Weighing the evidence while conducting research

Weighing the Evidence

 

When conducting original research, the final step researchers must complete is weighing the evidence and interpreting the meanings of their data, statistics, and analyses. This is the culmination of the research process in which all of the research methods and designs can be synthesized into a meaningful conclusion. In this stage, researchers should formulate explanations for what their data indicates, determine whether the data answers their initial research question, identify areas of uncertainty, and consider directions for further research.

 

In this Discussion, you focus on one of the research articles that you identified for Part 2 of the Course Project (Literature Review). You then explore the process of how the researchers generated conclusions based on their data, consider other possible interpretations of their data, and formulate ideas for further research.

 

To prepare:

 

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on how researchers find meaning in their data and generate sound conclusions. Pay particular attention to Table 2 in the article, “Study Design in Medical Research.”
  • Revisit the 5 articles that you identified in Part 2 of the Course Project. Select one to consider for the purpose of this Discussion. Refer to article below:

     

    Al-Khawaldeh, O., Al-Hussami, M., & Darawad, M. (2015). Influence of Nursing Students Handwashing Knowledge, Beliefs, and Attitudes on Their Handwashing ComplianceScientific Research Publishing. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.4236/health.2015.75068

     

     

     

  • Read sections of the chosen article where the data is presented, analyzed, and interpreted for meaning. What reasoning process did the researchers use to formulate their conclusions? What explanation did they give to support their conclusions? Were there any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions?
  • Consider possible alternate conclusions that the researchers could have drawn based on their data.
  • Examine the findings that the article presents and consider how well they addressed the researcher’s initial question(s). What additional research could be done to build on these findings and gain a fuller understanding of the question?

    Post :

    1) An APA citation and brief summary of the research article that you selected.

    2) Describe the data and the results of any statistical tests or analyses presented in the article.

    3) Explain how the researchers formulated their conclusion, any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions, and offer at least one alternate interpretation of their data.

    4) Propose at least one additional research study that could be done to further investigate this research topic.

     

 

Readings

 

  • Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2012).  Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.).Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
    • Review Chapter 2, Fig. 2.1
    • Chapter 27, “Systematic Reviews of Research Evidence: Meta-analysis, Metasynthesis, and Mixed Studies Review”

      This chapter focuses on the different types of systematic reviews. The chapter discusses the advantages of this type of analysis and the steps for conducting a meta-analysis or metasynthesis.

  • Dingle, P. (2011). Statin statistics: Lies and deception. Positive Health180, 1.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    In this article, the author outlines how misleading statistics are used to make false claims about the positive use of statin drugs in order to retain a market share of sales for pharmaceutical firms.

  • Katapodi, M. C., & Northouse, L. L. (2011). Comparative effectiveness research: Using systematic reviews and meta-analyses to synthesize empirical evidence. Research & Theory for Nursing Practice, 25(3), 191–209.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    The authors of this article assert that more comparative effectiveness research (CER) is necessary to accommodate the elevated demand for evidence-based health care practices. The article supplies a summary of methodological issues relevant to systematic reviews and meta-analyses used in the process of CER.

  • Stichler, J. F. (2010). Evaluating the evidence in evidence-based design. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(9), 348–351.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    The quality of evidence used in EBP can vary considerably. This article highlights the necessity of critically appraising facility design research articles and using a hierarchical model to rate the strength of evidence.

  • Bernd, R., du Prel, J.-B., & Blettner, M. (2009). Study design in medical research: Part 2 of a series on the evaluation of scientific publications. Deutsches Aerzteblatt International106(11), 184–189. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695375/pdf/Dtsch_Arztebl_Int-106-0184.pdf

    This article provides guidance in evaluating the study design of scientific publications for reliability and credibility. The authors suggest that the most important elements to consider are the question to be answered, the study population, the unit of analysis, the type of study, the measuring technique, and the calculation of sample size.

  • Walden University. (n.d.a). Paper templates. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm (for review)

    This website provides you access to the School of Nursing Sample Paper, which will serve as a template for formatting your papers.

    Media

 

  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012g). Hierarchy of evidence pyramid. Baltimore, MD: Author.  (for review)

    This multimedia piece explains the hierarchy of evidence pyramid. The piece offers definitions and key information for each level of the pyramid.

  • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012n). Weighing the evidence. Baltimore, MD: Author.

    Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.

    In this video, Dr. Kristen Mauk provides insight about how she analyzed her data and interpreted meanings of what the data showed. She describes how she drew conclusions based on the results and how she explained unexpected findings that were contrary to her initial hypotheses

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