Qualitative research is used to explore and understand people's beliefs, experiences, attitudes, behaviour and interactions. It generates descriptive, non-numerical data. Qualitative research methods include:
Quantitative research is used to generate numerical data or data that can be converted into numbers. Study types that are used in the health and medical field include:
Please note that a research study does not have to be exclusively quantitative or qualitative. Many studies will use a combination of both types of research.
In the Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology, Mixed-Method Research is defined as:
"Inquiry that combines two or more methods. This particular term usually refers to mixing that crosses the quantitative-qualitative boundary. However, that boundary is not necessarily the most difficult one to cross. For example, mixing surveys and experiments (both quantitative methods) may require more effort for many researchers than combining surveys and focus groups (the first quantitative and the second qualitative)."
Mixed method research. (1999). In Vogt, P. W. (Ed.). Dictionary of statistics & methodology (2nd ed.).