Quantitative research uses large samples and, as such, the findings of
well-conducted studies can often be generalised to larger populations.
However, it is important that studies are well-designed to avoid errors in
their interpretation and/or the reporting of inaccurate results. Misleading
results from quantitative studies can have serious negative implications
such as wasting public money on flawed policies and subjecting service users
to ineffective or harmful treatments. This chapter explores descriptive and
experimental quantitative research designs and examines, through case
examples, the difference between cross-sectional, longitudinal and cohort
studies. Factors leading to poorly and well-constructed studies are
explored, along with a discussion of the key features of well-designed
randomised controlled trials, the gold-standard design for testing treatment
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.