Quantitative research articles will tackle research questions that can be measured numerically and described using statistics. An example of quantitative research would be a randomized controlled trial.
Add the term quantitativeor the type of studyto your keywords.
“chronic pain” AND quantitative
“chronic pain” AND “clinical trial*”
Explore the advanced search options in the database you are using. Some databases (like PsycINFO, CINAHL, and PubMed) have limiters by study type or research design. See the example below from the CINAHL database advanced search.
Qualitative research articles will attempt to answer questions that cannot be strictly measured by numbers but rather by perceived meaning. Qualitative research will likely include interviews, case studies, ethnography, or focus groups.
includes interviews or focus groups
small sample size
subjective - researchers are often interpreting meaning
methods used: phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, historical method, case study
Finding Qualitative Studies
Add the term qualitative, the type of study, or the methodologyto your keywords.
“chronic pain” AND qualitative
“chronic pain” AND ("grounded theory" OR ethnography OR phenomenology)
"chronic pain" AND (focus group OR interview)
Explore the advanced search options in the database you are using. The CINAHL database has 3 options for Qualitative Clinical Queries. See the example below from the CINAHL database advanced search.
High Sensitivity - the broadest search to include ALL relevant material. It may include less relevant materials
High Specificity - the most targeted search to include only the most relevant result set, may miss some relevant materials
Best Balance - retrieves the best balance between Sensitivity and Specificity