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Medicine: Choosing a quantitative study design

This guide is intended to assist students and researchers to find resources in Medicine

Definition of Quantitave Methods

"Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. Quantitative research focuses on gathering numerical data and generalizing it across groups of people or to explain a particular phenomenon".

Reference: Babbie, Earl R. The Practice of Social Research. 12th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage, 2010; Muijs, Daniel. Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. 2nd edition. London: SAGE Publications, 2010.

The resources in this section will help you decide which type of study design is most appropriate for answering your research question. Examples of study design include cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, and randomized controlled trials.

E-books in UM Library

Books Available in UM Library

Online Resources

1. Roberts J, Dicenso A. Identifying the best research design to fit the question. Part 1: quantitative designs. Evidence-Based Nursing 1999;2:4-6.

2. BMC Medical Research Methodology is an open access journal dedicated to research methods in healthcare.

3. WHO Implementation Research Toolkit Online:

4. Irving-Pease, E. K., Muktupavela, R., Dannemann, M., & Racimo, F. (2021). Quantitative Human Paleogenetics: What can Ancient DNA Tell us About Complex Trait Evolution? Frontiers in Genetics12.


5. Krishnan P. A review of the non-equivalent control group post-test-only design. Nurse Res. 2019 Sep 21;26(2):37-40. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018.e1582. Epub 2018 Sep 6. PMID: 30226337.


6. Östlund U, Kidd L, Wengström Y, Rowa-Dewar N. Combining qualitative and quantitative research within mixed method research designs: a methodological review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2011 Mar;48(3):369-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2010.10.005. Epub 2010 Nov 16. PMID: 21084086; PMCID: PMC7094322.


7. Bhide A, Shah PS, Acharya G. A simplified guide to randomized controlled trials. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018 Apr;97(4):380-387. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13309. Epub 2018 Feb 27. PMID: 29377058.


8. Tavakol M, Sandars J. Quantitative and qualitative methods in medical education research: AMEE Guide No 90: Part I. Med Teach. 2014 Sep;36(9):746-56. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.915298. Epub 2014 May 20. PMID: 24846122.


9. Hope D, Dewar A. Conducting quantitative educational research: a short guide for clinical teachers. Clin Teach. 2015 Oct;12(5):299-304. doi: 10.1111/tct.12457. PMID: 26395376.


10. Tavakol M, Sandars J. Quantitative and qualitative methods in medical education research: AMEE Guide No 90: Part II. Med Teach. 2014 Oct;36(10):838-48. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.915297. Epub 2014 May 20. PMID: 24845954.