Research paradigm and the philosophical foundations of a qualitative study


  • A statement of your potential dissertation topic as refined over the last several courses.


  • A discussion of the attributes of qualitative methodology that could be used to study your potential dissertation topic.


  • A rationale for approaching your potential dissertation topic as a qualitative study. You must support your rationale with examples including at least two qualitative studies from the extant literature that justify pursuing the topic using a qualitative methodology.

Good. However, to provide thorough justification, one must explore, define and reference the alternative method to solidify the choice as to why it was not chosen. This is missing from this document

Dr. Damond













Building a Potential Qualitative Study




RES 832: Foundations of Research Design 2


December 14, 2022







Building a Potential Qualitative Study

Dissertation Topic

The accomplishment of frontal lobe executive functions between normal children and children with ADHD

Problem Statement

It is not known how children with ADHD experience .

Attributes of the Qualitative Methodology

The main attribute of the qualitative method is the search for data meaningfulness. Lee (2010) suggests developing a qualitative dynamic attribute value model for healthcare institutes. Qualitative method deals with non-numerical data. The purpose of qualitative research methods is to look for meaning (i.e., to understand the why and how behind things). It is therefore about developing richness in data based on an in-depth understanding rather than representativeness, which is the preserve of quantitative research methods (Karania, p.1, 2017). Hence, the main attribute of qualitative method is the meaning and meaningfulness of data that answers the question “so what?” or “why do we need this data at all?”

The main attribute of the qualitative method — data meaningfulness — may break down into the sub-attributes. Lee (2010) suggests the list of nine qualitative dynamic attribute values for healthcare research such as the cost, physician background, environment, relationship, equipment, physician care, timing arrangement, and a brand image along with additional value to achieve the ultimate goal of the qualitative research in the health care industry — providing maximum possible customer value via loyalty development that also finds reflection in healthcare service, customer loyalty, customer relationship, and customer satisfaction.

Each industry may have different attributes of the qualitative method as well. The healthcare industry critically depends on empathy, communication, service quality, and overall commitment and customer relationship (Lee, 2010). It means that any qualitative research in the field of healthcare must pursue these dynamic attribute values, i.e., servicing people and their interests, for all possible topics of research. If the topic is devoted to researching the frontal lobe functions in normal children and children with ADHD. The application of attributes of qualitative method would mean that the study must serve the interest of children with ADHD and their parents in the study being beneficial to them. Achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty is intrinsically intertwined with the prosperity of the in the free market economy. In other words, the qualitative study must have an attribute of feasibility, i.e., that the study is possible, achievable, and the one that fosters growth and development of the healthcare industry.

The main attribute of the qualitative method — data meaningfulness — must answer the question “so what?” in a broad context, helping all stakeholders such as both patients and physicians as well as Big Pharma that needs developing anti-ADHD drugs that would help children with ADHD get back to normal and well-functioning life. Moreover, the study must strive for looking for conservative ways of treatment that consider surgery as last resort as a more dangerous and riskier and more expensive way of treating ADHD. In other words, if there is a dilemma between treating ADHD with drugs and surgery, the qualitative research attributes must help to gravitate to the conservative treatment that avoids surgery, in accordance with the attributes of the qualitative research in the healthcare that prioritizes the patient health and prosperity. In cases, Big Pharma may indeed develop an , but in other cases, there might be the need for surgery on the frontal lobe to remove the symptoms of ADHD and bring a child back to normal life. However, there must be an attribute of the qualitative research on prescribing possible neurosurgery only in rare exceptional cases where there is no alternative and the anti-ADHD drugs do not help the case.

Regarding healthcare qualitative studies, the attributes may refer to the roles of healthcare professionals. Refining and getting the attributes may happen during the surveys by finding the core meaning of the healthcare work (South et al., 2013). Healthcare professionals must have five attributes such as being approachable, responsible, and non-judgmental (South et al., 2013). When researching children with ADHD, the analyzers must keep such attributes of remaining non-judgment, i.e., dissecting one’s biases and stereotypes on the one hand and the need for offering care to the children with ADHD via researching their frontal lobe function. Since children with ADHD are special, they need an extra attitude compared to normal children, requiring healthcare professionals to have extra responsiveness and approach fullness. The latter attribute refers most to the communication between healthcare professionals and parents of children with ADHD. If parents are scared to allow analyzers to research the frontal lobes of children with ADHD, the healthcare professionals must be relentless in continuing to explain and clarify the issues related to studying the frontal lobes of children with ADHD, dispelling the biases of parents who experience natural fear of handing over their children with ADHD to have their frontal lobes studied.


The qualitative study rationale consists of the research paradigm, purpose, and the role of the literature. Haverkamp and Young (2016) formulate a rationale for qualitative investigations via paradigms, purpose, and the role of literature. In other words, Haverkamp and Young (2016) prioritize the importance of the literature review in supplying the rationale for the qualitative research and then reinforcing the research qualitatively. The next step is formulating a strong statement of purpose (“so what?”). Finally, it is important to find a paradigm that would guide qualitative research.

Research paradigm is one of the three pillars of the qualitative study rationale. Aresearch paradigmis a method, model, or pattern for conducting research. It is a set of ideas, beliefs, or understandings within which theories and practices can function.The majority of paradigms derive from one of two research methodologies:positivismorinterpretivism (Abbadia, 2022). A research paradigm can take the form of the main idea that guides the entire qualitative research, answering the main research question. At this point, the main obstacle to abiding by the research paradigm is confirmation bias, when an analyzer may selectively choose the scholarly articles that only fit their research paradigm and reject the studies that contradict it. Hence, the rationale of the study, and especially the literature review section must also have the studies that contradict the author’s main idea.

Research paradigm needs a purpose that may also include a philosophical explanation. The research paradigm (constructivism) of the qualitative study connects with the philosophical basis (epistemology and ontology) (Abdullah Kamal, 2019). Intersection of the constructivist research paradigm and method points to meaningfulness as the main value — making sense from the body of literature of the qualitative study, aligning it with the final goal of providing children with ADHD with a normal quality of life.

Qualitative research helps narrow down the vast body of literature to answer one research question, while the quantitative design may deal with multiple variables, both dependent and independent ones. It also relies on inductive reasoning, i.e., it tends to generalize data in a hastily manner (contrary to deductive reasoning) (Burns, 1989). Inductive reasoning simplifies coming up with theories and assumptions that would further need empirical evidence, but before designing a quantitative design, it is first necessary to come up with qualitative research that may take the form of multiple qualitative research methods such as thematic analysis, content analysis, survey, and interview. All these qualitative research methods may deal with non-numerical data such as the parents’ opinions that may further be coded and translated into the variables for further quantitative research such as linear regression, ANOVA, and other quantitative methods. If so, the study can have a mixed-method research design that starts as a qualitative study (thematic/content/interview/survey study) and then provide the next stage of the research with linear regression, ANOVA, and other possible quantitative studies (Louder et al., 2019). However, before coming up with variables and hypotheses for further testing in the course of the quantitative study, it is necessary to process enough body of literature, weighing all pros and cons, grouping the scholarly articles on the topic, considering their objectivity and values, considering the possible conflict of interest that is a major threat to the validity and reliability of the scholarly articles if the authors are related to Big Pharma, it means they can be biased since they are financially motivated in promoting certain types of treatment of children with ADHD and thus violating the main principle of qualitative study such as caring about the patient such as the child with ADHD.

In conclusion, the main criterion and purpose of the qualitative study is non-numerical data meaningfulness. The rationale of a qualitative study consists of three pillars such as the role of literature, purpose, and research paradigm. Qualitative studies are more convenient for processing a vast body of literature and coming up with meaningful concepts that can further translate into the variables for the upcoming quantitative research. The purpose of the qualitative study must be humanistic. Research paradigm can take the form of the main guiding idea that helps conduct the research from the start till the end.




Abbadia, J. (2022, October 3). Research Paradigm: An Introduction with Examples. Mind the Graph Blog.

Abdullah Kamal, S. S. L. B. (2019). Research paradigm and the philosophical foundations of a qualitative study. PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 13861394.

Burns, N. (1989).Standards for Qualitative Research. Nursing Science Quarterly, 2(1), 4452.doi:10.1177/089431848900200112

Haverkamp, B. E., & Young, R. A. (2016). Paradigms, purpose, and the role of the literature. The Counseling Psychologist.

(2017), “Evaluation of age & dementia friendly gymnastics program”,, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 140-146.

Lee WI. (2010). The development of a qualitative dynamic attribute value model for healthcare institutes. Iran J Public Health, 39(4):15-25. Epub 2010 Dec 31. PMID: 23113034; PMCID: PMC3481690.

Louder, T., Thompson, B. J., Banks, N., & Bressel, E. (2019). A mixed-methods approach to evaluating the internal validity of the reactive strength index.Sports,7(7), 157. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

South, J., White, J., Branney, P., & Kinsella, K. (2013). Public health skills for a lay workforce: findings on skills and attributes from a qualitative study of lay health worker roles. Public Health, 127(5), 419426. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2013.02.014



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