4130 Chapter 3 & 4: Critical Reading Strategies & Developing Research Questions & Hypothesis

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  1. Chapter 3: The Research Process
  2. The research process: quantitative (8 steps)
    • 1. problem
    • 2. question
    • 3. literature review
    • 4. hypothesis
    • 5. sample design: plan, structure, strategy
    • 6. data collection analysis
    • 7. interpretation
    • 8. disseminate
  3. The research process: qualitative (6 steps)
    • 1. identify phenomena
    • 2. structure the study: research question, theoretical perspective, sample selection
    • 3. data gathering
    • 4. data analysis
    • 5. describe findings: may link to theory & literature
    • 6. disseminate 
  4. Critical thinking?
    • Definition: rational examination of ideas, inferences, principles, and conclusions
    • —Involves disciplined, self-directed thinking that is structured.

    Includes the display of mastered intellectual skills and abilities, such as applying research critique criteria

  5. Critical reading??
    4 steps of reading process
    4 steps of understanding: preliminary, comprehensive, analysis, synthesis understanding
    Definition: active interpretation and objective assessment of an article, during which the reader is looking for key concepts, ideas, and justifications 

    • Four steps to critical reading process:
    • 1. identify concepts
    • 2. understand/clarify unfamiliar terms 
    • 3. question assumptions
    • 4. determine supporting evidence 

    Image Upload 1 

    • ***Analysis understanding:
    • level of evidence
    • can it be applied to theory, practice, or education??
  6. How to grade strength of the body of evidence
    Quality: bias
    Quantity: generaziability
    Consider 3 domains:

    • 1. Quality: extent to which a study's design, implementation, and
    • analysis minimizes bias. Is a level of objectivity present?

    2. Quantity: number of studies that have evaluated the research question, including sample size across studies & the strength of findings from the data analysis.

    -More studies lend to generalizability (generalize) or inferences that the data are representative of similar phenomena in a population beyond the studied sample.

    3. Consistency: degree to which studies have similar and different designs yet the same research question and similar findings.
  7. Research Articles: format & style
    Format of a research article follows the steps of the research process

    Not a how-to, but answer a question with all the components of a research study clearly presented 
  8. Steps of a research process: quantitative (9)



    literature review


    question or hypothesis

    theoretical/conceptual framework

    methods: design, sample, ethics, procedures, instruments

    results: data analysis, disccusion/conclusions and implications, references 
  9. Communicating results: dissemination important
    results can be communicated through:

    publication in a journal

    presented at a professional conference

    applied to evidence-based practice activities: nursing care plans, practice protocol guidelines, practice standards 
  10. Chapter 4: Developing Research Questions and Hypothesis
  11. What is a research question?
    Also called the 'problem statement' = presents the idea that's to be examined in the study and is the foundation of the research study

    —A concise, interrogative statement written in the present tense and including one or more variables/concepts.

    —Once formulate the researcher chooses a research design.

    —Research questions focus on: 

    •Describing variables.

    •Specifying the population being studied.

    •Examining testable relationships among variables.

    When critiquing a study it should be evident to the consumer that the researcher has:

    defined a specific question area.

    —reviewed relevant scientific literature.

    —identified the potential significance to nursing.

    —examined the feasibility of studying the research question.

  12. Variables 
    independent variable 
    dependent variable 
    Defintion: is an attribute or property in which organisms vary (people, events, objects)

    There must be at least 2 variables in a study: the DV and the IV 

    • Examples:
    • pain
    • stress
    • quality of life
    • self efficacy
    • driving speed
    • healing time
    • days of hospital stay 

    Independent Variable (IV)

    • the variable that has the presumed effect on the dependent variable (DV) 
    • either manipulated or not manipulated
    • the treatment variable
    • known as the X variable
    • there can be more than 1 X variable 

    Dependent Variable (DV)

    • the presumed effect that varies with a change in the independent variable  
    • not manipulated
    • the OUTCOME variable or the variable that is measured
    • known as the Y variable
    • there can be more than 1 Y variable 
  13. Review of defintions
    conceptual definitions
    operational definitions 

    =these definitions must be made clear by a researcher in their research report 
    • conceptual
    • general meaning of a concept (dictionary definition)

    • operational
    • measurements used to observe or measure a variable; delineates procedures and operations required to measure a concept
    • ie. how is pain measured? how is length of hospital stay measured?
  14. Framing a research question based on PICO
    an example 
    • —Does the use of pain diaries in the palliative care of
    • patients with cancer lead to improved pain control?

    P: The situation (cancer patients receiving palliative care).

    I: The intervention (pain diaries).

    C: Opposed to no pain diaries.

    • O: The quality and cost-effectiveness outcome (decreased pain perception/low
    • cost).
  15. How to critique research questions:
    Is the research question introduced promptly?

    —Is the study purpose been identified?

    —Does the question express a relationship between variables?

    —Has the question been supported by theory on the concept?

    —Does the question specify the nature of the population being studied?

    —Has significance & feasibility (capable of being done)  been considered?

    —Does the question imply the possibility of empirical testing?
  16. Purpose

    verbs used in a qualitative vs quantitative
    Definition: aim or goal the researcher hopes to achieve with the research, not the problem to be solved

    Implies level of evidence to be obtained (discover, explore, or describe VS compare, test the effectiveness of) 

    • Qualitative verbs:
    • discover, explore, describe, purpose, evaluate

    • Quantitative verbs:
    • compare, test the effectiveness of, objective, determine


    • Qualitative:
    • "The purpose of this ethnographic study was to investigate nurses' workplace culture as it relates to tobacco use and control” 


    "The objective of this study was to determine the cost and effectiveness of a transitional discharge model (TDM) of care with clients who have a chronic mental illness” 
  17. Hypothesis
    **should flow between the research question, literature review, and theoretical framework that underpins a study 
    qualitative & quantitative = hypothesis present? 
    • Definition
    • Formal statement of the expected relationship(s) between two or more variables in a specified population that suggests an answer to the research question; statement that predicts the outcomes of a study.

    —Hypotheses can be considered intelligent hunches, guesses, or predictions that help researchers seek the solution or answer to the research question. 

    •  **should flow between the research question, literature review, and theoretical framework that underpins a study 
    • **If the study is qualitative = there is no hypothesis
    • **If the study is quantitative = there is a hypothesis 
  18. Hypothesis contd.
    Directional vs. Non-directional
    Ho vs. Ha 
    1. Directional: states which way the relationship should exist.

    —Example: Social assistance recipients will report greater depressive symptoms than employed single mothers.

    —This type of hypothesis is usually used when the researcher uses theory to form the basis of their study. Much is known about a concept or the topic of study.

    2. Nondirectional: states the relationship exists, but not the direction.

    —Example: Biophysical and psychosocial factors might influence recovery from cardiac surgery.

    —More objective and impartial than directional hypothesis. The researcher is not tied into a specific result.

    • Statistical hypothesis, null hypothesis, or the Ho
    • -means no relationship exists between the IV and the DV
    • -if statistical evidence is found in the study, the Ho is rejected

    • Research hypothesis, alternative hypothesis, or the Ha 
    • -a statement about the expected relationship of the variables and indicates expected outcome of the study and is either directional or nondirectional, hypothesis is supported
    • -if statististical evidence is found in a study the research hypothesis is accepted

    • If the p is low, the Ho must go
    • <0.05: a low p value indicates a statistically significant test result
  19. Critical thinking decision path: determining the type of hypothesis or readiness for hypothesis testing
    Image Upload 2
  20. Review: chapter 3
  21. Critical thinking vs critical reading
    • CT:
    • using constructive skepticism
    • examining ideas rationally
    • thinking about your own thinking

    • CR:
    • getting a general sense of the material
    • clarifying unfamiliar terms with text
    • questioning assumptions
  22. Critical reading: list 4 steps in order
    • 1. preliminary
    • 2. comprehensive
    • 3. analysis
    • 4. synthesis
  23. Synthesis list: in order (5)
    • 1. read article for the 4th time
    • 2. review notes on the copy
    • 3. summarize study in own words
    • 4. complete one handwritten 12.5x20 cm card per study
    • 5. staple summary to top of copied article
  24. Review: Chapter 4
  25. Research question
    independent variable
    dependent variable
    RQ = an interrogative sentence or declarative statement about the relationship bw 2 or more variables

    IV = variable that has teh presmed effect on the second variable

    DV = variable that is not manipulated

    T = property of the problem that indicates it's measurable by either qualitative or quantitative methods

    V = concepts or properties that are operationalized and studied 
  26. Distinguising between IV vs DV
    • 1. the use of cathode ray terminals increases the incidence of birth defects
    • -iv: crts
    • -dv: birth defects

    • 2. inidividuals with birth defects have a higher incidence of independece-dependece conflicts than individuals without birth defects
    • a. independent variable: birth defects
    • b. dependent variable: independence-dependence conflicts

    • 3. poroblem-oriented recording leads to more effective patient care than narrative recording
    • a. IV: type of recording
    • b. DV: pt care

    • 4. nurses and physicians differ in the way they view the extended-role concept for nurses
    • a. IV: profession
    • b. DV: extended-role
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4130 Chapter 3 & 4: Critical Reading Strategies & Developing Research Questions & Hypothesis
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