N3321 Nursing Research: Ch. 5 Reading Worksheet
What do they contain?
Each topic contains numerous research problems that might be investigated through quantitative, qualitative, and outcomes studies
Be sure you are clear on the differences among each of these.
is an area of concern in which there is a gap in the knowledge needed for nursing practice.
Research is required to generate essential knowledge to address the practice concern, with the ultimate goal of providing evidence-based nursing care
In a study, the research problem (1) indicates the significance of the problem, (2) provides a background for the problem, and (3) includes a problem statement.
The significance of a research problem:
indicates the importance of the problem to nursing and health care and to the health of individuals, families, and communities.
is a clear, concise statement of the specific goal or focus of a study
It provides an accurate account of characteristics of particular individuals, situations, or groups
are usually conducted with large numbers of subjects or study participants, in natural settings, with no manipulation of the situation
The outcomes of descriptive research include the identification and description of concepts, identification of possible relationships among concepts, and development of hypotheses that provide a basis for future quantitative research.
The focus of correlational research is on describing relationships, not testing the effectiveness of interventions
researchers measure selected variables in a sample and then use correlational statistics to determine the relationships among the study variables.
Using correlational analysis, the researcher is able to determine the degree or strength and type (positive or negative) of a relationship between two variables.
The strength of a relationship varies, ranging from −1 (perfect negative correlation) to +1 (perfect positive correlation), with 0 indicating no relationship
A positive relationship indicates that the variables vary together; that is, both variables increase or decrease together.
A negative relationship indicates that the variables vary in opposite directions; thus as one variable increases, the other will decrease
Thus these studies involve implementing a treatment or intervention and examining the effects of this intervention using selected methods of measurement
Quasi-experimental studies differ from experimental studies by the level of control achieved by the researcher. These studies usually lack a certain amount of control over the manipulation of the treatment, management of the setting, and/or selection of the subjects.
Briefly describe them.
Studies that address clinical concerns and generate findings to improve nursing practice are considered significant. These types of practice-focused studies often have the potential to improve the quality of nursing care provided, promote healthy patient and family outcomes, decrease morbidity and mortality, and reduce the costs of care. The ultimate goal is providing evidence-based practice (EBP) so that nursing care is based on the most current research
(2) builds on previous research
A significant study problem and purpose are based on previous research. In a research article, the introduction and literature review sections include relevant studies that provide a basis for the current study. Often, a summary of the current literature indicates what is known and not known in the area being studied. The gaps in the current knowledge base provide support for and document the significance of the study’s purpose.
(3) promotes theory testing or development
Significant problems and purposes in quantitative studies are supported by theory, and often the focus of these studies is theory testing. The focus of qualitative studies is often on developing theory
(4) addresses current concerns or priorities in nursing
The research priorities for clinical practice were initially identified in a study by Lindeman (1975). Those original research priorities included nursing interventions related to stress, care of the aged, pain management, and patient education, which continue to be priorities for nursing research today.
Briefly describe them.
The research problem and purpose studied need to be within the area of expertise of the researchers. Research reports usually identify the education of the researchers and their current positions, which indicate their expertise to conduct a study
(2) money commitment
The problem and purpose studied are influenced by the amount of money available to the researchers. The cost of a research project can range from a few dollars for a student’s small study to hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars for complex projects. Critically appraising a study involves examining the financial resources available to the researchers in conducting their study. Sources of funding for a study usually are identified in the article.
(3) availability of subjects, facilities, and equipment
Researchers need to have adequate sample size, facilities, and equipment to implement their study. Most published studies indicate the sample size and setting(s) in the methods section of the research report.
(4) ethical considerations
Research objectives, questions, and hypotheses evolve from the problem, purpose, literature review, and study framework, and direct the remaining steps of the research process. In a published study, the objectives, questions, or hypotheses usually are presented after the literature review section and right before the methods section. The content in this section is provided to assist you in identifying and critically appraising the objectives, questions, and hypotheses in published studies.
The content in this section is provided to assist you in identifying and critically appraising the objectives, questions, and hypotheses in published studies.
The objectives are sometimes referred to as aims and are generally used in descriptive and correlational quantitative studies.
an objective or aim usually focuses on one or two variables and indicates whether they are to be identified or described
Sometimes the purpose of objectives is to identify relationships among variables or determine differences between two or more existing groups regarding selected variables.
The research questions directing qualitative studies are often limited in number, broadly focused, and inclusive of variables or concepts that are more complex and abstract than those of quantitative studies.
The foci of research questions in quantitative studies are description of variable(s), examination of relationships among variables, use of independent variables to predict dependent variable, and determination of differences between two or more groups regarding selected variable(s).
These research questions are usually narrowly focused and inclusive of the study variables and population.
It is really a matter of choice whether researchers identify objectives or questions in their study but, more often, questions are stated to guide studies.
translates the research problem and purpose into a clear explanation or prediction of the expected results or outcomes of selected quantitative and outcome studies.
Hypotheses also influence the study design, sampling method, data collection and analysis process, and interpretation of findings
identifies the population to be examined
indicates the proposed outcomes for the study
experimental quantitative studies
You will learn more about each of these if you pursue graduate studies in nursing.
(2) simple versus complex
(3) nondirectional versus directional
(4) statistical versus research.
is an intervention that is manipulated or varied by the researcher to create an effect on the dependent variable. The independent variable is also called an intervention, treatment, or experimental variable.
is the outcome that the researcher wants to predict or explain. Changes in the dependent variable are presumed to be caused by the independent variable.
Research variables are the qualities, properties, or characteristics identified in the research purpose and objectives or questions that are observed or measured in a study.
Research variables are used when the intent of the study is to observe or measure variables as they exist in a natural setting without the implementation of a treatment. Thus no independent variables are manipulated and no cause and effect relationships are examined
can affect the measurement of study variables and the relationships among these variables
Extraneous variables are of primary concern in quantitative studies because they can interfere with obtaining a clear understanding of the relational or causal dynamics within these studies.
These variables are classified as recognized or unrecognized and controlled or uncontrolled.
Some extraneous variables are not recognized until the study is in progress or has been completed, but their presence influences the study outcome.
In a published study, the framework includes concepts and their definitions, and the variables are selected to represent these concepts.
The variables are conceptually defined, indicating the link with the concepts in the framework.
Operational definitions need to be independent of time and setting so that variables can be investigated at different times and in different settings using the same operational definitions.
An operational definition is developed so that a variable can be measured or manipulated in a concrete situation; the knowledge gained from studying the variable will increase the understanding of the theoretical concept that this variable represents.
The demographic variables are identified by the researcher when a proposal is developed for conducting a study.
Some common demographic variables are age, education, gender, ethnic origin (race), marital status, income, job classification, and medical diagnosis
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