Research Chapter 5: Research Problems, purposes, hypothesis

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Research problem
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Clinically driven questions by nurses caring for patients are essential questions.
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What is the significance of a research problem?
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It is a current, important area of concern for profession.
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A research gap exists if ___________
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The problem has not been exhausted in scientific literature.
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Problem statement
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Identifies the specific information that is lacking. It is the background, and it is interesting and informative to the reader.
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The problem statement is usually ___________
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The 1st or 2nd paragraph in a research article.
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What two things do problem statements do?
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1. Tells readers what they need to know in order to understand why the research was done. 2. Sets the tone of justification for the for the study.
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Examples of key phrases identifying a problem
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– Little is known or few studies have been done regarding the topic of interest. – Findings of previous studies are conflicting regarding topics of interest. – Minorities and others who have no been studied.
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What three things make up a research problem?
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Problem significance + problem background + problem statement
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What should a purpose statement include?
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– A clear, concise statement that guides the study – A goal, aim, focus, or objective – Variables, population, and setting
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The research purpose describes the researcher’s intent to do what?
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Discover Explain Describe Identify
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The purpose refers to whom?
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The population of the study, not the sample.
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What is the significance of a research problem and purpose?
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– To build on previous research – To influence nursing practice – To promote theory testing or development – To address nursing research priorities
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What should a researcher look for when examining study feasibility?
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– Time & money commitment – Researchers’ expertise – Availability of subjects, facility, and equipment – Ethical considerations
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Research objective
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Declarative statements that focus on identification and description of variables or concepts and sometimes on determination of relationships of variables.
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Research question
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Interrogative statements that focus on what variables or concepts are to be described and what relationships might exist among them.
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Agency for healthcare research and quality (AHRQ) Mission
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To improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.
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Hypotheses
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Used in experimental and quasi-experimental research as well as some types of correlational research. *NOT used in quantitative or qualitative research
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Types of hypotheses
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Associative v. casual Simple v. complex Nondirectional v. directional Null v. research
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Associative v. casual hypotheses
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Associative: relationship between variables (i.e. bereavement and caregivers) Casual: Cause-and-effect relationship between variables (i.e. smoking and lung cancer) *Both are naturally occurring and researcher-controlled.
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Simple v. complex hypotheses
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Simple: two variables Complex: more than two variables
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Multicausal relationship
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Relationship of multiple independent variables on dependent variable
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Multiple outcomes relationship
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Relationship of one independent variable on multiple independent variables
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“Both men and women who participated in the CHIP (Cardiac Home Information Program) intervention would have lower levels of psychological distress, higher levels of physical functioning, and fewer adverse symptoms than would women and men who did not participate in such a program” is an example of what?
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Complex hypothesis- multiple outcomes relationship
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Complex hypotheses can form what two relationships?
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Multicausal relationship Multiple outcomes relationship
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Nondirectional v. directional hypothesis
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Nondirectional: relationship exists between variables, but hypothesis does not predict the nature of relationship.Attitudes of pediatric nurses toward mentally retarded clients are related to number of years in practice Directional: the nature of the interaction between two or more variables is stated
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“Attitudes of pediatric nurses toward mentally retarded clients are related to number of years in practice” is an example of what type of hypothesis?
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Nondirectional hypothesis
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“Attitudes of pediatric nurses toward mentally retarded clients are more favorable than those of medical surgical nurses” is an example of what type of hypothesis?
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Directional hypothesis
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Where can directional hypotheses be developed?
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Theoretical framework, literature, or clinical practice
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Null v. research hypothesis
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Null: states there is no relationship between variables (also called statistical hypothesis) Research: States what the research thinks is true; there IS a relationship between two or more variables.
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“There is no difference in reported pain experienced by cancer patients with chronic pain who listen to music with positive suggestion of pain reduction and those who do not” is an example of what?
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Null hypothesis
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“Cancer patients with chronic pain who listen to music with positive suggestions of pain reduction have less reported pain than those who do not listen to music” is an example of what?
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Research hypothesis
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Three questions to ask researchers about objectives, questions, or hypotheses
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– Are they formally stated and clearly focused in this study? – Are they based on the purpose? – Are they linked to the study framework?
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Types of variables
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Independent Dependent Research variables or concepts Extraneous variables Demographic variables
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Independent variable
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The stimulus or activity manipulated or varied by the research to cause an effect on dependent variables
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Dependent variable
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The outcome or response the research wants to predict or explain *Changes in the dependent variable are presumed to be caused by the independent variable
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Research variable or concept
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The qualities, properties, or characteristics identified in the research purpose and objectives or questions that are observed or measured in a study. They are used when the intent is to observe or measure variables as they exist in a natural setting without manipulation
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Extraneous variable
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– They can interfere with obtaining clear understanding of relational or causal dynamics in the study – They can be recognized or unrecognized and controlled or uncontrolled – Identified before data analysis
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Confounding variable
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An extraneous variable not recognized until the study is in process or cannot be controlled.
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Environmental variable
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An uncontrolled variable related to the setting.
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A bakery opening next to the gym where participants work out is an example of what?
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Confounding variable (it cannot be controlled)
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Demographic variable
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– Contains sample characteristics of subjects – May include age, education, gender, ethnic origin, income, medical diagnosis, etc. – Demographic data are analyzed to develop sample characteristics
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What type of research is used to analyze demographic variables?
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Descriptive statistics
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Conceptual definition
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Abstract meaning of a variable that is usually based on theory.
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Operational definition
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– Way of defining a variable that makes it measurable or able to be manipulated in real world. The items on the instrument should represent the properties of the variable. – Derived from a set of procedures or progressive acts that a researcher performs to measure a variable
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“A future-oriented, health-promoting behavior that results in a smoke-free lifestyle and improved health” is an example of what definition?
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Conceptual definition
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“Smoking rates that were monitored through use of self-report data and validated by corroborating reports from friends and family members. Participants who varied in their answers from their significant contacts or could not be reached by telephone were considered ongoing smokers and were included in the resulting relapse rates” is an example of what definition?
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Operational definition
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Steps of operationalization
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1. Identify variables used to represent concepts in framework 2. Develop operational definitions for each variable (Indicates method of measurement or observation, must be consistent with conceptual definition)
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What three things do operational definitions define?
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How the variable will be measured Who will measure it When it will be measured
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An operational definition is equivalent to what part of the study?
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Purpose

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