There are several research classification axes, the researcher can use more than one, the important thing is that he knows how to define where his research is located. It is worth remembering some forms of classification.

Types of Design

  • Depending on the time of occurrence, they can be retrospective and prospective
  • Depending on the period and sequence, they can be transverse and longitudinal
  • According to the researcher’s control over the variables in groups of Individuals or units can be cohorts or cases and controls.
  • Depending on the analysis and scope of the results, they can be descriptive, analytical, experimental or intervention.

Period and place where the investigation is carried out.

The period of time in months or years in which the investigation is carried out must be clarified.

The place where the research is carried out should be defined, which can be in the country, or a district, province, department, community, unit or health units or even specific services depending on the case.

Universe and Sample

This section is important. The subjects of the study must be defined, ie the universe of study, the sample and the selection schemes of said sample, with their inclusion and exclusion criteria. For which it is important that the researcher refer to sample texts and in many cases consult specialists in the field.


In research in the health sciences, empirical, statistical and theoretical methods play a fundamental role, given that:

The empirical methods allow the obtaining and elaboration of the empirical data and the knowledge of the fundamental facts that characterize the phenomena.

The main empirical methods are: Observation, experiment and measurement, although there are authors that include, under this term, methods, procedures and collection techniques.


  • The observation.
  • the measurement
  • The experimentation
  • The interview.
  • The survey
  • The sociometric techniques.
  • The tests

Discussion Groups: Focal Group, Group Interview, Committee of experts etc.

Statistical methods fulfill a relevant function, since they contribute to determine the sample of subjects to study, tabulate the empirical data obtained and establish the appropriate generalizations from them.

In the social, natural and technical sciences it is not enough to carry out the measurements, but it is necessary to apply different procedures that reveal the trends, regularities and relationships in the phenomenon under study. In this sense, the methods statistical, the most important are: the descriptive and inferential.

The descriptive statistics allows to organize and classify the quantitative indicators obtained in the measurement, revealing through them the properties, relations and tendencies of the phenomenon, which in many occasions are not perceived immediately. The most frequent ways of organizing the information is, by means of tables of frequency distribution, graphs, and measures of central tendency such as: the median, the average, the fashion and others.

Inferential statistics is used in the interpretation and quantitative assessment of the magnitudes of the phenomenon being studied, in this case the regularities and quantitative relationships between properties are determined on the basis of the calculation of the probability of occurrence. The most applied techniques are: test

Chi square, factor analysis, correlation, linear regression and others.

Theoretical methods allow the construction and development of scientific theory, and the general approach to address the problems of science. For this reason the theoretical methods allow to deepen in the knowledge of the regularities and essential qualities of the phenomena. These fulfill an important gnoseological function, since they allow us the conceptual interpretation of the empirical data found.

Theoretical methods create the conditions to go beyond the phenomenal and superficial characteristics of reality, explain the facts and deepen the essential relationships and fundamental qualities of directly unobservable processes. Theoretical Methods not only reveal the essential relationships of the

object but they participate in the stage of assimilation of facts, phenomena and processes and in the construction of model and hypothesis of investigation.

It is observed with relative frequency that the authors of the theses try to use all the axes of classification that they know, sometimes to show the court that they dominate the methodology of the investigation. This is counterproductive, since it is assumed that any scientific research process implies the use of the processes of the thought of the one who carries out the investigation, so that the analysis and the synthesis, the induction and the deduction, the historical method, the dialectic are exposed, therefore, according to this researcher, they should not be declared in The thesis is only shown in the teaching of the methodology, with didactic purposes.

Different theoretical methods:

  • Analysis and synthesis.
  • Induction and deduction.
  • Hypothetical-deductive.
  • Historical and logical analysis.
  • Modeling.
  • Focus on system.
  • Dialectical method

Each of these methods fulfills certain epistemological functions, so that in the process of carrying out the research they complement each other.