This week, we finish our review of the steps of the research process by examining the discussion and conclusion of the study report. The researcher looks at the results of data analysis and considers whether they address or answer the research question posed earlier in the process. An opinion may be formed regarding the implications of the findings and how they may be applied to clinical practice.
The researcher ends the research process by disseminating or communicating information about the research study, usually in a publication, such as the research report. Many readers only look at the abstract and conclusion of the research report. They skip over the methods and results sections because this information may seem too technical or difficult to understand. This course gives you the knowledge necessary to read the entire report and decide for yourself if the evidence from the research should be applied to your practice. Don’t simply rely on the researcher’s interpretation of the findings. Utilize research only if you understand how it was conducted and how the findings were determined. If you read only the conclusion, you risk basing your practice on evidence that is irrelevant, inappropriate, or worse—inaccurate. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
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The discussion and conclusion section brings the process full circle by referring back to the earlier steps. The conclusion addresses whether the research serves to help close the knowledge gap that was identified at the beginning of the process. The discussion summarizes important findings and compares them to other studies described in the literature review. The researcher may interject personal opinion and speculation when deciding if the findings support the conceptual or theoretical framework. The conclusion also acknowledges the limitations of the study and how these may impact the credibility and applicability of the findings.
The meaning of the findings proposed by the researcher varies depending upon whether the nature of the research question is descriptive, quantitative, or qualitative. Last week, the lesson described how the analysis of the data is influenced by the type of question asked. This week, we will look at how this influences the interpretation of the results.
Descriptive research uses a basic design that seeks to understand phenomena.
Descriptive questions ask about what is happening.
Relational questions examine relationships between variables, but the variables are not manipulated.
The data may be collected from surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Descriptive statistics may be reported for a descriptive question, including the mean, median, and standard deviation. If a relational question was asked, correlation statistics, such as the correlation coefficient, may be done. Regression analysis is performed if a prediction was sought. The researcher explains the meaning of these results in the discussion and conclusion and how the results relate to the questions. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
Although descriptive research uses a basic design, the researcher may make predictions based on the findings, ut the researcher should avoid over interpreting the findings. As its name implies, descriptive research is only meant to describe and does not necessarily seek to infer generalizability. Credibility and confidence in the ability to generalize the conclusion to your situation depends primarily on the strength of the sampling strategy. If the strategy was well designed, and the subjects reflect your population, you will have more confidence in utilizing the evidence.
Although the evidence produced by descriptive research is not the strongest level of evidence, it may still be beneficial to the nurse. The in-depth information that is produced by descriptive research serves to develop theories, to discover problems, and to form decisions.
You may recall that earlier in the course we compared the steps of the research process to the nursing process. All of the steps of the nursing process rely on observing and understanding phenomena and describing it accurately. This is similar to the goals of descriptive research.
Assessment: Think about how descriptive research findings may be applied to the assessment of patients. Give an example.
Findings may show a correlation between characteristics of your population and risk factors for certain problems and conditions. An awareness of these risk factors signals a need to work with patients to prevent the development of the problem or condition.
Diagnosis: Descriptive findings can help with diagnosis of patient problems. Give an example.
Understanding what phenomena are present in certain conditions can lead to a more accurate and quicker diagnosis.
Planning: Findings can help nurses plan care for patients. Give an example.
Care planning requires insight into how the individual may react to a proposed plan of care. Findings from descriptive studies on similar populations may reveal how individuals will likely respond to a particular approach.
Implementation: Implementation is a critical step in the nursing process that may be influenced by research findings. Give an example.
Findings can point the nurse toward choosing interventions that are more appropriate for a particular population and, therefore, have a higher chance of success.
Evaluation: Evaluation is a step of the nursing process that is sometimes overlooked but is necessary to determine if the care was successful. Give an example.
Findings help the nurse identify what are reasonable outcomes in certain situations and populations. They provide a benchmark for comparison for outcomes in a particular patient based on others who have been studied.
Descriptive research may be useful to nurses throughout the entire nursing process; however, its application requires an understanding of strengths and limitations.
Quantitative questions in research are stronger levels of evidence when compared to descriptive questions. Descriptive research seeks to describe only what exists. Quantitative research seeks to make conclusions about the effectiveness of an intervention. This type of research uses probability to identify relationships, make predictions, and sometimes infer cause and effect. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
Quantitative questions can be broken down into PICO elements—population, intervention, comparison, and outcome. Each element may become a variable in the quantitative study that could have an experimental or quasi-experimental design. The ability to demonstrate causality from interventions leads the nurse to expect certain outcomes when quantitative research-based evidence is applied.
Quantitative findings may improve the use of the nursing process. Their impact differs from the findings of descriptive research because quantitative research links interventions to outcomes. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
Assessment, Diagnosis, and Planning: How can the nurse apply quantitative findings to the assessment and diagnosis phase of the nursing process?
Quantitative research findings can point to assessment and diagnostic procedures that are more likely to reveal certain underlying conditions. The findings may show how risk factors are linked to health problems and complications. The nurse may act on this knowledge to create a plan of care.
Implementation: How can the nurse apply quantitative findings to implementation during the nursing process?
Quantitative findings may reveal scientific evidence that indicates how interventions cause specific outcomes. The nurse may choose an intervention that has been proven to produce a desired result, such as preventing a complication or resolving a problem.
Evaluation: How can the nurse apply findings when evaluating the effectiveness of the nursing process?
Quantitative research findings may indicate what outcomes are expected when certain interventions are tried. Evaluation of nursing involves looking at outcomes. The nurse can compare the expected outcomes based on research with the individual patient outcomes that are found during evaluation and decide if the interventions were effective. Quantitative research may also influence how information is gathered and measured during the evaluation phase to see if the goals of nursing care have been achieved.
Quantitative findings are arguably the strongest evidence that research can produce. They are powerful tools that nurses use to integrate evidence to their practice.
Qualitative research questions produce a different type of evidence when compared to quantitative research. Qualitative studies do not seek to manipulate variables or to control them. The researcher is not attempting to show cause and effect relationships. Instead, qualitative research is looking for meaning in the lived experience of its subjects. The phenomena are not measured, and numbers are not reported, except in a limited way. Instead, the phenomena are analyzed to understand their meaning. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
Most qualitative research is descriptive in nature. Qualitative questions ask about perceptions, feelings, motivations, attitudes, and other subjective information.
According to Houser (2018), credibility, confirmability, and dependability are all hallmarks of a trustworthy study. The nurse should look for these when deciding whether to apply evidence from qualitative research findings.
Once again, let us see how the nursing process can be improved by research-based evidence. This time the focus is on qualitative research.
Assessment, Diagnosis, and Planning: Think about how descriptive research findings may be applied to the assessment of patients. Give an example.
Qualitative findings can lead to a better understanding about how a patient is likely to view and to react to various approaches the nurse may take to gather information during the assessment phase of the nursing process. Qualitative studies done on populations with similar characteristics to the patient can lead to awareness about how the patient may perceive different plans of care. This knowledge helps the nurse make better choices about what planned interventions will be more acceptable to the patient.
Implementation: How can qualitative research guide the nurse during the implementation phase of the nursing process? Give an example.
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Illness and treatment may disrupt the patient’s world and cause them to react in ways that are better understood because of qualitative research. Awareness of what motivates a patient can suggest interventions that patients are more likely to accept or carry out.
Evaluation: Consider ways in which qualitative findings may improve the evaluation of nursing care. Give an example.
Qualitative research brings a dimension to the evaluation of care that considers how the patient perceives the outcome. For example, if the treatment cures the disease, but the patient feels that the quality of life has deteriorated, then the outcome is a failure from the patient’s perspective.
Qualitative research findings help the nurse understand the holistic nature of nursing care. The strength of the evidence from qualitative research is based on how it was conducted and the quality of the information it yielded. The link between the findings of qualitative research to practice is more indirect but as valuable as those from quantitative research. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.
The discussion and conclusion of the research report reveals the opinions of the researcher regarding the meaning of the results of data analysis. The strengths and limitations are shared. The reader considers these when deciding whether to apply the evidence to practice.
The type of research question influences how the findings may be utilized. Examples were given of how descriptive, quantitative, and qualitative findings may be helpful during the nursing process.
You have been reading and analyzing sections of two research reports—one that is qualitative and one that is quantitative. Read an entire report to see how the steps of the research process fit together from the introduction to the conclusion. Descriptive, Quantitative & Qualitative Research Design Essay Assignment Nursing Papers.