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BASIC CONCEPTS IN RESEARCH

RESEARCH –systematic, empirical, controlled & critical investigation of a hypothetical


proposition related to natural phenomenon (Kerlinger, 1973).

RESEARCH – derived from old French word “cerchier” – “seek or search”

RESEARCH – is a systematic inquiry that uses disciplined methods to answer


questions or solve problems (Polit & Beck, 2008)
ULTIMATE GOAL: to develop, refine, and expand body of knowledge

NURSING RESEARCH – is a systematic inquiry designed to develop trustworthy


evidence about issues of importance to the nursing profession, including nursing
practice, education, administration and informatics.

CLINICAL NURSING RESEARCH – research designed to guide nursing practice and to


improve the health and quality of the life of nurses’ clients.

FOUNDATION OF NURSING KNOWLEDGE


1. Customs and traditions
2. Authority
3. Clinical Experience, Trial and Error, and Intuition
4. Logical Reasoning (Inductive reasoning; Deductive reasoning)

CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

1. Systematic – follow step by step process from identification of problem to


conclusion.
2. Empirical – proper objective. To collect data, facts & evidence to support
hypothesis
3. Controlled – proper planning/ direction. Research design.
4. Critical investigation – fact finding investigation. (synonym)

ROLES OF NURSES IN RESEARCH (Nieswiadomy, 2002)

1. Principal investigator
2. Member of a research team
3. Identifier of researchable problems
4. Evaluation of research findings
5. User of research findings
6. Patient advocate during studies
7. Subject in studies

CHARACTERISTICS OF NURSE RESEARCHERS


1. Intellectual curiosity
2. Creative thinking
3. Critical thinking
4. Ability to relate their study to known theory
5. Patience and discipline to see the study through
6. Intellectual honesty
7. Sense of humor

CLASSIFICATIONS OF RESEARCH

1. General purpose
a. Basic pure research – primary concerned with establishing new knowledge,
and refinement of theories. This is really “knowledge for knowledge’s sake”

e.g. 1. Attitude of professional nurses toward the care of clients with Hansen’s
disease in selected tertiary hospitals in the city of Manila
2. Assessment of partnership between nursing education and nursing
service in selected colleges of nursing and nursing service departments

b. Applied research – concerned with establishing new knowledge as well as


knowledge that can be applied in practical settings without undue delay. This
is referred to as “practical application of theories”

e.g. 1. The value of structured preoperative teaching to deep breathing,


coughing, and bed exercise among postoperative patients.
2. Variation in blood pressure in different lying-in positions among
selected healthy individuals.

2. Specific purposes
a. Descriptive – aims to systematically describe a problem, situation,
phenomenon, etc., or illustrate attitudes towards a problem or an issue
(description)
b. Exploratory – explores areas about which very little information is available, or
probes if a particular research study can be undertaken (exploration)
c. Explanatory – attempts to explicate the relationship between certain aspects
of a situation or phenomenon; tries to answer the how’s and why’s of such
relationship (explanation)
d. Correlational – focused on establishing the relationship or determining
whether a relationship exists between two or more facets of a phenomenon
(prediction control)

3. According to data
1. Quantitative Research – leads to precise measurement and quantification. It
often involves a rigorous and controlled design.
a. Survey Research – designed to obtain information about the prevalence,
distribution, and interrelations of variables within a population
e.g. Political opinion polls (Pulse Asia)

*sample surveys – use samples of individuals


*census – covers the entire population

In surveys, information is obtained through self-report techniques –


participants respond to a series of questions posed by investigators

b. Secondary analysis – involves the use of data gathered in a previous


study to test new hypotheses or explore new relationships in a typical
study.
c. Meta-analysis – findings from multiple studies on the same topic are
combined by the use of various statistical methods to establish
judgement their significance or validity. The study is itself the unit of
analysis.
d. Delphi surveys – problem solving methods in which several rounds of
questionnaires are mailed to a panel of experts.
e. Evaluation Research – make use of scientific research methods and
procedures to evaluate a program, treatment, practice, or policy.

2. Qualitative Research – involves the investigation of phenomena, typically in


an in-depth and holistic fashion, through the collection of rich narrative
materials using a flexible design.
a. Grounded Theory – approach to studying social psychological processes
and social structure, which aims to discover theoretical precepts grounded
in the data. This approach uses constant comparison. Categories elicited
from the data are constantly compared with data obtained earlier so that
shared problems and variations can be determined (Polit & Beck, 2006).

*Grounding – basing a theory on the data collected. Grounded theorists


undertake the research by observing how people solve problems in a
social setting. They use the inductive methods of developing theories
while in the process of collecting data.

b. Phenomenological theory – proposes to understand the response of the


participant to a given situation. Phenomenological research is based on
the intuitive analysis of another person’s experiences. Data are gathered
from a very small number of individuals.

c. Ethnography – research that focuses on the culture of a group of people


and relies on extensive fieldwork (participant observation). Ethnographers
attempt to describe the culture of a group through in-depth studies
involving systematic observation of its activities, language and customs.
d. Historical Research – a attempts to establish facts and relationships
about past events.

e. Case Studies – intensive investigations of a single entity or a small


number of entities, such as individuals, groups, organizations, families or
communities.

f. Participatory Action Research – produces knowledge through close


collaboration with groups or communities that are vulnerable to control or
oppression by a dominant culture.
AIM: to produce not just knowledge but action and consciousness among
the community people regarding what is going on their lives.
KEY OBJECTIVE: to produce an impetus to make improvements through
education and sociopolitical action.

3. According to time
a. Cross-sectional – data are collected at one point in time, with no follow up.
The result is a measurement of what exists today, with no attempts to
document changes over time either the past or the future.
b. Longitudinal – data are collected at different points in time.
c. Retrospective studies – examines data collected in the past, through
review of medical records.
d. Prospective studies – examines data collected at present.

4. According to Setting

a. Experimental Research – researchers actively introduce an intervention or


treatment

1. True experimental design – most powerful methods for testing


hypothesis of cause-and effect relationships between variables.
o Manipulation
o Randomization (Random assignment or random allocation) –
signature of a true experiment
o Control (counterfactual)

2. Quasi Experiment – intervention in the absence of randomization.

b. Non-experimental (or observational) research – researchers do not


intervene by manipulating the independent variable. Researchers collect
data without introducing treatments or changes.
o Descriptive correlational research – describes how phenomena are
interrelated without inferring causality
o Univariate descriptive studies – examines the occurrence,
frequency, or average value of variables without examining
relationships.
o Prevalence studies – document the prevalence rate of some
condition at a particular point in time, and incidence studies
o Incidence studies – document the frequency of new cases, over a
given time period.

5. According to Setting
a. Laboratory – A highly controlled environment where research studies are
done.
b. Naturalistic setting – a less controlled environment where research studies
are conducted like in people’s home, place of work, health centers and
school settings.