Introduction to Statistical Hypothesis Testing in Nursing Research
- 1 Courtney Keeler is an associate professor and Alexa Colgrove Curtis is assistant dean of graduate nursing and director of the MPH-DNP dual degree program, both at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. Contact author: Courtney Keeler, [email protected] . Bernadette Capili, PhD, NP-C, is the column coordinator: [email protected] . This manuscript was supported in part by grant No. UL1TR001866 from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.
- PMID: 37345783
- DOI: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000944936.37768.29
Editor's note: This is the 16th article in a series on clinical research by nurses. The series is designed to be used as a resource for nurses to understand the concepts and principles essential to research. Each column will present the concepts that underpin evidence-based practice-from research design to data interpretation. To see all the articles in the series, go to https://links.lww.com/AJN/A204.
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- How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples
How to Write a Strong Hypothesis | Steps & Examples
Published on May 6, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023.
A hypothesis is a statement that can be tested by scientific research. If you want to test a relationship between two or more variables, you need to write hypotheses before you start your experiment or data collection .
Daily apple consumption leads to fewer doctor’s visits.
Table of contents
What is a hypothesis, developing a hypothesis (with example), hypothesis examples, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing hypotheses.
A hypothesis states your predictions about what your research will find. It is a tentative answer to your research question that has not yet been tested. For some research projects, you might have to write several hypotheses that address different aspects of your research question.
A hypothesis is not just a guess – it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).
Variables in hypotheses
Hypotheses propose a relationship between two or more types of variables .
- An independent variable is something the researcher changes or controls.
- A dependent variable is something the researcher observes and measures.
If there are any control variables , extraneous variables , or confounding variables , be sure to jot those down as you go to minimize the chances that research bias will affect your results.
In this example, the independent variable is exposure to the sun – the assumed cause . The dependent variable is the level of happiness – the assumed effect .
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Step 1. ask a question.
Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer. The question should be focused, specific, and researchable within the constraints of your project.
Step 2. Do some preliminary research
Your initial answer to the question should be based on what is already known about the topic. Look for theories and previous studies to help you form educated assumptions about what your research will find.
At this stage, you might construct a conceptual framework to ensure that you’re embarking on a relevant topic . This can also help you identify which variables you will study and what you think the relationships are between them. Sometimes, you’ll have to operationalize more complex constructs.
Step 3. Formulate your hypothesis
Now you should have some idea of what you expect to find. Write your initial answer to the question in a clear, concise sentence.
4. Refine your hypothesis
You need to make sure your hypothesis is specific and testable. There are various ways of phrasing a hypothesis, but all the terms you use should have clear definitions, and the hypothesis should contain:
- The relevant variables
- The specific group being studied
- The predicted outcome of the experiment or analysis
5. Phrase your hypothesis in three ways
To identify the variables, you can write a simple prediction in if…then form. The first part of the sentence states the independent variable and the second part states the dependent variable.
In academic research, hypotheses are more commonly phrased in terms of correlations or effects, where you directly state the predicted relationship between variables.
If you are comparing two groups, the hypothesis can state what difference you expect to find between them.
6. Write a null hypothesis
If your research involves statistical hypothesis testing , you will also have to write a null hypothesis . The null hypothesis is the default position that there is no association between the variables. The null hypothesis is written as H 0 , while the alternative hypothesis is H 1 or H a .
- H 0 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has no effect on their final exam scores.
- H 1 : The number of lectures attended by first-year students has a positive effect on their final exam scores.
If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Sampling methods
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified sampling
- Cluster sampling
- Likert scales
- Null hypothesis
- Statistical power
- Probability distribution
- Effect size
- Poisson distribution
- Optimism bias
- Cognitive bias
- Implicit bias
- Hawthorne effect
- Anchoring bias
- Explicit bias
A hypothesis is not just a guess — it should be based on existing theories and knowledge. It also has to be testable, which means you can support or refute it through scientific research methods (such as experiments, observations and statistical analysis of data).
Null and alternative hypotheses are used in statistical hypothesis testing . The null hypothesis of a test always predicts no effect or no relationship between variables, while the alternative hypothesis states your research prediction of an effect or relationship.
Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.
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The Craft of Writing a Strong Hypothesis
Table of Contents
Writing a hypothesis is one of the essential elements of a scientific research paper. It needs to be to the point, clearly communicating what your research is trying to accomplish. A blurry, drawn-out, or complexly-structured hypothesis can confuse your readers. Or worse, the editor and peer reviewers.
A captivating hypothesis is not too intricate. This blog will take you through the process so that, by the end of it, you have a better idea of how to convey your research paper's intent in just one sentence.
What is a Hypothesis?
The first step in your scientific endeavor, a hypothesis, is a strong, concise statement that forms the basis of your research. It is not the same as a thesis statement , which is a brief summary of your research paper.
The sole purpose of a hypothesis is to predict your paper's findings, data, and conclusion. It comes from a place of curiosity and intuition . When you write a hypothesis, you're essentially making an educated guess based on scientific prejudices and evidence, which is further proven or disproven through the scientific method.
The reason for undertaking research is to observe a specific phenomenon. A hypothesis, therefore, lays out what the said phenomenon is. And it does so through two variables, an independent and dependent variable.
The independent variable is the cause behind the observation, while the dependent variable is the effect of the cause. A good example of this is “mixing red and blue forms purple.” In this hypothesis, mixing red and blue is the independent variable as you're combining the two colors at your own will. The formation of purple is the dependent variable as, in this case, it is conditional to the independent variable.
Different Types of Hypotheses
Types of hypotheses
Some would stand by the notion that there are only two types of hypotheses: a Null hypothesis and an Alternative hypothesis. While that may have some truth to it, it would be better to fully distinguish the most common forms as these terms come up so often, which might leave you out of context.
Apart from Null and Alternative, there are Complex, Simple, Directional, Non-Directional, Statistical, and Associative and casual hypotheses. They don't necessarily have to be exclusive, as one hypothesis can tick many boxes, but knowing the distinctions between them will make it easier for you to construct your own.
1. Null hypothesis
A null hypothesis proposes no relationship between two variables. Denoted by H 0 , it is a negative statement like “Attending physiotherapy sessions does not affect athletes' on-field performance.” Here, the author claims physiotherapy sessions have no effect on on-field performances. Even if there is, it's only a coincidence.
2. Alternative hypothesis
Considered to be the opposite of a null hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis is donated as H1 or Ha. It explicitly states that the dependent variable affects the independent variable. A good alternative hypothesis example is “Attending physiotherapy sessions improves athletes' on-field performance.” or “Water evaporates at 100 °C. ” The alternative hypothesis further branches into directional and non-directional.
- Directional hypothesis: A hypothesis that states the result would be either positive or negative is called directional hypothesis. It accompanies H1 with either the ‘<' or ‘>' sign.
- Non-directional hypothesis: A non-directional hypothesis only claims an effect on the dependent variable. It does not clarify whether the result would be positive or negative. The sign for a non-directional hypothesis is ‘≠.'
3. Simple hypothesis
A simple hypothesis is a statement made to reflect the relation between exactly two variables. One independent and one dependent. Consider the example, “Smoking is a prominent cause of lung cancer." The dependent variable, lung cancer, is dependent on the independent variable, smoking.
4. Complex hypothesis
In contrast to a simple hypothesis, a complex hypothesis implies the relationship between multiple independent and dependent variables. For instance, “Individuals who eat more fruits tend to have higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.” The independent variable is eating more fruits, while the dependent variables are higher immunity, lesser cholesterol, and high metabolism.
5. Associative and casual hypothesis
Associative and casual hypotheses don't exhibit how many variables there will be. They define the relationship between the variables. In an associative hypothesis, changing any one variable, dependent or independent, affects others. In a casual hypothesis, the independent variable directly affects the dependent.
6. Empirical hypothesis
Also referred to as the working hypothesis, an empirical hypothesis claims a theory's validation via experiments and observation. This way, the statement appears justifiable and different from a wild guess.
Say, the hypothesis is “Women who take iron tablets face a lesser risk of anemia than those who take vitamin B12.” This is an example of an empirical hypothesis where the researcher the statement after assessing a group of women who take iron tablets and charting the findings.
7. Statistical hypothesis
The point of a statistical hypothesis is to test an already existing hypothesis by studying a population sample. Hypothesis like “44% of the Indian population belong in the age group of 22-27.” leverage evidence to prove or disprove a particular statement.
Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis
Writing a hypothesis is essential as it can make or break your research for you. That includes your chances of getting published in a journal. So when you're designing one, keep an eye out for these pointers:
- A research hypothesis has to be simple yet clear to look justifiable enough.
- It has to be testable — your research would be rendered pointless if too far-fetched into reality or limited by technology.
- It has to be precise about the results —what you are trying to do and achieve through it should come out in your hypothesis.
- A research hypothesis should be self-explanatory, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind.
- If you are developing a relational hypothesis, you need to include the variables and establish an appropriate relationship among them.
- A hypothesis must keep and reflect the scope for further investigations and experiments.
Separating a Hypothesis from a Prediction
Outside of academia, hypothesis and prediction are often used interchangeably. In research writing, this is not only confusing but also incorrect. And although a hypothesis and prediction are guesses at their core, there are many differences between them.
A hypothesis is an educated guess or even a testable prediction validated through research. It aims to analyze the gathered evidence and facts to define a relationship between variables and put forth a logical explanation behind the nature of events.
Predictions are assumptions or expected outcomes made without any backing evidence. They are more fictionally inclined regardless of where they originate from.
For this reason, a hypothesis holds much more weight than a prediction. It sticks to the scientific method rather than pure guesswork. "Planets revolve around the Sun." is an example of a hypothesis as it is previous knowledge and observed trends. Additionally, we can test it through the scientific method.
Whereas "COVID-19 will be eradicated by 2030." is a prediction. Even though it results from past trends, we can't prove or disprove it. So, the only way this gets validated is to wait and watch if COVID-19 cases end by 2030.
Finally, How to Write a Hypothesis
Quick tips on writing a hypothesis
1. Be clear about your research question
A hypothesis should instantly address the research question or the problem statement. To do so, you need to ask a question. Understand the constraints of your undertaken research topic and then formulate a simple and topic-centric problem. Only after that can you develop a hypothesis and further test for evidence.
2. Carry out a recce
Once you have your research's foundation laid out, it would be best to conduct preliminary research. Go through previous theories, academic papers, data, and experiments before you start curating your research hypothesis. It will give you an idea of your hypothesis's viability or originality.
Making use of references from relevant research papers helps draft a good research hypothesis. SciSpace Discover offers a repository of over 270 million research papers to browse through and gain a deeper understanding of related studies on a particular topic. Additionally, you can use SciSpace Copilot , your AI research assistant, for reading any lengthy research paper and getting a more summarized context of it. A hypothesis can be formed after evaluating many such summarized research papers. Copilot also offers explanations for theories and equations, explains paper in simplified version, allows you to highlight any text in the paper or clip math equations and tables and provides a deeper, clear understanding of what is being said. This can improve the hypothesis by helping you identify potential research gaps.
3. Create a 3-dimensional hypothesis
Variables are an essential part of any reasonable hypothesis. So, identify your independent and dependent variable(s) and form a correlation between them. The ideal way to do this is to write the hypothetical assumption in the ‘if-then' form. If you use this form, make sure that you state the predefined relationship between the variables.
In another way, you can choose to present your hypothesis as a comparison between two variables. Here, you must specify the difference you expect to observe in the results.
4. Write the first draft
Now that everything is in place, it's time to write your hypothesis. For starters, create the first draft. In this version, write what you expect to find from your research.
Clearly separate your independent and dependent variables and the link between them. Don't fixate on syntax at this stage. The goal is to ensure your hypothesis addresses the issue.
5. Proof your hypothesis
After preparing the first draft of your hypothesis, you need to inspect it thoroughly. It should tick all the boxes, like being concise, straightforward, relevant, and accurate. Your final hypothesis has to be well-structured as well.
Research projects are an exciting and crucial part of being a scholar. And once you have your research question, you need a great hypothesis to begin conducting research. Thus, knowing how to write a hypothesis is very important.
Now that you have a firmer grasp on what a good hypothesis constitutes, the different kinds there are, and what process to follow, you will find it much easier to write your hypothesis, which ultimately helps your research.
Now it's easier than ever to streamline your research workflow with SciSpace Discover . Its integrated, comprehensive end-to-end platform for research allows scholars to easily discover, write and publish their research and fosters collaboration.
It includes everything you need, including a repository of over 270 million research papers across disciplines, SEO-optimized summaries and public profiles to show your expertise and experience.
If you found these tips on writing a research hypothesis useful, head over to our blog on Statistical Hypothesis Testing to learn about the top researchers, papers, and institutions in this domain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. what is the definition of hypothesis.
According to the Oxford dictionary, a hypothesis is defined as “An idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts, but that has not yet been proved to be true or correct”.
2. What is an example of hypothesis?
The hypothesis is a statement that proposes a relationship between two or more variables. An example: "If we increase the number of new users who join our platform by 25%, then we will see an increase in revenue."
3. What is an example of null hypothesis?
A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between two variables. The null hypothesis is written as H0. The null hypothesis states that there is no effect. For example, if you're studying whether or not a particular type of exercise increases strength, your null hypothesis will be "there is no difference in strength between people who exercise and people who don't."
4. What are the types of research?
• Fundamental research
• Applied research
• Qualitative research
• Quantitative research
• Mixed research
• Exploratory research
• Longitudinal research
• Cross-sectional research
• Field research
• Laboratory research
• Fixed research
• Flexible research
• Action research
• Policy research
• Classification research
• Comparative research
• Causal research
• Inductive research
• Deductive research
5. How to write a hypothesis?
• Your hypothesis should be able to predict the relationship and outcome.
• Avoid wordiness by keeping it simple and brief.
• Your hypothesis should contain observable and testable outcomes.
• Your hypothesis should be relevant to the research question.
6. What are the 2 types of hypothesis?
• Null hypotheses are used to test the claim that "there is no difference between two groups of data".
• Alternative hypotheses test the claim that "there is a difference between two data groups".
7. Difference between research question and research hypothesis?
A research question is a broad, open-ended question you will try to answer through your research. A hypothesis is a statement based on prior research or theory that you expect to be true due to your study. Example - Research question: What are the factors that influence the adoption of the new technology? Research hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between age, education and income level with the adoption of the new technology.
8. What is plural for hypothesis?
The plural of hypothesis is hypotheses. Here's an example of how it would be used in a statement, "Numerous well-considered hypotheses are presented in this part, and they are supported by tables and figures that are well-illustrated."
9. What is the red queen hypothesis?
The red queen hypothesis in evolutionary biology states that species must constantly evolve to avoid extinction because if they don't, they will be outcompeted by other species that are evolving. Leigh Van Valen first proposed it in 1973; since then, it has been tested and substantiated many times.
10. Who is known as the father of null hypothesis?
The father of the null hypothesis is Sir Ronald Fisher. He published a paper in 1925 that introduced the concept of null hypothesis testing, and he was also the first to use the term itself.
11. When to reject null hypothesis?
You need to find a significant difference between your two populations to reject the null hypothesis. You can determine that by running statistical tests such as an independent sample t-test or a dependent sample t-test. You should reject the null hypothesis if the p-value is less than 0.05.
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What Is A Research (Scientific) Hypothesis? A plain-language explainer + examples
By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020
If you’re new to the world of research, or it’s your first time writing a dissertation or thesis, you’re probably noticing that the words “research hypothesis” and “scientific hypothesis” are used quite a bit, and you’re wondering what they mean in a research context .
“Hypothesis” is one of those words that people use loosely, thinking they understand what it means. However, it has a very specific meaning within academic research. So, it’s important to understand the exact meaning before you start hypothesizing.
Research Hypothesis 101
- What is a hypothesis ?
- What is a research hypothesis (scientific hypothesis)?
- Requirements for a research hypothesis
- Definition of a research hypothesis
- The null hypothesis
What is a hypothesis?
Let’s start with the general definition of a hypothesis (not a research hypothesis or scientific hypothesis), according to the Cambridge Dictionary:
Hypothesis: an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved.
In other words, it’s a statement that provides an explanation for why or how something works, based on facts (or some reasonable assumptions), but that has not yet been specifically tested . For example, a hypothesis might look something like this:
Hypothesis: sleep impacts academic performance.
This statement predicts that academic performance will be influenced by the amount and/or quality of sleep a student engages in – sounds reasonable, right? It’s based on reasonable assumptions , underpinned by what we currently know about sleep and health (from the existing literature). So, loosely speaking, we could call it a hypothesis, at least by the dictionary definition.
But that’s not good enough…
Unfortunately, that’s not quite sophisticated enough to describe a research hypothesis (also sometimes called a scientific hypothesis), and it wouldn’t be acceptable in a dissertation, thesis or research paper. In the world of academic research, a statement needs a few more criteria to constitute a true research hypothesis .
What is a research hypothesis?
A research hypothesis (also called a scientific hypothesis) is a statement about the expected outcome of a study (for example, a dissertation or thesis). To constitute a quality hypothesis, the statement needs to have three attributes – specificity , clarity and testability .
Let’s take a look at these more closely.
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Hypothesis Essential #1: Specificity & Clarity
A good research hypothesis needs to be extremely clear and articulate about both what’ s being assessed (who or what variables are involved ) and the expected outcome (for example, a difference between groups, a relationship between variables, etc.).
Let’s stick with our sleepy students example and look at how this statement could be more specific and clear.
Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.
As you can see, the statement is very specific as it identifies the variables involved (sleep hours and test grades), the parties involved (two groups of students), as well as the predicted relationship type (a positive relationship). There’s no ambiguity or uncertainty about who or what is involved in the statement, and the expected outcome is clear.
Contrast that to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – and you can see the difference. “Sleep” and “academic performance” are both comparatively vague , and there’s no indication of what the expected relationship direction is (more sleep or less sleep). As you can see, specificity and clarity are key.
Hypothesis Essential #2: Testability (Provability)
A statement must be testable to qualify as a research hypothesis. In other words, there needs to be a way to prove (or disprove) the statement. If it’s not testable, it’s not a hypothesis – simple as that.
For example, consider the hypothesis we mentioned earlier:
Hypothesis: Students who sleep at least 8 hours per night will, on average, achieve higher grades in standardised tests than students who sleep less than 8 hours a night.
We could test this statement by undertaking a quantitative study involving two groups of students, one that gets 8 or more hours of sleep per night for a fixed period, and one that gets less. We could then compare the standardised test results for both groups to see if there’s a statistically significant difference.
Again, if you compare this to the original hypothesis we looked at – “Sleep impacts academic performance” – you can see that it would be quite difficult to test that statement, primarily because it isn’t specific enough. How much sleep? By who? What type of academic performance?
So, remember the mantra – if you can’t test it, it’s not a hypothesis 🙂
Defining A Research Hypothesis
You’re still with us? Great! Let’s recap and pin down a clear definition of a hypothesis.
A research hypothesis (or scientific hypothesis) is a statement about an expected relationship between variables, or explanation of an occurrence, that is clear, specific and testable.
So, when you write up hypotheses for your dissertation or thesis, make sure that they meet all these criteria. If you do, you’ll not only have rock-solid hypotheses but you’ll also ensure a clear focus for your entire research project.
What about the null hypothesis?
You may have also heard the terms null hypothesis , alternative hypothesis, or H-zero thrown around. At a simple level, the null hypothesis is the counter-proposal to the original hypothesis.
For example, if the hypothesis predicts that there is a relationship between two variables (for example, sleep and academic performance), the null hypothesis would predict that there is no relationship between those variables.
At a more technical level, the null hypothesis proposes that no statistical significance exists in a set of given observations and that any differences are due to chance alone.
And there you have it – hypotheses in a nutshell.
If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you. If you need hands-on help developing and testing your hypotheses, consider our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the research journey.
Psst… there’s more (for free)
This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.
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Very useful information. I benefit more from getting more information in this regard.
Very great insight,educative and informative. Please give meet deep critics on many research data of public international Law like human rights, environment, natural resources, law of the sea etc
In a book I read a distinction is made between null, research, and alternative hypothesis. As far as I understand, alternative and research hypotheses are the same. Can you please elaborate? Best Afshin
This is a self explanatory, easy going site. I will recommend this to my friends and colleagues.
Very good definition. How can I cite your definition in my thesis? Thank you. Is nul hypothesis compulsory in a research?
Please what is the difference between alternate hypothesis and research hypothesis?
It is a very good explanation. However, it limits hypotheses to statistically tasteable ideas. What about for qualitative researches or other researches that involve quantitative data that don’t need statistical tests?
In qualitative research, one typically uses propositions, not hypotheses.
could you please elaborate it more
I’ve benefited greatly from these notes, thank you.
This is very helpful
well articulated ideas are presented here, thank you for being reliable sources of information
- What Is Research Methodology? Simple Definition (With Examples) - Grad Coach - […] Contrasted to this, a quantitative methodology is typically used when the research aims and objectives are confirmatory in nature. For example,…
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The Importance of Nursing Research
Nursing research has a tremendous influence on current and future professional nursing practice, thus rendering it an essential component of the educational process. This article chronicles the learning experiences of two undergraduate nursing students who were provided with the opportunity to become team members in a study funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. The application process, the various learning opportunities and responsibilities performed by the students, and the benefits and outcomes of the experience are described. The authors hope that by sharing their learning experiences, more students will be given similar opportunities using the strategies presented in this article. Nursing research is critical to the nursing profession and is necessary for continuing advancements that promote optimal nursing care.
Throughout the 21st century, the role of nurse has evolved significantly. Nurses work in a variety of settings, including the hospital, the classroom, the community health department, the business sector, home health care, and the laboratory. Although each role carries different responsibilities, the primary goal of a professional nurse remains the same: to be the client's advocate and provide optimal care on the basis of evidence obtained through research.
Baccalaureate programs in the United States prepare students for entry-level nursing positions. The focus is to care for individuals throughout the human life span. Knowledge is acquired from textbooks, classroom and Web-based instruction, simulation, and clinical experiences. The goal of all programs is for students to graduate as safe, entry-level professionals, having received a well-rounded exposure to the nursing field. Students are exposed to evidence-based nursing practice throughout their curriculum; however, the allocated time for nursing research is often limited. Many programs require only one 3-credit hour course for nursing research. This amount of time is limited, despite the broad spectrum of nursing research and its influence on current and future nursing care.
Research is typically not among the traditional responsibilities of an entry-level nurse. Many nurses are involved in either direct patient care or administrative aspects of health care. Nursing research is a growing field in which individuals within the profession can contribute a variety of skills and experiences to the science of nursing care. There are frequent misconceptions as to what nursing research is. Some individuals do not even know how to begin to define nursing research. According to Polit and Beck (2006) , nursing research is:
systematic inquiry designed to develop knowledge about issues of importance to nurses, including nursing practice, nursing education, and nursing administration. (p. 4)
Nursing research is vital to the practice of professional nursing, and the importance of its inclusion during undergraduate instruction cannot be overemphasized. Only with exposure and experience can students begin to understand the concept and importance of nursing research.
The purpose of this article is to describe undergraduate students’ experiences of becoming aware of and participating in a federally funded research study from the National Institute of Nursing Research. As a part of funding for the study, which was an AREA award ( A cademic R esearch E nhancement A ward, R15 mechanism), there were designated opportunities for student involvement. The primary aim of the research study was to investigate the effects of gene-environment interactions on risk factors of preclinical cardiovascular disease in a cohort of 585 young adults who all had a positive family history of cardiovascular disease (i.e., essential hypertension or premature myocardial infarction at age 55 or younger in one or both biological parents or in one or more grandparents), verified in the medical record. Specific genes examined included cytochrome P-450, family 1, subfamily A, polypeptide 1; cytochrome P-450 2A; glutathione S-transferase mu 1; and glutathione S-transferase theta 1. Cardiovascular-dependent measures were diastolic blood pressure, endothelium-dependent arterial vasodilation, left ventricular mass indexed for body size, systolic blood pressure, and total peripheral resistance. The effects of ethnicity and gender were also explored.
The learning process began with the principal investigator (M.S.T.) of the study visiting the junior class (class of 2007) of baccalaureate students at the Medical College of Georgia. This particular student group was chosen due to their academic standing because they would have the chance to take full advantage of learning directly from a nurse researcher for one full year before graduation. The principal investigator briefly presented and discussed the growing field of nursing research, the advancements made by nursing research, and the critical role of nursing research to nursing practice. The principal investigator also presented an overview of the funded research study and extended an invitation to students to apply for two part-time positions on the grant that were designed specifically for nursing student involvement. Students recognized the excellent opportunity and were intrigued with the future possibilities. They understood this option was unique and appeared to be a great pathway for becoming an active participant in learning the nursing research process through involvement in an official nursing research study.
The principal investigator established objective criteria for the application process. The criteria included writing a maximum 1-page essay sharing the reasons why the students wanted to join the research project as a team member and also sharing their personal and professional goals for involvement in the study. Many students were interested; thus, it was a very competitive process. The principal investigator reviewed the essays and selected approximately 10 prospective individuals for an interview. The interview was an extension of the essay. At the interview, the principal investigator further described the positions, provided a detailed overview of the grant, and had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the student candidates. The students were encouraged to ask questions to further understand the expectations of the prospective opportunity. The interview also provided the students with increased exposure to the study's goal and more familiarization with the expectations of the funded positions.
After the interview process was completed, two individuals were selected, per the grant specifications. The selected individuals described the interview process as a positive experience that helped solidify their desire to become involved in the research study. The principal investigator emphasized that this job opportunity was designed to be a learning experience in which the students would be guided through the entire research study process and become members of a multidisciplinary team. Time responsibilities for each student included approximately 6 hours per week. The principal investigator communicated clearly that the nursing baccalaureate program was the first priority for the students, and thus provided a flexible work schedule.
Research Study Experience
The students began working in early april 2006. The first step in the work experience included 6 weeks of funded orientation. This was their first exposure to the research process; thus, it was important for the students to be provided with a strong foundation. Orientation included attending a team meeting and being introduced to the members of the multidisciplinary team (i.e., biostatistician, cardiologist, geneticists, nurse researcher, and psychologist, all of whom served as co-investigators, and the genetic laboratory personnel); reviewing the grant application; completing the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) (2000) ; completing the Roche educational program on genetics; and touring the worksite facilities. Reviewing the grant gave the students a better understanding of the specific aims and objectives of the study and the intended procedures of the genetic laboratory work in which the students would be involved. The complexity of the grant required the principal investigator to further explain and clarify specific details. The CITI training, which is required by the institution's Office of Human Research Protection, was completed online and took approximately 5.5 hours. The CITI program was presented in a tutorial format, and satisfactory completion of numerous quizzes was required. The task was tedious and time consuming, but valuable and essential, as it increased the awareness of the established codes of conduct for research. At the conclusion of the CITI training, the students understood the necessary policies and procedures for maintaining security and confidentiality of human subjects, the legal and ethical issues regarding the research process, and the essential procedures for research conduct.
Although the students had a basic understanding of genetics, they completed the Roche Genetics Education Program (2004) to gain a deeper understanding. The program was direct and easy to navigate and was excellent for all learning styles, as it contained both visual and auditory explanations. The explanations covered both basic and complex genetic concepts. Through the use of the genetics program, the students were able to comprehend abstract genetic details and to further understand the importance and influence of genetics on personal health. To conclude the orientation process, students were taught basic laboratory procedures, such as polymerase chain reaction and restrictive enzyme digestion, which were used to perform genotyping for the study. After these procedures had been observed several times, the students were given the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience with these laboratory techniques. Each of these components of the orientation process provided the students with the needed foundation for becoming involved in the research study.
After approximately 2 months of orientation, the students were ready to begin working in the genetics laboratory. One of the primary responsibilities of the students would be to further learn and become confident with genotyping techniques. The laboratory was shared among research personnel of several funded studies, with various research experiments being conducted concurrently. The students, under the supervision of the principal investigator and geneticist (H.Z.), also worked with experienced research assistants to perform the genotyping. The students maintained a daily log describing the laboratory genotyping procedures and experiments, and these logs were reviewed at team meetings. Although the actual procedure for polymerase chain reaction seemed straightforward, the students quickly learned that quality control must be used. Sometimes during genotyping, the DNA samples did not produce results. The students discovered that there are numerous contributing factors to successful polymerase chain reaction, such as quality of DNA templates, primer specifications, temperature settings, gel conditions, pipette measuring accuracy, and general laboratory techniques. Even the slightest error could result in permanent DNA sample loss, major experiment failure, or DNA sample contamination.
The students met with the research team members frequently to discuss and troubleshoot potential solutions and problem solve techniques that would foster improving the success rate and productivity of the genotyping. From the laboratory experience, the students learned that every detail must be considered and addressed precisely and meticulously when conducting experiments. Sometimes the process became frustrating, but the students soon discovered that patience and persistence were the most important attributes for a laboratory researcher to possess. The laboratory experience was an excellent hands-on learning opportunity. The students no longer viewed research as strictly information gathered from a journal or textbook, but rather as a physical act that required extreme concentration, dedication, and determination.
After spending numerous months in the laboratory performing the required genotyping, the students had the opportunity to be exposed to another role of a nurse researcher. They performed literature reviews regarding the study. Although the students had written papers in their nursing school program that required literature citations, they were not familiar with all of the library resources available to them. In no time, the students learned which library and online resources had the most validity and what would be the most relevant to their study. The literature search results provided the students and principal investigator with information on new studies that had been conducted on gene-environment interactions regarding tobacco smoke exposure and cardiovascular disease. From the literature review experience, the students learned the importance of being selective and time efficient. Often when a search was first begun, thousands of articles were listed, but the students learned the importance of narrowing the searches to the specific areas of focus. After the students completed their searches, they met with the principal investigator, who provided direction on the articles identified as the most relevant to the study.
The students continued working with the principal investigator during data review, analysis, and preparation of dissemination of the results (i.e., the publishing process). They helped to prepare an abstract submission of the study presented at an international meeting ( Tingen et al., 2007 ). They also helped with the preparation of manuscripts of the study results. By the conclusion of their work experience, the students will have been exposed to and participated in the entire research process.
Benefits and Outcomes
From the students’ perspectives, this opportunity was extremely beneficial. Prior to this experience, the students were not familiar with nursing research. Their original perception of research was that it was conducted by people with chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and genetic degrees in laboratories at major universities. They now realize that nursing and research can be combined and that optimal nursing care is dependent on the latest research findings. In addition, the students believe this opportunity has been beneficial in learning that nurse researchers are valuable to nurses in other settings. For example, one of the long-term goals of this research study is to develop appropriate interventions for children who are more susceptible to and at risk for the harmful effects of tobacco smoke due to their genetic heritage. The information obtained by a nurse researcher can be disseminated to nurses who work directly with the individuals to whom the research applies. Practice that has shown to be effective through research allows nurses to better advocate for patients and provide the best possible care. Although the majority of nurses who provide patient care will be consumers of nursing research, implementing evidence-based nursing practice is crucial to provide optimal nursing care. Information from nursing research has the potential to directly impact the care provided to patients in all health care settings.
Now that the students have had the opportunity to become more familiar with nursing research through involvement as team members, they recognize that their future professional possibilities are endless. Nursing research is an emerging and growing field in which individuals can apply their nursing education to discover new advancements that promote evidence-based care. They learned the research process and the important roles that each team member plays during the study phases of conception, design, implementation, analysis, and dissemination. Each aspect of the research process is important and contributes to the overall success of the study.
The students also discovered the benefit of trying new things. Prior to this experience, they had little exposure to the research process and nursing research. Consequently, they had to be receptive to learning and recognize that acquiring new knowledge was a gradual process. At times, the students felt anxious because all aspects were new, but they realized that without trying, they would never advance and feel comfortable with the research process. As the students reflected, they thought this was an excellent growing experience professionally, scholastically, and personally. In addition, this opportunity benefited the students’ peers through discussions and their sharing of work responsibilities, the research process, and the importance of evidence-based practice. As future nurses, the students are strong proponents of nursing research, and this experience has also broadened their horizons regarding future professional growth and opportunities. In addition, they have a better understanding of the importance of scientific evidence to support their clinical practice. As a result, the students thought that a stronger emphasis should be placed on nursing research in undergraduate baccalaureate education and that more students should have the opportunity to participate as team members in nursing research studies.
The students were almost one full year into nursing school and thought they had learned about all of the possibilities for their futures when they were first presented with this learning opportunity. They knew their future options were numerous and included working in acute care and community settings. They also realized they could further their education and pursue graduate degrees to include a master's degree and become an administrator, educator, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, or nurse practitioner, or potentially pursue a doctorate. They did not know there was an emerging and growing field in which their nursing education could be applied and furthered—the area of research and the role of becoming a nurse researcher. Prior to this experience, students perceived their possibilities for a professional career in nursing were tremendous. Now by being involved in the entire process of conducting a federally funded research study, they realized their future professional possibilities are limitless.
The authors of this paper hope that by sharing their experience, they will encourage both nursing faculty and nursing students to not only introduce the research process into the nursing curriculum, but also to consider making nursing research a tangible and more integrated process. They think that a more beneficial approach to the introduction of research may be achieved through incorporating research-related content into each nursing course throughout the educational process. This could be conducted in addition to the current curriculum plan of many schools of nursing that require a single and concentrated 3-hour research course with a goal of research becoming a positive experience for students that is enthusiastically received as a new learning opportunity. In addition, students who are involved as team members in a funded research study may be provided with scheduled classroom opportunities for making progress reports to their peers. Also, the students could field questions regarding the research project and their experiences. These activities may foster increased learning and interest about research among the students’ classmates.
As nursing students are the future members of the nursing profession, and for the profession to continue to advance, nursing research must be the foundation of comprehensive, evidence-based clinical practice. This may only occur with increased exposure to nursing research. Therefore, it is critical that the future members of the nursing profession be exposed to, develop an appreciation for, and become more involved in nursing research, and thus incorporate its outcomes into the delivery of optimal professional nursing practice.
The lead author was awarded a grant (NR008871) from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research.
- Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative [April 14, 2006]; Office of Human Research Protection. The Medical College of Georgia. 2000 from http://www.mcg.edu/Research/ohrp/training/citi.html .
- Polit DF, Beck CT. Essentials of nursing research: Methods, appraisal, and utilization. 6th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Philadelphia: 2006. [ Google Scholar ]
- Roche Genetics Education Program [May 10, 2006]; Education. 2004 from http://www.roche.com/research_and_development_r_d_overview/education.htm .
- Tingen MS, Ludwig DA, Dong Y, Zhu H, Andrews JO, Burnett AH, et al. Tobacco smoke exposure and genetics: Youth at risk for cardiovascular disease.. Proceedings of the 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.2007. p. 39. [ Google Scholar ]
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Prescribe Evidence-Based Practice
What is evidence-based medicine.
“ Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients" (Sackett et al., 1996, p. 71). Also called evidence-based practice, EBM incorporates the practitioner's expertise and clinical judgement with relevant scientific evidence to honor patients' values and preferences in recommending treatment.
Sackett, D. L., Rosenberg, W. M., Gray, J. A., Haynes, R. B., & Richardson, W. S. (1996). Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) , 312 (7023), 71–72. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2349778/
Climb Dartmouth's Evidence Pyramid
- Original Pyramid
- Level Explainer
Dartmouth's Evidence Pyramid provides a way to visualize both the quality of evidence and the amount of evidence available. For example, systematic reviews are at the top of the pyramid, meaning they are both the highest level of evidence and the least common. As you go down the pyramid, the amount of evidence will increase as the quality of the evidence decreases. Image credit: EBM Pyramid by Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University.
Here's another take on the evidence pyramid indicating primary vs. secondary sources and explaining each level.
Recognize Data Collection Techniques & Tools
Techniques or tools used for gathering research data include:
Differentiate Between Research Methods
Research methods are the strategies, processes or techniques utilized in the collection of data or evidence for analysis in order to uncover new information or create better understanding of a topic. There are different types of research methods which use different tools for data collection.
Gathers data about lived experiences, emotions or behaviors, and the meanings individuals attach to them. It assists in enabling researchers to gain a better understanding of complex concepts, social interactions or cultural phenomena. This type of research is useful in the exploration of how or why things have occurred, interpreting events and describing actions.
Qualitative research refers to any research based on something that is impossible to accurately and precisely measure. It uses methods such as interviews, open-ended questions, participant observations, case studies, focus groups, etc. to identify patterns, themes, and features. These factors cannot easily be reduced to numbers. Qualitative research is common in the social sciences.
Gathers numerical data which can be ranked, measured or categorized through statistical analysis. It assists with uncovering patterns or relationships, and for making generalizations. This type of research is useful for finding out how many, how much, how often, or to what extent. This research based on something that can be accurately and precisely measured might also be referred to as "empirical research."
Pro tip: Statistical analysis in an article usually indicates quantitative research. Check the articles you find to see if some sort of numerical measuring and statistical analysis is present along with the characteristics listed below.
- Introduction with a statement of background or purpose (what was being studied and why). May review prior studies on the same topic.
- Description of the design and/or method of the study (the experimental group or sample, control, variables, number of test subjects, test conditions, etc.)
- Results , or report of the findings (in numeric form as tables, charts, or graphs, etc., often with statistical analysis)
- Conclusions that can be drawn from the results (may be labeled discussion or significance)
- Footnotes and/or a bibliography
Mixed Methods Research
Integrates both Qualitative and Quantitative Research. It provides a holistic approach combining and analyzing the statistical data with deeper contextualized insights. Using Mixed Methods also enables Triangulation, or verification, of the data from two or more sources.
Finding Mixed Methods research in the Databases
"mixed model*" OR "mixed design*" OR "multiple method*" OR multimethod* OR triangulat*
- PubMed - there are no suitable MeSH terms for mixed methods research in Medline. Search your topic with the following suggested free text keywords using the quotation marks and truncation symbol*:
- CINAHL - the following Subject Headings may be of use: Multimethod Studies or Triangulation. You can also include in your search the following free text keywords: mixed model*, mixed design*, multiple method*, multimethod*, or triangulat*.
Usually focuses on a single, well-defined research question and seeks to comprehensively gather all existing studies that address this research question.
Takes the results of several existing quantitative studies and analyzes them in a new way. Meta-analysis looks for previously unnoticed patterns or trends among existing study results or seeks to pull out new data from them. Meta-analysis is usually considered another form of quantitative research.
Also known as a review article, is an article whose sole purpose is to provide an overview of previous important research on a particular topic. Although valuable to researchers, literature reviews are not considered primary research. However, they can help you identify research trends and major articles published on a topic. No new study is conducted in a true literature review.
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Potential Bias in Medical Research
Readers of medical research studies should be aware of the potential for bias and should critically evaluate the study design and methodology before drawing any conclusions from the results.
Bias in medical research studies can occur at any stage of the research process, from the design of the study to the interpretation of the results. It can arise from a variety of factors, including the researchers' own beliefs and expectations, the way the study is conducted, and the characteristics of the study participants.
Here are some of the most common types of bias in medical research studies:
- Selection bias: This occurs when the study participants are not representative of the population of interest. For example, a study that only includes people who are willing to participate may not accurately reflect the experiences of the general population.
- Information bias: This occurs when there are errors in the measurement of the exposure or outcome of interest. For example, if researchers are not blinded to the treatment assignment, they may subconsciously collect or interpret data in a way that favors their preferred treatment.
- Performance bias: This occurs when there are differences in the way that the treatment or intervention is delivered to different groups of participants. For example, if researchers are aware of the treatment assignment, they may provide more intensive care to the group receiving the new treatment.
- Attrition bias: This occurs when participants drop out of the study before it is completed. If the dropouts are not representative of the participants who remain in the study, the results may be biased.
- Reporting bias: This occurs when researchers selectively publish or report the results of their studies. For example, researchers may be more likely to publish studies with positive results, which can give the impression that the treatment or intervention is more effective than it actually is.
Bias can have a significant impact on the results of medical research studies. It can lead to overestimates or underestimates of the true effect of a treatment or intervention, and it can make it difficult to compare the results of different studies.
Here are some things that researchers can do to reduce bias in their studies:
- Use randomization to assign participants to treatment groups.
- Blind researchers to the treatment assignment.
- Use standardized methods for collecting and measuring data.
- Track and report all dropouts.
- Publish all results, regardless of their statistical significance.
Understand Statistical Significance
Tenny & Abdelgawad (2022) explain statistical significance in medical research in their peer-reviewed article. Statistical significance tells us how likely it is that a study's findings are true, considering the acceptable level of uncertainty. Breaking down a study's design helps us grasp this concept better. Read their work to fully understand the importance of a study's statistical claims.
Tenny, S., & Abdelgawad, I. (2022). Statistical significance. In StatPearls . StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459346/
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Chapter 4 NURSING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • Define the key terms/concepts • Define nursing research • Explain the importance of research in nursing • Compare the various ways to acquire knowledge • Understand the basic differences between qualitative and quantitative approaches in research • Outline the steps in conducting research • Describe the way research, education and practice relate to each other • Identify the importance of critical thinking and critical reading when undertaking a research project • Discuss the importance of informed consent and ethics in relation to research • Define evidence-based practice • Explain how Enrolled Nurses (ENs) can participate in nursing research • Identify future trends in nursing research KEY TERMS/CONCEPTS data analysis data collection ethical principles hypothesis informed consent nursing research qualitative research quantitative research reliability research design research problem research question validity variables CHAPTER FOCUS Nursing theory and education are recognised as the main contributors to the development of an accountable and professional nurse in the health care environment. Research is also recognised by health care professionals as being equally important in influencing practice by informing decisions about the delivery of care to clients and their families. Today’s evidence-based nursing practice integrates education, theory, practice and the findings from research to provide quality health care. Nurses are also acknowledging the need to develop skills in critically appraising research literature to enable consideration of its application to clinical practice (Beanland et al 2004). The purpose of this chapter is to enable Enrolled Nurses (ENs) to develop an appreciation of the significance of research to them as nurse practitioners. It introduces the principles of nursing research, basic components of a research proposal, guidelines to critiquing a research article, and an overview of both qualitative and quantitative research. LIVED EXPERIENCE I always thought that research was something that academics did working in universities or laboratories. But I got excited when we started learning about evidence-based research in class, as I can now see how to use it in the clinical area and I also know that I will be giving the very latest nursing care to clients in my care. Melissa, Enrolled Nurse student NURSING RESEARCH The term ‘research’ refers to a systematic way of studying or examining issues so that the knowledge about that issue is validated. It requires an understanding of the existing knowledge about the issue so that new knowledge can be developed. There are many words and terms specifically related to research referred to in this chapter, which are covered in Table 4.1 (later in the chapter). TABLE 4.1 Common research terms Bias Any influence that may alter the outcomes of a research study Clinical nursing research Nursing research that has a direct impact on nursing interventions with clients Data Measurable bits of information collected for the purpose of analysis Data collection Gathering of information necessary to address the research problem Deductive reasoning Logical system of thinking that starts with the whole and breaks it down into its component parts Dependent variable A variable that is affected by the action of the independent variable Ethics committee Committee responsible for review of research proposals to ensure that human subjects are protected from harm Hypothesis Statement of a predicted relationship or difference between two or more variables. A hypothesis contains at least one independent and one dependent variable Independent variable A variable that causes a change in the dependent variable Inductive reasoning Logical system of thinking that begins with the component parts and builds them into a whole Informed consent An agreement by a research subject to participate voluntarily in a study after being fully informed about the study and the risks and benefits of participation Instrument Device or technique used to collect data in a research study, e.g., questionnaires or interviews Literature review A critical summary of available theoretical and research literature on the selected research topic. It places the research problem for a particular study in the context of what is currently known about the topic Nursing research Research usually conducted by nurses to generate knowledge that informs and develops the discipline and practice of nursing Population All known subjects that possess a common characteristic of interest to a researcher Problem statement A statement that describes the purpose of a research study, identifies key concepts and sets study limits Qualitative research Used to examine subjective human experiences by using non-statistical methods of analysis Quantitative research The systematic process used to gather and statistically analyse information that has been measured by an instrument and converted to numerical data Reliability Characteristic of a good instrument; the assessed degree of consistency and dependability Research A systematic process using both inductive and deductive reasoning to confirm and refine existing knowledge and to build new knowledge Research design The overall plan for collecting data in a research study Research process An orderly series of phrases identifying steps that allow the researcher to move from asking a question to finding an answer Research question Use of an interrogative format to identify the variables to be studied and possible relationships or differences between those variables Sample A subset of a population selected to participate in a research study Validity A characteristic of a good instrument; the extent of an instrument’s ability to measure what it states it will measure Variable A concept, characteristic or trait that varies within an identified population in a research study ( Borbasi et al 2008 ) Nursing research involves a systematic search for and validation of knowledge about issues important to the nursing profession and links theory, education and practice. Nursing research is important for: • Validating nursing as a profession • Documenting the effectiveness of nursing interventions • Providing a scientific knowledge base for practice • Demonstrating accountability for the profession. Research-based or evidence-based practice is essential if the nursing profession is to deliver safe, effective and efficient care. The ultimate goal of nursing is to provide evidence-based care that promotes quality outcomes for clients, families, health care providers and the health care system. Burns and Grove (2004) describe evidence-based practice as involving the use of collective research findings in: • Promoting the understanding of clients’ and families’ experiences with health and illness • Implementing effective nursing interventions to promote client health • Providing quality, cost-effective care within the health care system. EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE Evidence-based nursing is a clinical activity based on the belief that decisions about the delivery of care to clients should be informed by the best available and current scientific evidence (Beanland et al 2004). Another definition of evidence-based practice is that it is a process within which clinical decisions are made by practitioners using the best available research evidence, their clinical expertise and client preferences, with consideration also of available and finite resources (Schneider et al 2007). The five steps universally accepted as being necessary for evidence-based practice are presented in Clinical Interest Box 4.1. Clinical Interest Box 4.2 explains evidence-based practice. CLINICAL INTEREST BOX 4.1 Steps in evidence-based practice 1. Ask a focused question. 2. Assess appropriate evidence. 3. Appraise evidence for validity, impact and precision. 4. Apply evidence accounting for patient values/preferences, clinical and policy issues. 5. Audit your practice/personal skills. (Source: Jackson et al 2006; Sackett et al 2000 as modified in Schneider et al 2007: 305) CLINICAL INTEREST BOX 4.2 Evidence-Based Practice What Is Evidence-Based Practice? A process of: • synthesising research evidence • designing clinical practice guidelines • implementing practice changes • evaluating outcomes Why Do We Need Evidence-Based Practice? • Rapid increase in amount of information • Rapid increase in healthcare costs • Determination of efficient and effective healthcare practices • Increased emphasis on performance and outcome standards Where Is Evidence Found? • Published research • Systematic reviews (e.g. Cochrane Collaboration; available: www.cochrane.org/ ) * • Special collections of EBP resources (e.g. The Joanna Briggs Institute; available: www.joannabriggs.edu.au ) * Descriptions can be found at this website, but access to systematic reviews is by subscription only. (Brown et al 2008: 13) THE EVOLUTION OF NURSING RESEARCH As early as 1854, Florence Nightingale demonstrated the importance of research in the delivery of nursing care. When Nightingale arrived in the Crimea in 1854, she found the military hospital barracks overcrowded, filthy and lacking in food, drugs and essential medical supplies. Men were dying from starvation and diseases such as cholera and typhus because of these conditions. By systematically collecting, organising and reporting data, Nightingale was able to implement sanitary reforms and prove a significant reduction in mortality rates. This is considered to be the first nursing research study (Kozier et al 2007). Research was slow to develop in nursing, with little formal research carried out by nurses until the late 1940s. Nursing schools evolved from military and religious roots and stressed order and obedience. Training was viewed as an apprenticeship, with long hours, and nurses had little say in their own training or work. Only when nursing began to move towards advanced education and affiliation with university settings did nursing research begin to emerge. This move began in the USA. In the 1960s and 1970s the number of nurses with advanced degrees and research skills increased and the push for doctoral preparation in nursing began. Nurses began to turn to nursing care and clinical practice to provide questions for research. Nursing theories evolved that attempted to describe and explain the practice of nursing and these theories began to be tested by nurse researchers. Practice-related research flourished and by the end of the 1970s two new research journals were launched in the USA to handle the nursing research explosion (Borbasi et al 2004). In Australia and New Zealand, nursing research awareness remained relatively low until nursing moved into the tertiary education sector in the 1970s and 1980s. This move was accompanied by a major increase in the level of research activity, which was directed at educational, disciplinary or professional issues, and research into other disciplinary areas of relevance to nursing. It is only recently that research education delivered to nurses in Australia and New Zealand has begun to prepare nurses to understand the relationship between research evidence and nursing practice, and how to go about incorporating research findings into practice (Crisp & Taylor 2005). Some ideas that have been tested and demonstrated to be useful in practice are: moist wound healing; pressure-relieving devices for the prevention of pressure ulcers; client information to improve self care and healthy lifestyles; communication with people who are dying; and nutritional support of older people in hospital (Brown et al 2008). THE FUTURE OF NURSING RESEARCH The value of research studies that increase understanding of clinical phenomena and provide direction for defining programs of research is well recognised and flourishing in Australia and New Zealand. Nurse researchers and nurse leaders are visibly involved at the national level, participating in policy making, representing nursing on expert panels and organisations such as the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and lobbying for funding (Beanland et al 2004). Magnet Hospitals are emerging in both Australia and New Zealand. The concept of a ‘Magnet Hospital’ is to develop and sustain an environment where nursing- and midwifery-related evidence-based practice and practice change are more likely to occur. Magnet Hospitals aim to provide a commitment to staff development and training, effective systems for implementing and evaluating quality-based treatment and care, and sustainable long term resourcing (Schneider et al 2007). Borbasi et al (2004) state that, with the development of a national organisation for nursing research, research priorities in the 21st century are likely to be directed at nursing practice and that there will be an increased emphasis on building on the results of completed studies. They also believe that there will also be a greater emphasis on finding ways to utilise the results of nursing research in the course of day-to-day practice. RESEARCH METHODS Nursing research focuses on the full range of human experiences and responses and is directed towards helping well individuals improve their health status and stay healthy, as well as assisting clients who are sick or disabled by an illness to maintain or improve their health (Crisp & Taylor 2005). The major factor that affects whether a nursing researcher uses systematic, controlled methods for studying events or problems is the extent to which he or she wishes to study the way that characteristics or variables (see Table 4.1) are different, or the way that one variable is predictive of (causally associated with) another. These studies are well organised and follow a specific procedure to enable other researchers to reproduce the study or examine the evidence and achieve the same outcomes. To guide the design of a research study, nurse researchers may create a hypothesis or statement about what they expect to see before conducting the study (Crisp & Taylor 2005). Nurse researchers use many methods because nurses are interested in acquiring knowledge about a wide range of human needs and responses to health problems. For example, a different research method may be used by a nursing researcher interested in developing a deeper understanding of a phenomenon and how it may be experienced by clients, such as helping women deal with the consequences of incontinence after childbirth. Most methods used are either quantitative or qualitative in nature (Crisp & Taylor 2005). QUANTITATIVE METHODS Quantitative research methods involve the use of numbers and statistical analysis. This is a process used to gather and analyse information that has been measured by an ‘instrument’, such as a questionnaire, and converted to numerical data. Quantitative nursing research is the investigation of nursing phenomena that lend themselves to a precise measurement, such as pain severity, rate of wound healing, etc (Crisp & Taylor 2005). Box 4.1 describes different ways of using quantitative methods. Box 4.1 Types of research that use quantitative methods CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH Studies that explore the patterns of interrelationships among variables of interest, without any active intervention by the researcher. Correlational methods are used in testing predictive relationships among variables, for testing models or theories that seek to explain complex patterns of relationships, and for testing the most effective and efficient means of achieving positive health outcomes. DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH Studies in which the aim is to accurately portray characteristics of individuals, situations or groups and the frequency with which certain events or characteristics occur. The major goal of this form of research is simply to describe what is seen in order to identify variables that may be of interest in future investigations. EXPERIMENTAL OR QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Studies in which the investigator controls the independent variable and randomly assigns subjects to different conditions. The major goal of this research is to determine causal relationships among the variables through a controlled investigation in which only the independent variable can be the cause of changes in the dependent variable. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Studies designed to develop or refine the dimensions of phenomena or to develop or refine a hypothesis about the relationships among phenomena. The major goal of this research is to explore what is seen in order to identify relationships among variables that might be of interest in future investigations. EVALUATION RESEARCH Studies that test how well a program, practice or policy is working. The major goal of this form of research is determining the success of a program. This type of research can determine specifically why a program was successful. When programs are unsuccessful, evaluation research can assist in identifying problems with the program, why it was not successful or even barriers to implementation of programs. SURVEY RESEARCH Studies designed to obtain information from populations regarding prevalence, distribution and interrelation of variables within the study population. They may be conducted for the general purposes of obtaining information about practices, opinions, attitudes and other characteristics of individuals. The major goal of this form of research is simple description or the accumulation of a large amount of data to describe the population being studied, as well as the topic of study. ( Crisp & Taylor 2005 ) In quantitative research, the researcher changes one set of variables and observes the outcome or its influence on other variables. Variables are changeable qualities, such as characteristics of people or situations that can change or vary for many reasons. Temperature, pulse, respiration, blood pressure, height and weight are examples of variables. The variable that the researcher controls or manipulates is called the independent variable. The variable that varies or changes because of this is called the dependent variable. For example, consider the statement: ‘Sitting upright in bed does not make breathing easy in a client with asthma’. The independent variable relates to sitting the client in different positions, such as lying flat, semi-recumbent, lateral and upright positions. This is the variable the researcher can manipulate to study its influence on the dependent variable. The dependent variable is the measurement of breathing. QUALITATIVE METHODS Qualitative research is used to describe information obtained in a non-numerical form, such as data obtained from interviews. Qualitative nursing research is the investigation of phenomena that are not easily quantified or categorised, in which inductive reasoning is used to develop generalisations or theories from specific observations or interviews (Crisp & Taylor 2005). See Box 4.2 for the different ways of using qualitative methods. Box 4.2 Types of research that use qualitative methods ( Crisp & Taylor 2005 ) ACTION RESEARCH Studies that attempt to make qualitative research more humanistic, holistic and relevant to the lives of human beings. The major goal of this research is working in collaboration with participants in a manner that brings about desired change(s). CRITICAL SOCIAL RESEARCH Studies that empower individuals involved in this research by attempting to confront unjust power structures within a specific context or society. The major goal of this research is the challenging of dominant constructions of reality and the societal structures that maintain the status quo and determine allocation of power and resources. DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH Studies in which the objective is to accurately portray characteristics of individuals, situations or groups and the frequency with which certain events or characteristics occur. The major goal of this research is to describe what is seen in order to detect phenomena that might be of interest in future research. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH Studies designed to develop or refine the dimensions of phenomena or to develop or refine a hypothesis about the relationships among phenomena. The major goal of this research is to explore what is seen in order to identify relationships among phenomena that might be of interest in future research. HISTORICAL RESEARCH Systematic studies designed to establish facts and relationships concerning past events. The major goal of this research may be either a descriptive account of what occurred and the facts surrounding the event(s), or a critical approach may be taken in which the researchers challenge the dominant interpretations of facts. INTERPRETATIVE RESEARCH Studies in which human experience is investigated to generate deeper understanding of the phenomena of interest. The major goal of this research is the exploration of the numerous ways human beings experience the complex world in which they live. Qualitative researchers may wish to examine individual lives and their stories and behaviour, organisations and their functioning, or cultures and their interactions and social movement. As the study methodology embraces the examination of subjective phenomena, these findings are only considered to be representative of a particular person or group of people, and in a particular setting, and not reflective of other people or other settings (Borbasi et al 2004). There are strengths in both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative approach can support a theory or argue to disprove it, and can be very useful, for example, when hospitals or governments want to introduce policy changes. The qualitative approach, by contrast, has a human focus and allows researchers to know their subjects and collect information about attitudes and satisfaction levels that are vital to improve care provided by nurses. THE RESEARCH PROCESS There are several steps in conducting either quantitative or qualitative research. STEP 1. THE RESEARCH PROBLEM The research problem is refined through a process that proceeds from identifying a general idea of interest to defining a specific topic. A preliminary literature review reveals related factors that appear critical to the research topic. The significance of the research problem must be identified in terms of its potential contribution to clients, nurses and the medical community (Beanland et al 2004). Choosing the topic of interest may develop from: • Discussing an issue of common interest with a colleague • Reading about an issue in a journal, text or newspaper • An aspect of practice being introduced for the first time • An aspect of practice that may have been observed but needs to be validated • Areas of work that may need to change • Wanting to repeat a study that has already been conducted, to check the results. STEP 2. THE PURPOSE The purpose of the study states the aims or goals that the investigator hopes to achieve with the research. It also suggests the way in which the researcher sought to study the problem. STEP 3. LITERATURE REVIEW The overall purpose of conducting a review of the literature is to develop a strong knowledge base to carry out research and other consumer research activities in the educational and clinical practice settings. It is a broad, comprehensive, in-depth, systematic and critical review of scholarly publications, unpublished scholarly print materials, audiovisual materials and personal communications (Beanland et al 2004). The literature review provides a way of checking what has already been studied in relation to the proposed study. It can also provide an understanding of the procedures, methods of analysis and variables that can influence the study (see Box 4.3). Box 4.3 Overall purpose of a literature review • Determines what is known and not known about a subject, concept or problem. • Determines gaps, consistencies and inconsistencies in the literature about a subject, concept or problem. • Discovers unanswered questions about a subject, concept or problem. • Discovers conceptual traditions used to examine problems. • Uncovers a new practice intervention(s) or provides evidence for current practice intervention(s). • Generates useful research questions and hypotheses for the discipline. • Describes the strengths and weaknesses of designs or methods of enquiry and instruments used in earlier works. • Determines an appropriate research design or method (instruments, data collection and analysis methods) for answering the research question(s). • Determines the need for replication of a well-designed study or refinement of a study. • Promotes development of new or revised practice protocols, policies and projects or activities related to nursing practice and to the discipline. ( Schneider et al 2007 ) How to search successfully for information To conduct a successful search for information about a particular subject, the researcher needs to define the topic of interest, select appropriate search resources and selectively review and evaluate the materials produced by a search (Borbasi et al 2004). A search is conducted using indexes, abstracts and catalogues to find information about specific subjects. Books tend to give standard accepted information and practices. They provide good baseline data on a subject. Journals, however, provide more current information than books. They report changing trends and practices. Several electronic indexes are used for nursing journals (Box 4.4), including the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Index Medicus (a comprehensive index of peer-reviewed medical journals compiled by the US National Library of Medicine) and its online counterpart, MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System [MEDLARS] online). Each index has a primary area of focus and advantages and limits. Electronic databases operate with a special vocabulary. However, the computer helps the researcher to define the preferred terms to use in a search. It is important to make the search as precise as possible; if there are several key terms, they should be used. Other limits such as gender, age and/or time factors, should also be set. Ask for assistance from the librarian if there is difficulty finding information. Many professional information sources are also available on the internet, where there is access to a wide variety of databases, client and nursing education resources, as well as some nursing journals (see Online Resources at the end of this chapter). Box 4.4 Examples of nursing research journals • Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing
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Research Hypothesis: What It Is, Types + How to Develop?
A research study starts with a question. Researchers worldwide ask questions and create research hypotheses. The effectiveness of research relies on developing a good research hypothesis. Examples of research hypotheses can guide researchers in writing effective ones.
In this blog, we’ll learn what a research hypothesis is, why it’s important in research, and the different types used in science. We’ll also guide you through creating your research hypothesis and discussing ways to test and evaluate it.
What is a Research Hypothesis?
A hypothesis is like a guess or idea that you suggest to check if it’s true. A research hypothesis is a statement that brings up a question and predicts what might happen.
It’s really important in the scientific method and is used in experiments to figure things out. Essentially, it’s an educated guess about how things are connected in the research.
A research hypothesis usually includes pointing out the independent variable (the thing they’re changing or studying) and the dependent variable (the result they’re measuring or watching). It helps plan how to gather and analyze data to see if there’s evidence to support or deny the expected connection between these variables.
Importance of Hypothesis in Research
Hypotheses are really important in research. They help design studies, allow for practical testing, and add to our scientific knowledge. Their main role is to organize research projects, making them purposeful, focused, and valuable to the scientific community. Let’s look at some key reasons why they matter:
- A research hypothesis helps test theories.
A hypothesis plays a pivotal role in the scientific method by providing a basis for testing existing theories. For example, a hypothesis might test the predictive power of a psychological theory on human behavior.
- It serves as a great platform for investigation activities.
It serves as a launching pad for investigation activities, which offers researchers a clear starting point. A research hypothesis can explore the relationship between exercise and stress reduction.
- Hypothesis guides the research work or study.
A well-formulated hypothesis guides the entire research process. It ensures that the study remains focused and purposeful. For instance, a hypothesis about the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships provides clear guidance for a study.
- Hypothesis sometimes suggests theories.
In some cases, a hypothesis can suggest new theories or modifications to existing ones. For example, a hypothesis testing the effectiveness of a new drug might prompt a reconsideration of current medical theories.
- It helps in knowing the data needs.
A hypothesis clarifies the data requirements for a study, ensuring that researchers collect the necessary information—a hypothesis guiding the collection of demographic data to analyze the influence of age on a particular phenomenon.
- The hypothesis explains social phenomena.
Hypotheses are instrumental in explaining complex social phenomena. For instance, a hypothesis might explore the relationship between economic factors and crime rates in a given community.
- Hypothesis provides a relationship between phenomena for empirical Testing.
Hypotheses establish clear relationships between phenomena, paving the way for empirical testing. An example could be a hypothesis exploring the correlation between sleep patterns and academic performance.
- It helps in knowing the most suitable analysis technique.
A hypothesis guides researchers in selecting the most appropriate analysis techniques for their data. For example, a hypothesis focusing on the effectiveness of a teaching method may lead to the choice of statistical analyses best suited for educational research.
Characteristics of a Good Research Hypothesis
A hypothesis is a specific idea that you can test in a study. It often comes from looking at past research and theories. A good hypothesis usually starts with a research question that you can explore through background research. For it to be effective, consider these key characteristics:
- Clear and Focused Language: A good hypothesis uses clear and focused language to avoid confusion and ensure everyone understands it.
- Related to the Research Topic: The hypothesis should directly relate to the research topic, acting as a bridge between the specific question and the broader study.
- Testable: An effective hypothesis can be tested, meaning its prediction can be checked with real data to support or challenge the proposed relationship.
- Potential for Exploration: A good hypothesis often comes from a research question that invites further exploration. Doing background research helps find gaps and potential areas to investigate.
- Includes Variables: The hypothesis should clearly state both the independent and dependent variables, specifying the factors being studied and the expected outcomes.
- Ethical Considerations: Check if variables can be manipulated without breaking ethical standards. It’s crucial to maintain ethical research practices.
- Predicts Outcomes: The hypothesis should predict the expected relationship and outcome, acting as a roadmap for the study and guiding data collection and analysis.
- Simple and Concise: A good hypothesis avoids unnecessary complexity and is simple and concise, expressing the essence of the proposed relationship clearly.
- Clear and Assumption-Free: The hypothesis should be clear and free from assumptions about the reader’s prior knowledge, ensuring universal understanding.
- Observable and Testable Results: A strong hypothesis implies research that produces observable and testable results, making sure the study’s outcomes can be effectively measured and analyzed.
When you use these characteristics as a checklist, it can help you create a good research hypothesis. It’ll guide improving and strengthening the hypothesis, identifying any weaknesses, and making necessary changes. Crafting a hypothesis with these features helps you conduct a thorough and insightful research study.
Types of Research Hypotheses
The research hypothesis comes in various types, each serving a specific purpose in guiding the scientific investigation. Knowing the differences will make it easier for you to create your own hypothesis. Here’s an overview of the common types:
01. Null Hypothesis
The null hypothesis states that there is no connection between two considered variables or that two groups are unrelated. As discussed earlier, a hypothesis is an unproven assumption lacking sufficient supporting data. It serves as the statement researchers aim to disprove. It is testable, verifiable, and can be rejected.
For example, if you’re studying the relationship between Project A and Project B, assuming both projects are of equal standard is your null hypothesis. It needs to be specific for your study.
02. Alternative Hypothesis
The alternative hypothesis is basically another option to the null hypothesis. It involves looking for a significant change or alternative that could lead you to reject the null hypothesis. It’s a different idea compared to the null hypothesis.
When you create a null hypothesis, you’re making an educated guess about whether something is true or if there’s a connection between that thing and another variable. If the null view suggests something is correct, the alternative hypothesis says it’s incorrect.
For instance, if your null hypothesis is “I’m going to be $1000 richer,” the alternative hypothesis would be “I’m not going to get $1000 or be richer.”
03. Directional Hypothesis
The directional hypothesis predicts the direction of the relationship between independent and dependent variables. They specify whether the effect will be positive or negative.
If you increase your study hours, you will experience a positive association with your exam scores. This hypothesis suggests that as you increase the independent variable (study hours), there will also be an increase in the dependent variable (exam scores).
04. Non-directional Hypothesis
The non-directional hypothesis predicts the existence of a relationship between variables but does not specify the direction of the effect. It suggests that there will be a significant difference or relationship, but it does not predict the nature of that difference.
For example, you will find no notable difference in test scores between students who receive the educational intervention and those who do not. However, once you compare the test scores of the two groups, you will notice an important difference.
05. Simple Hypothesis
A simple hypothesis predicts a relationship between one dependent variable and one independent variable without specifying the nature of that relationship. It’s simple and usually used when we don’t know much about how the two things are connected.
For example, if you adopt effective study habits, you will achieve higher exam scores than those with poor study habits.
06. Complex Hypothesis
A complex hypothesis is an idea that specifies a relationship between multiple independent and dependent variables. It is a more detailed idea than a simple hypothesis.
While a simple view suggests a straightforward cause-and-effect relationship between two things, a complex hypothesis involves many factors and how they’re connected to each other.
For example, when you increase your study time, you tend to achieve higher exam scores. The connection between your study time and exam performance is affected by various factors, including the quality of your sleep, your motivation levels, and the effectiveness of your study techniques.
If you sleep well, stay highly motivated, and use effective study strategies, you may observe a more robust positive correlation between the time you spend studying and your exam scores, unlike those who may lack these factors.
07. Associative Hypothesis
An associative hypothesis proposes a connection between two things without saying that one causes the other. Basically, it suggests that when one thing changes, the other changes too, but it doesn’t claim that one thing is causing the change in the other.
For example, you will likely notice higher exam scores when you increase your study time. You can recognize an association between your study time and exam scores in this scenario.
Your hypothesis acknowledges a relationship between the two variables—your study time and exam scores—without asserting that increased study time directly causes higher exam scores. You need to consider that other factors, like motivation or learning style, could affect the observed association.
08. Causal Hypothesis
A causal hypothesis proposes a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables. It suggests that changes in one variable directly cause changes in another variable.
For example, when you increase your study time, you experience higher exam scores. This hypothesis suggests a direct cause-and-effect relationship, indicating that the more time you spend studying, the higher your exam scores. It assumes that changes in your study time directly influence changes in your exam performance.
09. Empirical Hypothesis
An empirical hypothesis is a statement based on things we can see and measure. It comes from direct observation or experiments and can be tested with real-world evidence. If an experiment proves a theory, it supports the idea and shows it’s not just a guess. This makes the statement more reliable than a wild guess.
For example, if you increase the dosage of a certain medication, you might observe a quicker recovery time for patients. Imagine you’re in charge of a clinical trial. In this trial, patients are given varying dosages of the medication, and you measure and compare their recovery times. This allows you to directly see the effects of different dosages on how fast patients recover.
This way, you can create a research hypothesis: “Increasing the dosage of a certain medication will lead to a faster recovery time for patients.”
10. Statistical Hypothesis
A statistical hypothesis is a statement or assumption about a population parameter that is the subject of an investigation. It serves as the basis for statistical analysis and testing. It is often tested using statistical methods to draw inferences about the larger population.
In a hypothesis test, statistical evidence is collected to either reject the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis or fail to reject the null hypothesis due to insufficient evidence.
For example, let’s say you’re testing a new medicine. Your hypothesis could be that the medicine doesn’t really help patients get better. So, you collect data and use statistics to see if your guess is right or if the medicine actually makes a difference.
If the data strongly shows that the medicine does help, you say your guess was wrong, and the medicine does make a difference. But if the proof isn’t strong enough, you can stick with your original guess because you didn’t get enough evidence to change your mind.
How to Develop a Research Hypotheses?
Step 1: identify your research problem or topic..
Define the area of interest or the problem you want to investigate. Make sure it’s clear and well-defined.
Start by asking a question about your chosen topic. Consider the limitations of your research and create a straightforward problem related to your topic. Once you’ve done that, you can develop and test a hypothesis with evidence.
Step 2: Conduct a literature review
Review existing literature related to your research problem. This will help you understand the current state of knowledge in the field, identify gaps, and build a foundation for your hypothesis. Consider the following questions:
- What existing research has been conducted on your chosen topic?
- Are there any gaps or unanswered questions in the current literature?
- How will the existing literature contribute to the foundation of your research?
Step 3: Formulate your research question
Based on your literature review, create a specific and concise research question that addresses your identified problem. Your research question should be clear, focused, and relevant to your field of study.
Step 4: Identify variables
Determine the key variables involved in your research question. Variables are the factors or phenomena that you will study and manipulate to test your hypothesis.
- Independent Variable: The variable you manipulate or control.
- Dependent Variable: The variable you measure to observe the effect of the independent variable.
Step 5: State the Null hypothesis
The null hypothesis is a statement that there is no significant difference or effect. It serves as a baseline for comparison with the alternative hypothesis.
Step 6: Select appropriate methods for testing the hypothesis
Choose research methods that align with your study objectives, such as experiments, surveys, or observational studies. The selected methods enable you to test your research hypothesis effectively.
Creating a research hypothesis usually takes more than one try. Expect to make changes as you collect data. It’s normal to test and say no to a few hypotheses before you find the right answer to your research question.
Testing and Evaluating Hypotheses
Testing hypotheses is a really important part of research. It’s like the practical side of things. Here, real-world evidence will help you determine how different things are connected. Let’s explore the main steps in hypothesis testing:
- State your research hypothesis.
Before testing, clearly articulate your research hypothesis. This involves framing both a null hypothesis, suggesting no significant effect or relationship, and an alternative hypothesis, proposing the expected outcome.
- Collect data strategically.
Plan how you will gather information in a way that fits your study. Make sure your data collection method matches the things you’re studying.
Whether through surveys, observations, or experiments, this step demands precision and adherence to the established methodology. The quality of data collected directly influences the credibility of study outcomes.
- Perform an appropriate statistical test.
Choose a statistical test that aligns with the nature of your data and the hypotheses being tested. Whether it’s a t-test, chi-square test, ANOVA, or regression analysis, selecting the right statistical tool is paramount for accurate and reliable results.
- Decide if your idea was right or wrong.
Following the statistical analysis, evaluate the results in the context of your null hypothesis. You need to decide if you should reject your null hypothesis or not.
- Share what you found.
When discussing what you found in your research, be clear and organized. Say whether your idea was supported or not, and talk about what your results mean. Also, mention any limits to your study and suggest ideas for future research.
The Role of QuestionPro to Develop a Good Research Hypothesis
QuestionPro is a survey and research platform that provides tools for creating, distributing, and analyzing surveys. It plays a crucial role in the research process, especially when you’re in the initial stages of hypothesis development. Here’s how QuestionPro can help you to develop a good research hypothesis:
- Survey design and data collection: You can use the platform to create targeted questions that help you gather relevant data.
- Exploratory research: Through surveys and feedback mechanisms on QuestionPro, you can conduct exploratory research to understand the landscape of a particular subject.
- Literature review and background research: QuestionPro surveys can collect sample population opinions, experiences, and preferences. This data and a thorough literature evaluation can help you generate a well-grounded hypothesis by improving your research knowledge.
- Identifying variables: Using targeted survey questions, you can identify relevant variables related to their research topic.
- Testing assumptions: You can use surveys to informally test certain assumptions or hypotheses before formalizing a research hypothesis.
- Data analysis tools: QuestionPro provides tools for analyzing survey data. You can use these tools to identify the collected data’s patterns, correlations, or trends.
- Refining your hypotheses: As you collect data through QuestionPro, you can adjust your hypotheses based on the real-world responses you receive.
A research hypothesis is like a guide for researchers in science. It’s a well-thought-out idea that has been thoroughly tested. This idea is crucial as researchers can explore different fields, such as medicine, social sciences, and natural sciences. The research hypothesis links theories to real-world evidence and gives researchers a clear path to explore and make discoveries.
QuestionPro Research Suite is a helpful tool for researchers. It makes creating surveys, collecting data, and analyzing information easily. It supports all kinds of research, from exploring new ideas to forming hypotheses. With a focus on using data, it helps researchers do their best work.
Are you interested in learning more about QuestionPro Research Suite? Take advantage of QuestionPro’s free trial to get an initial look at its capabilities and realize the full potential of your research efforts.
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Hypothesis Types and Research
Dennis F. Polit. Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice, 9th edition. New Delhi: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2012, 58–93p.
Nursing Research society of India, Nursing research and statistics, 1st edition. India: Pearson Publication; 2013, 48–51p.
Polit DF, Hungler BP. Nursing Research Principles and Methods. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 1999.
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Home » Northern Arizona University » How Do You Write A Nursing Hypothesis?
How Do You Write A Nursing Hypothesis?
Table of Contents
How do you write a hypothesis example?
Usually, you’ll want to form your hypothesis as a statement, not a question. For example: If I raise the temperature of a cup of water, then the amount of sugar that can be dissolved in it will be increased.
What is a hypothesis in nursing research?
A hypothesis is a statement of the researcher’s expectation or prediction about relationship among study variables . The research process begins and ends with the hypothesis. It is core to the entire procedure and, therefore, is of the utmost importance.
What is hypothesis example?
Examples of Hypotheses “ Students who eat breakfast will perform better on a math exam than students who do not eat breakfast .” “Students who experience test anxiety prior to an English exam will get higher scores than students who do not experience test anxiety.”
How do you formulate a hypotheses?
How to Formulate an Effective Research Hypothesis
- State the problem that you are trying to solve. Make sure that the hypothesis clearly defines the topic and the focus of the experiment.
- Try to write the hypothesis as an if-then statement.
- Define the variables.
What are the 3 required parts of a hypothesis?
A hypothesis is a prediction you create prior to running an experiment. The common format is: If [CAUSE], then [EFFECT], because [RATIONALE]. In the world of experience optimization, strong hypotheses consist of three distinct parts: a definition of the problem, a proposed solution, and a result .
Which statement is the best example of a hypothesis?
The best example of a hypothesis is If a plant receives water, then it will grow faster . Explanation: In the scientific method of research, a hypothesis can be described as a tentative statement that can be proved right or wrong. A hypothesis can be tested through experiments and the results can be deduced from it.
What is an example of hypothesis testing in nursing?
For example, suppose a doctor believes that a new drug is able to reduce blood pressure in obese patients. To test this, he may measure the blood pressure of 40 patients before and after using the new drug for one month.
What is a hypothesis in healthcare?
[hi-poth´ĕ-sis] a supposition that appears to explain a group of phenomena and is advanced as a bases for further investigation . alternative hypothesis the hypothesis that is formulated as an opposite to the null hypothesis in a statistical test.
What is a simple hypothesis?
Simple hypotheses are ones which give probabilities to potential observations . The contrast here is with complex hypotheses, also known as models, which are sets of simple hypotheses such that knowing that some member of the set is true (but not which) is insufficient to specify probabilities of data points.
What are 5 characteristics of a good hypothesis?
A good hypothesis possesses the following certain attributes.
- Power of Prediction. One of the valuable attribute of a good hypothesis is to predict for future.
- Closest to observable things.
- Relevant to Problem.
- Relevant to available Techniques.
What is an example of a hypothesis question?
For example, let’s say you have a bad breakout the morning after eating a lot of greasy food. You may wonder if there is a correlation between eating greasy food and getting pimples. You propose the hypothesis: Eating greasy food causes pimples.
What makes a good hypothesis?
Criteria for good hypotheses be as brief and clear as possible; state an expected relationship or difference between two or more variables; be testable; and. be grounded in past knowledge, gained from the literature review or from theory.
How do you state a hypothesis introduction?
The first few paragraphs of a journal article serve to introduce the topic, to provide the author’s hypothesis or thesis, and to indicate why the research was done . A thesis or hypothesis is not always clearly labled; you may need to read through the introductory paragraphs to determine what the authors are proposing.
Is a hypothesis always a question?
What is a hypothesis? A hypothesis is a statement that can be proved or disproved. A research question can be made into a hypothesis by changing it into a statement .
Do hypothesis have to be if then?
The hypothesis is often written using the words “IF” and “THEN.” For example, “If I do not study, then I will fail the test.” The “if’ and “then” statements reflect your independent and dependent variables. The hypothesis should relate back to your original question and must be testable.
Which of the following is the best example of a strong hypothesis?
Answer and Explanation: Answer: c. Plants that get less light will grow less . A strong hypothesis defines the variable that can be measured and the relationship between…
How do you write a hypothesis for a research proposal?
- Variables in hypotheses. Hypotheses propose a relationship between two or more variables.
- Ask a question. Writing a hypothesis begins with a research question that you want to answer.
- Do some preliminary research.
- Formulate your hypothesis.
- Refine your hypothesis.
- Phrase your hypothesis in three ways.
- Write a null hypothesis.
Which of the following is the best example of a scientific question?
A good scientific question is: “ What effect does the pH of water have on radish seed germination? ” Good scientific questions are defined, measurable, and controllable.
What are the 7 steps in hypothesis testing?
1.2 – The 7 Step Process of Statistical Hypothesis Testing
- Step 1: State the Null Hypothesis.
- Step 2: State the Alternative Hypothesis.
- Step 3: Set.
- Step 4: Collect Data.
- Step 5: Calculate a test statistic.
- Step 6: Construct Acceptance / Rejection regions.
- Step 7: Based on steps 5 and 6, draw a conclusion about.
Why is hypothesis important in nursing?
Implications for practice: Hypothesis testing strengthens the quality of the quantitative studies, increases the generality of findings and provides dependable knowledge . This is particularly true for quantitative studies that aim to explore, explain and predict/control phenomena and/or test theories.
By Cary Hardy
Hi there! I'm Cary Hardy, an education expert and consultant. I've worked with students of all ages and backgrounds, and I love helping them unlock their full potential. I'm also a big believer in lifelong learning- there's always something new to learn!
I got my start in education as a teacher, working with students in grades K-12. After several years of teaching, I transitioned into the world of educational consulting. I've since worked with schools and districts all over the country, helping them improve their curriculums and instruction methods.
I'm passionate about helping people achieve their dreams, and I believe that education is the key to unlocking everyone's potential. Thanks for reading!
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Nursing Research News: November 2023
Each month, the Center for Research and Scholarship at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing sends an internal research newsletter to faculty, staff, students and researchers. A recap is posted here.
A Message from the Associate Dean for Research
November is National Gratitude Month, and our FPB research community has much to celebrate and many reasons to be thankful.
Life can be a busy and even exhausting journey at times, but it’s important to remember to occasionally slow down, reflect, and be in the present. It’s in those quiet moments of reflection that we can truly appreciate our accomplishments and those who have helped us get to where we are.
This fall, our school’s research community has been remarkably productive, submitting 17 grant proposals requesting more than $22 million, as well as numerous research publications, journal articles, and textbook chapters disseminated by our faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and doctoral students. This increase in our research productivity is inspiring, and highlights how FPB School of Nursing faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to the work they do.
Being a part of this research community fills me with a sense of purpose and pride. The people in this community are what makes it truly special, and I am grateful for your vision, brilliance, and unwavering dedication to advancing nursing and health science for the betterment of all.
As we celebrate this month of gratitude and thanksgiving, let's take a moment to appreciate the people around us who make a difference in our lives and who help to advance our school’s research mission.
-Ron Hickman, associate dean for research
Research and Scholarly News
The final Goldbag presentation this fall will be held on Nov. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. , with Hudson Santos , PhD, RN, FABMR, professor, vice dean for research affairs and the Dolores J. Chambreau Endowed Chair in Nursing at the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami, speaking on “Developmental Origins of Child Health: From Womb to Society.”
To attend on Nov. 27, go to this Zoom link. You can access and view recordings of these and previous Goldbag presentations here .
Call for Abstracts: Building Trust in Health Care for Diverse Populations
Wayne State University’s College of Nursing will hold an Urban Health Research Conference on April 17, 2024 on its campus in Detroit, Michigan, and is now accepting abstracts for the event. This year’s conference theme will focus on overcoming the effect of mistrust and discrimination to build trustworthy relationships in health care among diverse populations.
To submit your abstract, please complete this online form . Abstracts must be submitted online in both authored and blinded versions. Abstracts must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on Wed., Dec. 13, 2023 . Submission of an abstract indicates permission to include it in program materials to be distributed for the conference. Questions about abstract submission may be directed to Elizabeth Jenuwine, [email protected] , or by calling 313-577-4134. For more information about location and abstract submissions, visit urbanhealthconf.wayne.edu .
NIH News and Updates
Upcoming changes to enhance peer review of NIH grant applications
One very noticeable change you will see when the new framework goes into effect for due dates on/after Jan. 25, 2025, is that there will no longer be five scored criteria (Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment). Instead, the criteria will be consolidated into three factors:
- Importance of Research (based on Significance and Innovation)
- Feasibility and Rigor (based on Approach)
- Expertise and Resources (based on Investigator and Environment)
This three-factor structure is intended to focus the evaluation of scientific merit on key questions: How important is the proposed research? Is the project both rigorous and feasible? Does the investigator or investigators have the demonstrated background, training, and expertise to do the research? Are the institutional resources appropriate to ensure that the proposed work can be executed successfully?
More information can be found about the Simplified Peer Review Framework here and in the NIH blog “Review Matters” here . The Center for Research and Scholarship will provide updates as more information is made available by NIH.
Requesting & Justifying Costs for Data Management and Sharing
NOT-OD-23-161 includes the following, “Effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after Oct. 5, 2023, NIH will no longer require the use of the single DMS cost line item. NIH recognizes that DMS costs may be requested in many cost categories.”
NIH has released updated guidance on how to budget for costs to support the activities described in the Data Management and Sharing Plan, which must be requested in the appropriate cost category (e.g., personnel, equipment, supplies, other expenses).
Investigators must also include a justification of the activities proposed in the DMS Plan that will incur costs. This justification must be labeled as “Data Management and Sharing Justification” within the budget justification attachment, followed by the estimated dollar amount.
The justification should include a brief summary of type and amount of scientific data to be preserved and shared, and the name of the established repository to be used. It should also indicate general cost categories, such as curating data and developing supporting documentation, local data management activities, preserving and sharing data through established repositories, etc.; and each category should include an amount and a brief explanation. More information about this is available here . The Center for Research and Scholarship will provide updates as more information is made available by NIH.
Recent School of Nursing Publications
Bernhofer, E. I. (2023). Attending to the moral experience of pain. Pain Management Nursing . Advance online publication.
Combs, P., Duffy, E., & Modic, M. B. (2023). Promoting Type 1 diabetes self-care management in the hospital: Can it be done? Clinical Nurse Specialist , (37)6, 266-271.
Copley, D., Dolansky, M., Burchill, C., & Lindell, D. (2023) Second victim phenomenon educational program evaluation. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development . Advance online publication.
Gallagher, J. J. Invasive Mechanical Ventilation: Volume and Pressure Modes. In Johnson, K. L., Editor (2023). AACN Procedure Manual for Progressive and Critical Care . (8th ed., pp. 233-253). Missouri: Elsevier.
Gassoumis, Z. D., Martinez, J. M., Yonashiro-Cho, J., Mosqueda, L., Hou, A., Han, S. D., Olsen, B., Louis, A., Connolly, M. T., Meyer, K., Marnfeldt, K., Salinas Navarro, S. A., Yan, M., & Wilber, K. H. (2023). Comprehensive Older Adult and Caregiver Help (COACH): A person-centered caregiver intervention prevents elder mistreatment. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society . Advance online publication.
Toly, V. B., Zauszniewski, J. A., Wang, M., Russell, K. N., Ross, K., & Musil, C. M. (in press). Efficacy of a resourcefulness intervention to enhance the physical and mental health of parents caring for technology-dependent children at home: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pediatric Health Care .
Wagner, M. A., Koleck, T. A., Conway, A., Bender, C. M., & Conley Y. P. (2023). Variability of DNA repair and oxidative stress genes associated with worst pain in breast cancer survivors on aromatase inhibitors. Genes , 14:2031.
Wagner, M. A., Smith, E. M. L., Ayyash, N., Toledo, J., Rasheed, Z., & Holden, J. E. (in press; available online). Effectiveness of duloxetine on oxaliplatin-induced allodynia and hyperalgesia in rats. Biological Research for Nursing .
Wenzell, M. L., Moore, S. M., Still, C. H., & Wierenga, K. L. (2023). Neuromarkers associated with two levels of physical activity in persons with chronic conditions. Journal of Applied Physiology , 135(5), 1062-1069.
Winkelman, C., McLaughlin, D. & Ichrist, K. (2023). Chapter 16. Neuro Conditions for the ACNP. In V. J. Fuller & P. S. McCarthy (Eds.), Textbook for the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner . Pages. 473-491. New York: Springer.
Winkelman, C. & Duffy, E. (2023). Chapter 13. Kidney Failure. In T. M. Buttaro, J. Trybulski, P. Polgar-Bailey, & J. S. Sandberg-Cook (Eds.), Primary Care: A Collaborative Practice , 7th Edition. Elsevier: St. Louis.
Winkelman, C. (2023). Genetic Sections in E. M. Makic and M. J. Morota (Eds.), An Introduction to Critical Care Nursing, 9th Edition . St. Louis: Saunders, Elsevier.
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