This six-part research series is aimed at clinicians who wish to develop research skills, or who have a particular clinical problem that they think could be addressed through research. The series aims to provide insight into the decisions that researchers make in the course of their work, and to also provide a foundation for decisions that nurses may make in applying the findings of a study to practice in their own Unit or Department. The series emphasises the practical issues encountered when undertaking research in critical care settings; readers are encouraged to source research methodology textbooks for more detailed guidance on specific aspects of the research process.
A couple of points:
1. It is artificial to describe research as qualitative or quantitative. Studies often include both dimensions. However, for the purposes of this paper/series, this distinction is drawn for clarity of writing.
2. It is common practice for quantitative studies to refer to study ‘subjects’ and qualitative studies to refer to study ‘participants’. For ease of reading, the latter term will be used throughout this series.