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‘Horses for Courses’: The Differences Between Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Research

Anthony C. Redmond DPodM, MSc1, Anne-Maree Keenan BAppSc(Pod), MAppSc2, and Karl Landorf DipAppSc(Pod), GradDipEd3
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  • 1 Senior Lecturer and Director, Lower Extremity and Podiatry (LEAP) Research Group, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith DC, New South Wales, Australia.
  • | 2 Head of Podiatry, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • | 3 Lecturer, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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Some clinicians may feel dissociated from, and intimidated by the ever-increasing emphasis on research. However, with an understanding of some of the basic principles and key terms, research can feel less daunting. It is the aim of this article, the second in a series of three focusing on understanding research, to introduce clinicians to the different approaches to research, to improve understanding of what the approaches mean, and to highlight when a particular approach may be appropriate. Furthermore, the article will provide an explanation of some of the common terms used within clinical research. This should aid the clinician in applying good, simple, scientific principles to evaluating clinical research evidence. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(3): 159-169, 2002)