Why use quantitative and qualitative research in a nursing integrative review

An integrative review looks broadly at a phenomenon of interest and includes a broad range of research which may include theoretical and methodical (experimental and nonexperimental) literature that speaks to the aims of the review and defines concepts central to the review. The writer needs to be able to identify, analyze, and synthesize the literature reviewed. While the finished product should identify research gaps and identify future research needs the primary purpose for nurses is to identify the existing best evidence and translate that evidence into practice. The ability to complete an integrative review should be a basic skill of all BSN prepared nurses.

An integrative review is a specific review method that summarizes past empirical or theoretical literature to provide
a more comprehensive understanding of a particular phenomenon or healthcare problem (Broome 1993)

Whittemore and Knafl, 2005

Qualitative research is important to the practice of nursing. Consequently, it has an important place in an integrative review that relates to nursing practice. Thus the integrative review should have a paragraph that explains why both qualitative and quantitative research are included. Try not to overthink this paragraph. It can be four simple sentences.

  • Sentence 1: Acknowledge that methods of evidence synthesis generally favor quantitative data, but qualitative data is important.
  • Sentence 2: State that when you are dealing with complex issues involving human interaction relating to nursing practice it is important to include qualitative evidence.
  • Sentence 3: Then make clear using the broadest perspective requires both quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Sentence 4: Finally, use a good reference to cite as your method for selecting, chronicling, and ordering the evidence from the qualitative studies

Helpful References:

  • Dixon-Woods M, Agarwal S, Jones D, Young B, Sutton A. Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: A review of possible methods. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy. 2005;10(1):45-53. doi:10.1177/135581960501000110.
  • Jack SM. Utility of qualitative research findings in evidence-based public health practice. Public Health Nurs. 2006 May-Jun;23(3):277-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2006.230311.x. PMID: 16684207.
  • Toronto, C. E., & Remington, R. (2020). A step-by-step guide to conducting an integrative review (1st ed. 2020). Springer International Publishing. https://doi-org.libproxy.unm.edu/10.1007/978-3-030-37504-1
  • Walsh D, Downe S. Meta-synthesis method for qualitative research: a literature review. J Adv Nurs. 2005 Apr;50(2):204-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03380.x. PMID: 15788085.
  • Whittemore R, Knafl K. The integrative review: updated methodology. J Adv Nurs. 2005 Dec;52(5):546-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03621.x. PMID: 16268861