Friday, November 20, 2009

Characteristics of Research

Introduction to Nursing Research

Characteristics of Research
The ability of research to find solutions to problems depends on its ability to generate valid knowledge through well established processes. Each of the definitions examined above has emphasized the systematic nature of research investigations. The use of such terms as systematic, organized, controlled, empirical, and objective (or unbiased) simply indicate that research is scientific i.e. it closely follows the methods of science. Gay’s (1981, p.6) definition of research as “the formal, systematic application of the scientific method to the study of problems” makes the connection between research and science obvious. Research therefore possesses the following characteristics (Best & Kahn, 1989; Trochim, 2002), many of which emphasize its scientific orientation.

1.       It addresses problems: research like most scientific investigations is motivated by the existence of problems.
2.      It is systematic: this means that research is carefully ordered in well-defined steps that are obvious to all. The procedures used in the investigation should be so well defined to make them amenable to verification by others.
3.      It is empirical: Research relies on objective observations of reality i.e. whatever notions the researcher has about any phenomenon or situation must be tested or compared against observations of true reality.
4.      It is Controlled: this means that “…research observations are tightly disciplined” (Kerlinger, 1975, p.11). In other words, all activities or possible outcomes in the research are accounted for in such a way that they are not affected by anything the researcher is not interested in.
5.      It is probabilistic: it is based on probabilities i.e. nothing is certain or absolute in research. Every finding or assertion is subject to change or total rejection in the light of new evidence.
6.      It is theoretical: it is concerned with developing, exploring or testing the theories or ideas we have about the world.
7.      It is nomothetic: it is interested in the general case rather than the individual. Even when a research studies the individual, it would want to generalise to more than the individual. This is particularly the case with behavioural researches.
8.     Research involves collecting fresh data (first hand or primary data) or using old data for new purposes.
9.      Research is carefully recorded and reported: every step or procedure that a researcher takes in the conduct of a research has to be documented because these documentations of procedures and results provide the evidence that researchers need to support the conclusions they reach. Similarly when the research is completed it must be reported i.e. made widely available and accessible to members of the scientific or educational community for public scrutiny.

History of Nursing Research

Introduction to Nursing Research

History of Nursing Research
·         Florence Nightingale
o   Reformer
o   Reactionary
o   Researcher
o   Crimean War: 1853-56
o   Collected data
o   Used statistics, graphs to present data
o   Based practice on research findings
·         Early 1900s – problems in nursing: education, staffing issues

Nursing Research 50s & 60s
·         Focus on Quantitative Research
·         Educational Studies
·         1952 Nursing Research published
·         ANA Sponsored Research Conferences
·         ANA Commission on Nursing Research
·         1960s Practice oriented research; first nursing research journals

Nursing Research 1970s
·         Standards for Clinical Practice Developed
·         1973 First Nursing Diagnosis Conference
·         Several Research Journals Started
·         1978 Initial focus on Qualitative Research
·         1982-83 Utilization Project (CURN)
·         1983 - ANA Center for Research for Nursing
·         1986 National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR)
o   Dr. Ada Sue Hinshaw, Director
·         Several Research Journals Started
·         Clinical Journal Publishing Research

 Nursing Research 1990s
·         1986 - National Center for Nursing Research (NIH); awards/grants to support nursing research & training
·         1989 Agency for Health Care Policy & Research (AHCPR) established
·         1993 National Institute or Nursing Research (NINR)
o   1995 Patricia Grady, PhD, RN
·         Focus on Outcomes Research
·         1994 The journal Qualitative Health Research began publication
·         1997 Canadian Health Services Research Foundation was established with federal funding
·         1999 AHCPR is renamed Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)
·         2000 NINR issued funding priorities for 2000-2004; annual funding exceeded $100 million
·         The Canadian Institute of Health Research was launched
·         The journal Biological Research for Nursing began publication

Why is Nursing Research Important?

Introduction to Nursing Research
Importance of Nursing Research
·         Nurses ask questions aimed at gaining new knowledge to improve patient care
·         Research-based (evidence based) practice = integrating research findings into clinical decision making
·         Accountability for care-related decisions;  research expands nursing practice
·         Reinforce identity of nursing as a profession – knowing/ understanding patients' health care experience

The Defintion of Nursing Research

Introduction to Nursing Research

What is Research?
·         To Search Again
·         Diligent & Systematic Inquiry
·         Discovery

It implies that the person has to search again, to take another more careful look, to find out more. Why?
·         Information may not be enough
·         Misleading information
·         Totally wrong

The Definition of Research
·         systematic, empirical, controlled & critical investigation of a hypothetical proposition related to natural phenomenon. (Kerlinger)
·         It is an activity which is meant to acquire better knowledge by “relearning what we already know through systematic observation and experimentation.” (Filipino anthropologist F. Landa Jocano)

·         Research is a systematic, objective and comprehensive investigation of certain phenomenon which involves accurate gathering and recording and critical analysis and interpretation of all facts about the phenomenon for theoretical or practical ends. (Best and Kahn, 1989)

The Definition of Nursing Research
·         A scientific process that validates and refines existing knowledge and generates new knowledge that directly and indirectly influences nursing practice.
·         A systematic search for and validation of knowledge about issues of importance to the nursing profession (Polit & Hungler).
·         Systematic, objective process of analyzing phenomena of importance to nursing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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