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Main Reference: Understanding and Doing Research: A Handbook for Beginners by Fely David Other Reference: Nursing Research Made Easy by Dr. Patria V. Manalaysay, RN

Research is a high-hat word that scares a lot of people. It neednt. It is rather simple. Essentially, it is nothing but a state of mind a friendly, welcoming attitude towards change. Going out to look for change, instead of waiting for it to come. Research for practical men, is an effort to do things better and not to be caught asleep at a switch. The research state of mind can apply to anything. Personal affairs or any kind of business, big or little. It is the problem-solving mind as contrasted with the let-well-enough-alone mind. It is the composer mind, instead of a fiddler mind; it is the tomorrow mind, instead of the yesterday mind.
- C.F. Kettering

Chapter 1
Research: Its Nature, Types, and Role in Development

At the end of Chapter 1, students will be able to answer the following questions:

What is Research?

Is defined as a careful, systematic study in a field of knowledge, undertaken to discover or establish facts or principles (Webster, 1984). Is also defined as a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data to find an answer to a question or a solution to a problem, to validate or test an existing theory.

People ask questions and when they cannot answer them, they make hunches. To determine whether their hunches are correct, they ask questions, evaluate their guesses and decide on the best answer. This process cannot be called research unless they follow systematic procedures, ask the appropriate questions and use reliable and valid instruments.

Value of research

Educators, health service providers, enterpreneurs, managers, policy makers, counselors, administrators, teachers and students, need information to make decisions, or to perform their functions more effectively.

Functions of Research

It helps us answer questions, solve problems and make decisions. It enables us to see and understand how and why a situation or problem exists. It helps us discover new things and ideas. It allows us to validate existing theories or generate new ones. It helps us identify and understand the causes and effects of a situation or a phenomenon.

Role of Research in Improving Quality of Life

New skills/ Practices/ behaviors
Improved Condition/ welfare

New Knowledge


New Technology

New Tools/ Devices/ Approaches

To illustrate,

Lung cancer is associated with lung cancer intensified campaign against smoking. Discovery of computers and its use in banking ATM, fund transfer, bank withdrawal and deposit, payment of bills.

As a Scientific Process, research can be used to: Determine/describe an existing situation (situation analysis), Describe a population (people, objects, institutions, etc.) Compare two conditions or groups of population,

As a Scientific Process, research can be used to:

Determine existence, degree, or nature of relationship between two or more factors, Evaluate and/or compare effectiveness of an intervention, treatment or exposure, and Predict the value of a certain characteristic.

General Types of Research

Descriptive Research Correlation or Association Research Experimental or Intervention Research

Descriptive Research

Type of study that finds answer to questions who, what, when, where and how. Describes a situation or a given state of affairs in terms of specified aspects or factors. What may be described are characteristics of individuals or groups (students, administrators, entrepreneurs, patients, etc.) or physical environments (schools, business establishments, hospitals, cooperative, etc.) or conditions (epidemic, calamities, leadership styles, anxiety level, sales and profit, productivity, etc.)

Examples of Descriptive Research

The management style of school administrators in Iloilo City Tardiness and absenteeism among high school students Smoking habits of health service providers in government and private hospitals The medicinal components of five kinds of Philippine backyard plants

Explanatory or Correlation Research

It attempts to explain the possible factors related to a problem which have been observed in a descriptive study. This type of study answers the questions why and how. The factors related to the problem, however, need not be viewed as real causes of the problem, but factors which are associated with or may contribute to the occurrence of the problem.

Explanatory or Correlation Research

Correlation investigates relationships between factors or variables. Certain factors are assumed to explain or contribute to the existence of a problem or certain condition or the variation in a given situation. The researcher usually uses a theory or a hypothesis to account for or explain the forces that are assumed to have caused the problem.

Example for relationships between the following pairs of variables that can be studied:

Local government employees knowledge about the local government code Gender Knowledge about cancer

Work performance Grades Compliance with medical regimen

Examples of Research Topics under the Explanatory / Correlation

Knowledge About Cancer and Compliance with Diet, Exercise and Medical Regimen Among Cancer Patients Relationship Between Socioeconomic Factors and Absenteeism Among High School Students in the District Jaro

Examples of Research Topics under the Explanatory / Correlation

Attitudes Toward Health and Smoking Habits of Health Service Providers in Government and Private Hospitals in Iloilo City Factors Associated with Extent of Involvement in Local Governance Among Barangay Officials in Region IV

Intervention or Experimental Research

Evaluates the effect or outcome of a particular intervention or treatment. It studies the cause and effect relationship between certain factors on a certain phenomenon under controlled conditions. The subjects of the study are randomly assigned to the experimental group and to the control group and both groups are exposed to similar conditions except for the intervention/treatment.

Intervention or Experimental Research

For example, one can assess or compare the effect or outcome of two or more methods of teaching math on mathematical ability of students, two or more health management practices on the recovery of patients, or two or more management styles on employees productivity.

Examples of Research Problems in Intervention or Experimental Type of Research

The Effect of Verbal Suggestion on Overt Pain Reaction of Selected Post-Operative Patients Advertising: Its Effect on Sales and Profit of Auto Parts Business Establishment in Metro Manila The Effect of In-House Training on Human Relations on the Productivity and Efficiency of Office Employees in Private Banks in Iloilo City The Effect of Different Levels of Applied Nitrogen on the Growth and Yield of Rice

Other Classifications of Research

(Jackson, 1995, Mercado, 1994)

Pure Basic vs. Applied Research Pure Basic Research-Attempts to describe an existing situation and/or explain certain patterns of behavior using either or both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. - Goal: to offer better descriptions and better explanation of human behavior. The intention is to accumulate knowledge about a certain phenomenon.

Pure Basic vs. Applied Research

Applied Research aims to see an immediate solution to a problem. - focuses on variables or factors which can be changed by intervention in order to achieve a desired goal, like improvement of health, school achievement, or performance or increase in revenue. - An experimental study comparing the effectiveness of two methods of improving health practices can yield results that recommend a better practice.

Exploratory vs. Explanatory Research

Exploratory describe an existing problem situation and examine the underlying factors that contribute to the emergence of the problem, the nature of which is not yet well known. Explanatory- primary goal: to understand or explain a relationship between factors which may have already been identified in exploratory studies, and why relationship exists. seek more specific answers to why and how questions.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Quantitative seeks to quantify or reflect in numbers the observations on the characteristics of the population being studied. - measures the number of respondents or objects possessing a particular characteristic. - emphasizes precise measurement and often times requires statistical analysis of data or the testing of hypothesis based on a sample of observations.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

Qualitative emphasizes verbal descriptions and explanations of human behavior and practices in an attempt to understand how the units or members of the study population experience or explain their own world.

Research Methods

3. 4.

Experimental Method Survey Method Historical Method Content Analysis

Research Methods

Experimental Method = use to determine the effectiveness of a treatment or an intervention or the cause and effect relationship of certain phenomena under controlled condition.

Research Methods
2. Survey Method= obtains data to determine specific characteristics of a group. The purpose is to get a general picture of the characteristics of a study population at a particular time. The use of the survey approach is appropriate for most descriptive and correlation studies.

Research Methods
3. Historical Method = used to determine the growth and development of a group, organization or institution. The description is based on information about some past aspects of the group, organization or institution. Most of the data used in this method are collected from secondary sources, such as records, documents, written materials, accounts, etc.

Research Methods
4. Content Analysis

= use when the intention of the researcher is to ascertain the quality of message or information found in a document or in mass media. =to test the level of readability of certain books, e.g. textbooks for elementary pupils, before they are printed for distribution. = determining authenticity for documents and in literary research, e.g. literary analysis and criticism.



Chapter 2
Problem Identification and Definition

Every research starts with a problem. Without a problem, there is no need to conduct research.

What is a Research Problem?

For researchers, problems could be conditions they want to improve, difficulties that want to eliminate, questions for which they want answers, or information gaps they wish to fill, or theories they wish to validate.

What is a Research Problem?

A research problem could also be an issue that should be settled. It may be a question about the unknown characteristics of a population or about factors that explain the presence or occurrence of a phenomenon.

Identifying a Research Problem

Initially, a research problem is stated in a form of a question, which serves as the focus of the investigation. Example: Do mothers who have attended health education classes have better health care management practices than those who have not?

Example:To what extent do students use the internet? Example: Does the students use of the internet affect their performance in school?

Not all problems require research

A potential researchable problem exists when the following conditions are present (Fisher,,1991) a.) There is a perceived discrepancy between what is and what should be. b.) There are two or more plausible reasons for the discrepancy.

There may be an existing difficult or disturbing situation, but if this condition is expected to happen because of known circumstances, then the problem is not researchable. Even if there is a discrepancy between what is and what should be, because the causes of the discrepancy are known at this particular time, there is no need to conduct research anymore.

Example of Non-researchable Problem

Non-researchable Problem

Example of Researchable Problem

Researchable Problem

Defining Research Problem

Problem definition explains the existence & seriousness of the problem

Shows evidences that prove the problem really exists, that it is serious and/or widespread The definition of a problem identifies elements

Defining Research Problem

The following questions are usually answered:


Characteristics of a Good Research Problem




A research relevant. A research feasible. A research A research ethical.

problem must be problem must be

problem must be clear. problem must be





Sources of Problems

aspects of patient care Studies reported in journals Review of review Important issues & problems in nursing Problems already found Every obstacle & opportunity for the exercise of ingenuity

Sources of Problems

aspects of patient care Studies reported in journals Review of review Important issues & problems in nursing Problems already found Every obstacle & opportunity for the exercise of ingenuity

Requisites of a Good Title


title is a brief descriptive Label that subsumes the theme of the study as a whole It names the major variables that are subject of investigation, thereby giving an instant group of what the study is all about Should be eye catching and thought provoking


Group work assignment: (to be passed next week)

Give 5 Thesis Titles ( for approval of the Dean, CON) 1- Institutional Nursing 2-Nursing Service 3 Nursing Procedures 4 Nursing Education 5 Community Health Nursing

Group work assignment: (to be passed next week)

1 notebook serves as logbook for group meetings. Ghant Chart Read Chapters 3 and 4 of Understanding and Doing Research by Fely David

Thank you.