic Search for Quantitative Studies in CINAHL

Sample search from CINAHL showing "quantitative studies" in the first search box with MW Word in Subject selected as the option, and "multiple sclerosis" in the second search box.

Also consider using specific text words in your search such as: ethnography*, phenomenology*,  grounded theory*, purposive sample, hermeneutic*, heuristic*, semiotics, lived experience*, narrative*, life experiences, cluster sample, observational method*, content analysis, field stud*, theoretical sample, discourse analysis, focus group*, interview, ethnomethodology*

Searching for Qualitative Studies in PubMed

Search Process 

Characteristics and Differences of Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Characteristics Qualitative Quantitative
Definitions Investigations which use sensory methods such as listening or observing to gather and organize data into patterns or themes. (CINAHL) Scientific Investigations in which numbers are used to measure valuables such as characteristics, concepts, or things. (CINAHL)
Word Clues

Ethnographic study
Field notes
Field research
Focus Group
Observation
Open ended
Phenomenological

Case-control study
Lab-experiment
Clinical trial
Cohort studies
Control group
Experimental group Intervention
Randomized-controlled-trial
Statistical
Structured Questionnaire

Methods

Focus groups
Interviews
Recording behavior
Unstructured observation

Develop hypothesis
Determines methodology
Collects data
Analyzes data
Uses mathematical and statistical techniques to analyze data
Search Terms Qualitative Studies (CINAHL)
Qualitative Research (MEDLINE)
Quantitative Studies (CINAHL)
MEDLINE uses headings for specific types of quantitative research. See the examples listed under word clues
Data

Ideas
Interpretive
Narrative description
Text-based
Words

Measurable
Numbers
Statistics

Researcher Role Subjective — involved as a participant observer Objective — separate, observes, but doesn't participate