Weighing the Evidence

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

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

To prepare:

· Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on how researchers find meaning in their data and generate sound conclusions. Pay particular attention to Table 2 in the article, “Study Design in Medical Research.”

· Revisit the 5 articles that you identified in Part 2 of the Course Project. Select one to consider for the purpose of this Discussion.

· Read sections of the chosen article where the data is presented, analyzed, and interpreted for meaning. What reasoning process did the researchers use to formulate their conclusions? What explanation did they give to support their conclusions? Were there any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions?

· Consider possible alternate conclusions that the researchers could have drawn based on their data.

· Examine the findings that the article presents and consider how well they addressed the researcher’s initial question(s). What additional research could be done to build on these findings and gain a fuller understanding of the question?

Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

  • Review Chapter 2, Fig. 2.1
  • Chapter 29, “Systematic Reviews of Research      Evidence: Meta-analysis, Metasynthesis, and Mixed Studies Review”

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

Dingle, P. (2011). Statin statistics: Lies and deception. Positive Health, 180, 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012g). Hierarchy of evidence pyramid. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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

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

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

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