Introduction to Nursing Research
This page was last updated on
January 4, 2012
- Research Process
- Ethical Consideration
- Review of Literature
- Hypothesis and Estimation
- Research instruments
- Data Collection and Analysis
- Statistics for Nurses
- Reporting and Communicating
- Writing Research Proposals
- There can be two broad approaches to nursing research, quantitative and qualitative approach. (Brockopp & Hastings-Tolsma, 2003).
- Approaches may also be classified as basic research and applied research.
- Quantitative Research is an approach to structuring knowledge by determining how much of a given behaviour, characteristic or phenomenon present.
- Quantitative Research methods are particularly concerned with objectivity and ability to generalize the findings to others.
- It is based on the fundamental assumptions of prediction, manipulation, and control.
- By quantitative method of research we mean the traditional scientific methods characterized by deductive reasoning, objectivity, quazi-experiments, statistical techniques, and control. In contrast the qualitative method is characterized by inductive reasoning, subjectivity, discovery, description, and process orienting (Reichardt & Cook, 1979).
- The outcome depending on the method can be derived from description, interpretation, and analysis (Ashworth, 1997).
research methods include:
- True Experiment
- Qualitative research is an approach to structuring knowledge that utilizes methods of inquiry that emphasize subjectivity and the meaning of the experience to the individual.
- Qualitative research is an inductive approach to discovering or expanding knowledge. It requires the involvement of the researcher in the identification of the meaning or relevance of a particular phenomenon to the individual. Analysis and interpretation in this method are not generally dependent upon the quantification of observations (Brockopp &Hastings-Tolsma, 2003).
- Qualitative research approach can be of several forms:
- grounded theory method or
- ethnographic research.
- Qualitative research methods include:
- Case Study
- Focus Groups
- Text Analysis
- Quantitative Description
- The differentiation between qualitative and quantitative research is less than clear-cut (Polit & Hugler, 1999).
- Further categorization of research approaches also includes basic research, applied research and epidemiological research.
- Basic research refers to those studies that are designed to seek knowledge for its own sake and does not therefore specify an application of the findings.
- Basic research is conducted in order to understand the relationship among phenomena. Basic research is not aimed toward the solution of problems or the facilitation of decision making (LoBiondo-Wood, G. & Haber, J. 1997).
- Applied research is research that is designed to produce findings that can be used to remediate or modify a given situation.
- The term refers to those studies that have their purpose an identified practical use or application.
- A problem is investigated, and some resolution is sought by way of research findings (Polit & Hungler, 1995).
- Epidemiology is an approach to generating knowledge that uses quantitative research methods to understand the incidence, distribution, and control health problems within a population.
- Epidemiologic studies can be categorized as observational or experimental.
- Observational studies include cohort, case control, cross-sectional and ecological designs.
- Experimental studies include randomized controlled trails and the cross-over designs.
- Observational Studies do not attempt to manipulate variables in a systematic fashion; instead, inferences are made on the basis of an ongoing series of observations.
- Some of the most common observational studies include the cohort study, the panel study, and the case-control study.
- In a cohort study, groups of people who share some common characteristics are followed over the course of time.
- These studies, which are often prospective, resample the same population of individuals on repeated occasions
- However, the exact participants in the study may not be the same on repeated observations.
- A panel study is similar to a cohort study; however, it has the stricter requirement that exactly the same individuals who were in the original sample are followed at each repeated assessment.
- Cohort and panel studies are considered to be longitudinal designs, which make inferences about changes over the course of time.
- Cross-sectional studies differ from longitudinal studies in that they examine different groups of individuals at the same point in time.
- To make inferences about drug use in college, for example, the cross-sectional method would require sampling of each current class such that freshmen could be compared to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
- These individuals would not be members of the same class or birth cohort.
- A case-Control methodology compares a group of people with a diagnosed disease (cases) with one or more groups that have not been given the same diagnosis.
- Case-control studies are typically retrospective because they make inferences about events that have caused currently diagnosed cases.
- Longitudinal studies are often prospective and have the advantage of documenting the antecedents of new cases.
- Observational studies often used correlational and multivariate statistical techniques.
- Variables that are uncontrolled through the experimental design are often adjusted for using statistical methods.
- In contrast to observational studies in which important variables are not controlled, experimental studies typically involve the systematic manipulation of variables.
- Methodological approaches to nursing research can be of following nature.
See also Action Research in Nursing