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Week 4: Quantitative Methods: Analyzing Quantitative Data

Research allows us to learn more. It allows us to go beyond simple questioning and curiosity. It provides us the opportunity to dig deeper, search for outcomes, and explore meaning. Throughout your practice, you will experience the need for research. Whether it is in your educational journey or within your career, research is an integral skill set for your role as a DNP-prepared nurse.

Research begins as a question which leads to the study and collection of data. Through understanding and examining variables, determining levels of measurement, and analyzing outcomes, the question presented comes into clearer focus. This week, you consider the role of research in the field of nursing. You will explore variables in research and analyze data to develop understanding and meaning.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

Analyze independent and dependent variables for research questions

Identify levels of measurement for independent and dependent variables

Analyze approaches for addressing advantages and challenges in the data analysis for variables and levels of measurement

Evaluate frequency and descriptive statistics

Summarize descriptive statistics

Learning Resources

Discussion: Levels of Measurement

What is the incidence of blood clots from COVID-19 in females over the age of 35?

The above question is an example of a research question. A research question consists of three parts and guides the methods and approaches in which you will study the question to find answers. The research question includes: the question, the topic, and the population or variables. In the example provided above, the question is examining the prevalence of blood clots from severe COVID-19 in a selected population. From this question, the variables can be assessed, considerations can be analyzed, and populations can be sampled in order to guide the research.

Photo Credit: Socha, A. (n.d.). Scale question, balance [Photograph]. pixabay.com. https://pixabay.com/photos/puzzle-last-part-joining-together-3223922/

During Week 2, you developed a research problem statement based on a topic of interest to you or your specific area of practice. Using this research problem statement, you will develop a research question. “A research question is a concise, interrogative statement that is worded in the present tense and includes one or more of a study’s principal concepts or variables” (Gray & Grove, 2020). These questions typically point to the type of study that will be conducted and serves as a guide for the research.

For this Discussion, reflect on your research problem statement. Consider the independent and dependent variables of your research problem through the construction of a research question. Reflect on the potential levels of measurement for your variables and the rationale for the labels, as well as consider the advantages and challenges that you might experience in the statistical analysis of your proposed variables.

Reference: Gray, J. R., & Grove, S. K. (2020). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (9th ed.). Elsevier.

To Prepare:

Review your research problem statement from Week 2 to develop your research question.

Review the Learning Resources on how to describe variables.

Consider the levels of measurement for your variables: nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio.

After reviewing your research question and considering the levels of measurement, analyze your classification for each variable. What was behind your reasoning for labeling the variables? How might the data be analyzed based on these labels?

Consider advantages and challenges that you might encounter in the statistical analysis of your proposed variables.

By Day 3 of Week 4

Post your research question and describe the independent and dependent variables. Then, identify the level of measurement of both your independent and dependent variables. Provide a brief rationale for your classification of each variable. Be specific. Explain considerations of analyzing data related to each variable based on its level of measurement. Be sure to include any advantages or challenges that you might encounter in your statistical analysis of each variable and explain why.

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