NRS 433 Topic 2 DQ 2 Compare the differences and similarities between two of the three types of qualitative studies and give an example of each

NRS 433 Topic 2 DQ 2 Compare the differences and similarities between two of the three types of qualitative studies and give an example of each

NRS 433 Topic 2 DQ 2

The three types of qualitative research are phenomenological, grounded theory, and ethnographic research. Compare the differences and similarities between two of the three types of qualitative studies and give an example of each.

Green and Johnson explain that phenomenological research involves what individuals have experienced throughout their lives. It involves an approach of in depth interviews and conversations with a subject, trying to understand a phenomena that has happened in their life (Green & Johnson, 2018). An example of a phenomenological research is found in a study by Eroğlu & Şenol. Teachers that taught remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic were interviewed and data was collected about student participation, motivation, curriculums, and much more. This study involved 12 teachers that got the interview and it was an effective method to gather descriptions and experiences from each teacher (Eroğlu & Şenol, 2021).

Green and Johnson then go on to describe the grounded theory as a collection of information from interviews or from observing, then analyzing this information. It is portrayed as a way to understand actions by people in a phenomena (Green & Johnson, 2018). An example of this is found in an article by Foji et al. describing individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1. The article discusses how they live and experience life, and was conducted over the space of 15 months. Individuals were able to express the hardships they have faced and how their life condition affects relief or happiness (Foji et al., 2022). One of the most beneficial parts of using the Grounded theory is that it can examine something uncommon and develop a theory grounded in the data collected (Chun et al., 2019).

Green & Johnson describe ethnography as trying to understand a person’s cultures through observation. Sometimes this involves a researcher deeply involving themselves in the culture to understand it (Green & Johnson, 2018). An example of an ethnographic research is from a study by Montero-Sieburth about migration populations. The study had cases in the United States, as well as The Netherlands and involved a lot of participation from the researchers while working with vulnerable populations as they gathered qualitative data. She described this study method as a potential for ethical dilemmas because the population is extremely vulnerable, as well as researchers needing to avoid political or cultural practices that might be unethical (Montero-Sieburth, 2020).

NRS 433 Topic 2 DQ 2 Compare the differences and similarities between two of the three types of qualitative studies and give an example of each


Chun Tie, Y., Birks, M., & Francis, K. (2019). Grounded Theory Research: A design framework for novice researchers. SAGE Open Medicine7.

Eroğlu, M., & Şenol, C. (2021). Emergency remote education experiences of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A phenomenological research. Shanlax International Journal of Education9(3), 161–172.

Foji, S., Mohammadi, E., Sanagoo, A., & Jouybari, L. (2022). How do people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (the forgotten victims) live? A grounded theory study. Health Expectations25(2), 659–666.

Montero-Sieburth, M. (2020). Ethical dilemmas and challenges in Ethnographic Migration Research. Qualitative Research Journal20(3), 281–291.


As nurses, we care for the whole person or patient, which is the concept of phenomenology. In nursing and phenomenology, we want to know the lived experience of the participant or patient. Personally, I feel that gaining a better understanding of patients or participants allows for better data acquisition. As a provider, I like to get to know the patient personally. For instance, I recently was completing a history on a 91-year-old lady who was on no prescription medications and only took a multivitamin.

I asked her open questions in an effort for her to clarify how she is 91 years old with no significant medical history and no diagnosis requiring prescription medications. In addition, I asked her about her family history to see how their lived experiences kept them so healthy.  Nonetheless, phenomenology and nursing are similar in their focus on obtaining information to improve healthcare experiences for patients (Zahavi, n.d.).

Can you recount your use of phenomenology in nursing? If you can’t, are you able to think of an opportunity where you can use it in the future?

I have included a video that details phenomenology.

Zahavi, D. (n.d). How can phenomenology help nurses care for their patients?| Aeon Essays. Aeon.

I believe I have used phenomenology in nursing while working in the public health nursing setting. Upon initial visit of maternal child health clients, there are several assessment questions that are phenomenology in nature. For example, the questionnaire asked how they felt or to share their experience upon learning that they were pregnant. If the client was a young teen mother, the questionnaire

asked how her parents took the news and what the clients experiences were with the parental support from the time they learned of the pregnancy until the date of the interview. All of these answers were unique as every mother had her own interpretation of her pregnancy experience. Because Public Health Nursing utilized many community resources such as the WIC program and Department of Human Services, referrals depended on how these phenomenology questions were answered. Some clients required mental health referrals, diaper bank referrals, food bank referrals, educational referrals, and other community resources.

My point is that phenomenological research in my experience with Public Health nursing provided the client individualized care by referring the mother to programs according to her needs. Phenomenological research “allows researchers to study how experiences, traditions, and culture shape ordinary, everyday practices” (Oerther, 2021). This was the essence of research formulated into public health’s Maternal Child Health question and assessments. Thank you, Jana

Oerther Sarah. (2021). Analysis methods in hermeneutic phenomenological research: interpretive profiles. Frontiers of Nursing7(4), 293–298.

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Ethnography studies groups of people and culture. When we consider those from non english speaking countries their culture is different. It is true in some cultures that looking at somebody’s face when speaking is disrespectful but in the USA it’s okay and encouraged. Culture differences should be considered when taking care of  patients from different cultures. Communication through verbal and nonverbal methods is determined through ethnographic research.

The culture of the nurses working in the medical unit is different from that of the nurse working in the ICU. Ethnographic research would be helpful in studying the behavior and culture of their unit to understand the pattern and behaviors of staff on those units. Nursing leadership can use grounded leadership research to collect data on safety of the units to prevent falls and infection to create policy to prevent these events. A combination of research techniques can be used together in the nursing profession. Nurses can study to express their experiences in the nursing profession.


Denzin N, Lincoln Y. The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 2005.

Posted Date

Apr 16, 2022, 9:41 PM

Features of Qualitative Research

Setting: Natural environment

–patient rooms, patient homes, nursing units

Samples: Small groups or individuals

–patients, staff nurses on a unit

Data: texts, notes, interviews through observations

–memos, codes, themes

–no statistical tests

–text-based data

Interventions: None

What to look for: Interviews, open-ended questions, lived-experiences, research gathered through observation and interviews, coding

Check Out Also:  NRS 433 Assignment Rough Draft Qualitative Research Critique and Ethical Considerations GCU 

–responses are natural and unstructured

ethnography, biography, phenomenology, case study, grounded theory, case report, lived experience

Ethnography research studies groups of people and cultures. In nursing, ethnographic qualitative research can be utilized to better understand patient populations. Burnard and Naiyapatana (2004) reviewed how patient-nurse communication varies based on a patient’s cultural background. Think about patient-care for a non-English-speaking patient. Should their care be altered or lack the quality of care of patients who are English-speaking? In nursing, all patients should receive the same high-quality care no matter their background.

Burnard and Naiyapatana (2004) used ethnography to better understand Thai nursing, which allowed them to use coding to further investigate the culture of Thai nurses. Cultural differences are factors within in patient care. Burnard and Naiyapatana (2004) established that communication varies culturally. Depending on the immersion into the cultural nuances with ethnography, one might not garner the same results. Communication through volume and nonverbal methods were determined as differences through the ethnographic research (Burnard & Naiyapatana, 2004).

What are some cultural variations that you have which might cause misinterpretation in healthcare/nursing?

Burnard, P., & Naiyapatana, W. (2004). Culture and communication in Thai nursing: A report of an ethnographic study. International Journal of Nursing Studies41(7), 755–765.

Ethnography is a strategy for studying cultural behaviors. Ethnographers use demography to get a greater understanding of cultural behaviors and their causes for them. The researcher may become totally involved in the culture being researched. Participant views and key informant interviews are frequently used to collect data (Polit & Beck, 2017). The example of The findings of ethnographic research on foreign student adjustment is reported in this paper. The article suggests using ethnography to study the perspectives of tourists and migrants in order to generate a volume of data about the effects of cross-cultural interaction for these two groups. The goal of ethnographic research was to document the adjustment process of a group of international postgraduate students at a university in the south of England.

Phenomenology offers a method for scientists to better understand a person’s life and experiences. Researchers use this strategy to acquire a better knowledge of important living events. Typically, data is gathered through an assessment scale and talks with test subjects. When this approach is utilized, sample sizes are often low (Polit & Beck, 2017).

. Grounded theory is a method that allows academics to investigate issues relevant to nursing. The goal is to comprehend activities made in a certain region by individuals who are involved in carrying them out. Many intermediate, or shorter, practice-related nursing theories have resulted from this technique (Polit & Beck, 2017).

A  researcher, for example, may offer complex queries such as: why is this different from that? by comparing the experiences of two distinct persons who had a basis for comparison. What is the relation between these two? This technique is performed with each new interview or account until all have been evaluated with each other in numerous qualitative studies whose goal is to develop information about common themes and patterns within human experience. A grounded theory study of how persons with brain damage cope with the social attitudes they experience provides an excellent illustration of this process(sally T,2000).

The phenomenological and ethnographic research designs are more different than they are similar. Both designs are used for qualitative research and focus on human experiences, rather than sheer numbers. However, phenomenological focuses on the experiences of the individual whereas ethnographic focuses on the experience of the group (Hasa, 2017).

Phenomenological research describes an individuals experiences regarding a specific situation. Typically, this type of research will involve individuals that have had similar experiences through the use of interviews (Renjith et al., 2021). The phenomenological research design is based on philosophy, psychology, and education and also utilizes observation as a tool (Renjith et al., 2021). Because phenomenological research focuses on the experience of the individual, it also accepts that an individuals reality is determined by their personal experiences (Hasa, 2017). The amount of time this research takes varies depending on the size of the group and how broad the research question is.


Ethnographic research involves the interpretation of behaviors of a “culture sharing group (Renjith et al., 2021).” Renjith et al describe a culture-sharing group as “any group of people who share common meanings, customs, or experiences.” The ethnographic design is based on anthropology and is typically performed through observation and interviews (Renjith et al., 2021). The amount of time this research takes is quite extensive given the prolonged need for observation.



Hasa. (2017, February 17). Difference between ethnography and phenomenology: Definition, features, Focus, data collection. PEDIAA. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from,experiences%20and%20perspectives%20of%20participants.


Renjith, V., Yesodharan, R., Noronha, J. A., Ladd, E., & George, A. (2021). Qualitative methods in health care research. International Journal of Preventative Medicine12(20). Retrieved from

Topic 2 DQ 2

Qualitative research entails three types that include phenomenological, grounded theory, and ethnographic research. These approaches have similarities and differences. This discussion compares the differences between grounded theory and ethnography. Grounded theory is a methodical and inductive model in collecting and analyzing emerging data patterns during a study. The approach seeks the interpretation of human understanding of their world and other aspects and beings that interact with them (Aspers & Corte, 2019).

On its part, ethnography is a methodological study of people and their cultures through observation and living in them by a researcher. The design has different forms that include life history, feminist, and confessional. Ethnography also includes realist and critical forms. These two approaches to qualitative research have differences. The first difference is their perspective where in ethnographic studies, a researcher collects information from key participants or informants. These are people with knowledge on the respective culture (Busetto et al., 2020). However, grounded theory does not collect data from informants but applies a theory to it to make meaningful interpretation.

Secondly, the sample section approach differs between the two approaches where in grounded theory researchers use theoretical sampling technique to build a theory but in ethnography, researchers do not want to build a theory but concerned with the cultural aspects. Thirdly, ethnographers focus on understanding the cultural aspects of the sample. However, in grounded theory, researchers seek core categories to base their findings and data collection approaches. Fourthly, the goal of ethnography is to gain rich and holistic generalization of a sample’s behaviors while in grounded theory, the aim is to study emerging patterns that lead to development of a theory.

Despite the differences, these two theories share a host of similarities. Firstly, in both, researchers study phenomena in their natural situations and use a holistic approach. For instance, study of cultural aspects in a population can apply both ethnography and grounded theory. Secondly, both methodologies use more than one approach to collect data as it helps researcher to offer multiple interpretation and improve accuracy and credibility of their study (Kyngäs, 2020). In both, researchers present their reports using participants’ perspectives and not theirs. For instance, excerpts from interview and stories of participants are added based on their interpretation.


Aspers, P., & Corte, U. (2019). What is qualitative in qualitative research. Qualitative sociology,

42(2), 139-160. DOI:

Busetto, L., Wick, W., & Gumbinger, C. (2020). How to use and assess qualitative research

methods. Neurological Research and practice, 2(1), 1-10.

Kyngäs, H. (2020). Qualitative research and content analysis. In The application of content

            analysis in nursing science research (pp. 3-11). Springer, Cham.


Qualitative studies are known to be descriptive and do not provide numerical data. The types of research studies are conducted using three methods which include; phenomenological research, grounded theory research, and ethnographic research. Phenomenological research investigates the nature of a specific phenomenon by investigating the experiences of those who have gone through this phenomenon. This method assumes that everyone experiences a specific phenomenon in the same way. While conducting research using this method, the researcher has to set aside their prejudices against the phenomenon. Grounded theory research is conducted to form a theory regarding a specific issue (Chun Tie et al. 2019). It involves data collection from participants through interviews and analysis of studies on the same issue to form the theory.

Ethnographic research involves observing research participants in their environment without manipulating it. This research method was useful in understanding cultural influences on people. Grounded theory research uses similar data collection methods to phenomenological research but data collection and analysis are conducted simultaneously unlike phenomenological research where data collection and analysis are conducted separately. Grounded theory research can for example investigate why students feel stressed out during exam periods. Phenomenological research on the other hand could investigate the influence of having a partner undergoing end-of-care on their spouse.


Chun Tie, Y., Birks, M., & Francis, K. (2019). Grounded theory research: A design framework for novice researchers. SAGE open medicine, 7, 2050312118822927.