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How a Research Problem Should be?

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  • Formulating Research Problems, Questions and Hypotheses Sathish Rajamani M.Sc (N)09688115454

  • **Learning ObjectivesDescribe the general steps in the research processDescribe process of identifying a research problemDefine research questions, directional and non-directional hypotheses

    Describe the difference between Level I, II, and III studiesDescribe the use of research questions vs. hypotheses in a research study

  • **Research DefinedResearch is an organized and systematic way to find answers to questions

    Research is a creative process

  • **Why is research important to the profession of nursing?Nursing research provides a scientific knowledge base for practice. Knowledge obtained from sound research is transformed into clinical practice, leading to nursing practice that is evidence-based.

  • **Research and NursingThe nurse must be a knowledgeable consumer of research, one who can critique research and use existing standards to determine the merit and readiness for research use in clinical practice (ANA, 1997; AACN, 1998b).

    LB-W & H p. 7

  • **Developing & Refining a Research ProblemResearch study should include: A specific problem areaReview of relevant literatureSignificance to nursingFeasibility

  • **Research Topics

    Nursing research topics include studies of patient populations, or an individuals response to health problems, or potential health problems.

  • **The Research IdeaProfessional experienceBurning questionsYoursOthersLiteratureProfessional meetingsDiscussions

  • **Research TopicsObservationsBehaviorsConceptsTheoriesTesting of assessment and intervention strategies

  • **Criteria for developing a good research question: FINERFeasibilityInterestingNovelEthical Relevant

    Cummings et al. 2001

  • **FINERFeasibleSubjectsResourcesManageableData available?InterestingNovelIn relation to previous findingsConfirm or refute?New setting, new population

    EthicalSocial or scientific valueSafeRelevantAdvance scientific knowledge?Influence clinical practice?Impact health policy?Guide future research?

  • **Narrowing the research topicIdea brainstormingLiterature reviewIdentify the variables for studyFormulate research problems and questions/hypotheses

    LB-W & H p. 51 see fig. 3-1

  • **A Research Question Must Identify

    The variables under studyThe population being studiedThe testability of the question

  • **Variables in researchHave 2 or more properties or qualitiesAge, sex, weight, height

    Is one variable related to another? Is X related to Y? What is the effect of X on Y? etc.

  • **Variables in researchIndependent variable:has a presumed effect on the dependent variable (outcome)May or may not be manipulatedDependent variable:Something that varies with a change in the independent variableOutcome variable

  • **PopulationThe population to be studied must be specified in the research question

  • **TestabilityResearch problem must imply that the problem is measurable/testableExample of a poorly phrased research questionShould postoperative patients control how much pain medication they receive?How would you revise the question?

  • **Characteristics to ConsiderResearch questionsCannot be answered by yes/noShould ask:What happens when?Whats going on here?How does this happen?Why does one thing work better than another?

  • **ExamplesWhat is the relationship between effectiveness of pain management strategies and quality of life?

    How do older adults adapt to living with early stage dementia?

  • **Purpose Statement

    The purpose of the study encompasses the aims or goals the investigator wants to accomplish Purpose Question

  • LB-W & H p. 58 Box 3-2**

    LB-W & H p. 58 Box 3-2

  • **Research QuestionsResearch studies do not always contain hypotheses

    Exploratory and descriptive studies may pose research questions instead

  • **What is a researchable question?Helps solve a problem, add to theory, or improve nursing practice

    Needs to be usable, current, and clear

    Provides answers that will explain, describe, identify, predict or qualify

  • **Guidelines for writing research questionsStart with a simple questionHas one stem and one topicAction-orientedThe way you ask a question determines how you will answer it

  • **Writing the research questionExamples:What are the health beliefs of the Amish?What is the relationship between preoperative teaching and postoperative pain?Why does increased assertiveness in nurses lead to lower nosocomial infection rates?

  • **HypothesisStatement about the relationship between 2 or more variablesConverts the question into a statement that predicts an expected outcomeA unit or subset of the research problem

  • **Characteristics of hypothesesDeclarative statement that identifies the predicted relationship between 2 or more variablesTestabilityBased on sound scientific theory/rationale

  • **HypothesesHypotheses may not always be explicitly statedWording must include:The variablesThe population being studiedThe predicted outcome of the hypothesis

  • **Directional vs. Non-Directional HypothesesDirectional hypothesis Specifies the direction of the relationship between independent and dependent variablesNon-directional hypothesisShows the existence of a relationship between variables but no direction is specified

  • **ExamplesDirectional hypothesisCardiac patients who receive support from former patients have less anxiety and higher self-efficacy than other patientsNon-directional hypothesisThere is a difference in anxiety and self-efficacy between cardiac patients who receive support from former patients and those who do not

  • **Research vs. Statistical HypothesesResearch hypothesis = scientific hypothesisStatement about the expected relationship of the variablesCan be directional or nondirectional

    Statistical hypothesis = null hypothesisStates there is no relationship between the variables

    L-B, W & H p. 66-67

  • **Example: Statistical HypothesisOxygen inhalation by nasal cannula of up to 6L/min does not affect oral temperature measurement taken with an electronic thermometer.Variables? other examples?

  • **Levels of QuestionsLevel ILittle to no literature is available on the topic and the purpose is to describe what is found as it exists naturallyLevel IIThere is knowledge about the topic but relationships among the variables are not well knownLevel IIIThere is a great deal of knowledge about the topic and the purpose of the study is to test the theory through direct manipulation of the variables

  • **Level I QuestionsLead to exploration and result in a complete description of the topicExamples:What are the characteristics of suicidal patients?What are the spiritual needs of transplant patients?

  • **Level II QuestionsBuild on the results of Level I studiesLook for relationships between the variablesExamples:What is the relationship between relaxation and pain in postoperative patients?What is the relationship among nutrition, birth weight of the newborn, and age of the mother?

  • **Level III QuestionsBuilds on the results of previous researchLead to experimental designsExamples:Why does patient satisfaction increase with positive attitudes toward self-care?Why does increased vitamin C decrease skin fragility in elderly people?

  • **Summary of Level I, II, and III QuestionsLevel I questions have only one variable and one populationLevel II requires a minimum of 2 variables in one populationAt level III there must be 2 variables that specify a cause and effect

  • **ExamplesWhat are the body positions into which nurses place LBW intubated infants?What is the relationship between body positions and heart rate in the LBW intubated infants? Why does supine body positioning decrease heart rate in the intubated LBW infant?

  • **Summary PointsPreliminary steps in the research process include forming a research problem, questions and hypothesesA hypothesis attempts to answer the question posed by the research questionResearch questions illustrate a relationship between variables, identify independent and dependent variables, include a population, and imply that a problem is testable

  • **Your questions?