[Recommended] Research Methodologists Also Describe
Select one of the research methods listed in this week’s reading. Provide a hypothetical research scenario that you would like to research and research question. What considerations would you make in designing the research question and your chosen research method? Your initial post comprising a minimum of 450 words should have at least 3-4 peer-reviewed references.
Research methodology is the science of solving research problems by incorporating a set of procedures or strategies used by researchers to collect, analyze, and present data. A methodology applies tools to guide the research process and outcomes. Generally, there are two types of research: basic research and applied research, and these two types are opposite ends of a continuum, not separate entities. Therefore, the distinction between them is sometimes unclear; however, they can be differentiated as follows:
• Basic research answers the question “Why?” with the intent of increasing the scientific knowledge base, and focuses on the development of fundamental theories and their refinement. Basic research is sometimes called bench science because it often occurs in laboratories, and rarely assists clinical practitioners directly to solve real world practice issues. Although most HIM research is applied in nature, the creation and discovery of the electronic health record (EHR) as a product of technology is an example of basic research.
• Applied research answers the questions “What?” and “How?” and focuses on the implementation of theories into practice. Applied research, particularly clinical applied research, may occur in healthcare settings, such as at the bedside. An example of applied research is identifying the effectiveness of using EHR applications in practice resulting in improvement of healthcare outcomes.
Research methodologists also describe two overarching approaches to research: the quantitative approach and the qualitative approach:
• Quantitative approach is the explanation of phenomena by making predictions, collecting and analyzing evidence, testing alternative theories, and choosing the best theory. Objective knowledge that is generalizable, applicable to other similar situations and people, is the desired end result of the quantitative process. As the word quantitative implies, the data often can be quantified and lead to statistical or numerical results. In HIM, an example would be a study that calculates the percentage of a healthcare organization’s patients that use its patient portal.
• Qualitative approach is the interpretation of nonnumerical observations and seeking answers of “why” things happened. These nonnumerical observations include words, gestures, activities, time, space, images, and perceptions. These observations are placed in context which means the specifics of the situation. Context includes time, space, emotional attitude, social situation, and culture. In HIM, an example would be an exploration of the reasons why patients are reluctant and uncomfortable using a healthcare organization’s patient portal.