Probability Sampling Techniques in Healthcare Research
Sampling strategies that are used in quantitative and qualitative research designs differ because of specific features of research purposes and applied methods. A sampling strategy is defined as a process of selecting a sample of participants to further analyze them in a study depending on the research purpose (Schmidt & Brown, 2019). In quantitative studies, probability sampling strategies, such as random sampling, stratified sampling, and systematic sampling, are usually applied, which allows for randomization and receiving statistically significant results. In qualitative research designs, non-probability sampling is used, and typical strategies are convenience and purposeful sampling (Schmidt & Brown, 2019). In contrast to probability sampling techniques, non-probability methods allow for inviting those participants who are intentionally selected for a study because of their qualities.
It is critical to discuss possible advantages and disadvantages of these main sampling approaches. The advantages of probability strategies, for example, simple random sampling, are randomization and the possibility to receive statistically significant and widely generalizable findings. However, disadvantages include a comparably low level of representativeness and a high level of complexity, and researchers should pay much attention to ensuring the representativeness of a large sample typically used in quantitative studies (Knechel, 2019). Non-probability sampling, for example, a purposive sampling technique, is characterized by a high level of sample appropriateness and control because of selecting the most suitable subjects for a study. Still, disadvantages include the selection bias that can influence a researcher’s choice of participants (Knechel, 2019; Schmidt & Brown, 2019). Nevertheless, one should state that the advantages and disadvantages of different sampling approaches are determined by their use for various research designs. Therefore, probability sampling techniques are discussed as most appropriate for quantitative studies, and non-probability approaches are applicable to qualitative studies.
Knechel, N. (2019). What’s in a sample? Why selecting the right research participants matters. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 45(3), 332-334. Web.
Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2019). Evidence-based practice for nurses: Appraisal and application of research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.