Qualitative research in nursing is important in developing understanding of how
human behave within their cultures (Brookes, 2007). According to Speziale, Streubert and
Carpenter (2011), qualitative research is important in influencing health policies in local and
national levels. The different approaches adopted in qualitative research design include
phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, historical, and case study (Cohen &
Crabtree, 2008; Brookes, 2007). Phenomenology approach assumes that each individual
experiences are unique and therefore reality is subjective. On the other hand, grounded theory
approach attempts to formulate a theory based on testing different propositions. Ethnography
approach attempts to gather data for the study through direct interactions with the study
participants. Historical approach involves examining the past occurrences in attempt to
predict the future. A case study is involved in the study of a particular community, individual
or institution in order to get an in-depth understanding of their behaviour. This article
explores a case study by Khan and Raza (2014) on child malnutrition in developing countries.
The article by Khan and Raza (2014) is a case study of Bangladesh. The researchers
make use of Bangladesh to give an insight on impact of socioeconomic factors on child
mulnutrition in the developing countries. Adopting a case study approach helps the authors to
get an indepth understanding of the specific factors in developing countries that can impact
on child mulnutrition. Some of the factors identified include level of education, birth
intervals, and wealth index. From the findings of this study, the researchers were able to
recommend policy changes such as improving mothers’education, reducing breastfeeding
period and increasing birth intervals. Use of quantitative research instead of qualitative
research in this study could have missed out contextual details of this study. However,
qualitative research helped the researchers better understand get immersed in the subject
matter and obtain rich knowledge on the socioeconomics of the people and how they affect
the nutritions they give their children. The researchers were also able to report the findings of
the study while maintaining the highest level of confidentiality and anonymity.
Brookes, D. (2007). Understanding the value of qualitative research in nursing. Nursing
times, 103(8), 32-33.
Cohen, D. J., & Crabtree, B. F. (2008). Evaluative criteria for qualitative research in health
care: controversies and recommendations. The Annals of Family Medicine, 6(4), 331-
Khan, R. E., & Raza, M. A. (2014). Child malnutrition in developing economies: a case study
of Bangladesh. Quality & Quantity, 48(3), 1389-1408.
Speziale, H. S., Streubert, H. J., & Carpenter, D. R. (2011). Qualitative research in nursing:
Advancing the humanistic imperative. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.