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Qualitative vs Quanitative


Quantitative data is information that you can measure. It’s numbers –something you can count. Because it’s countable it can be reliable evidence. Examples include:

  • How many people took part?
  • How much did it cost?
  • How long did it run for?
  • Average attendance at each programme session?


Qualitative data is information about qualities, you can’t count it. That is, it’s information about how people feel about something. Examples include:

  • Sharing what people like about a programme.
  • How they think it could be improved.
  • What difference it has made to their lives.
  • Whether they would recommend the programme to others.

Retrieved from:

How can I search for these studies?

Basic Search for Qualitative Studies in CINAHL

Screenshot of search in CINAHL database. showing search boxes




Basic Search for Quantitative Studies in CINAHL

Screenshot of search in CINAHL showing search boxes



Consider additional words to your search such as: ethnograph*, phenomenol*,  grounded theor*, 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, ethnomethodolog*


by Kat Phillips - Penn State University