Well, the dreaded semester has begun: Intro to the Thesis Project.
I'm early in the stages here and was hoping to bounce off some ideas related to my possible thesis topic.
First, I am most likely headed into the qualitative direction. Why? Well for starters, math was not my strong suit and secondly, it seems the nature of my problem statements all seem to have a qualitative approach.
Second, I'm struggling on whether or not I should peform a lit review before
deciding on a final problem statement. I've read that sometimes that contributes to bias, especially in a qualitative design.
Here's what I was thinking of, so far. If anyone has any experience in these topic areas or, knows that there already is an abundance of research out there related to it, I'd like to hear it.
First one: The nature/meaning of relapse in recovering alcoholics
. This hits close to home for me because of my father, so the problem itself is quite interesting. I'd like to do a qualitative design with this one to determine any patterns of responses, possibly leading to a theory.
Second one: Minority groups perception of research involvement
. This thought came to me because, as a research nurse, I observe barriers between the African Americans I am to enroll in my study and myself. There seems to be a mistrust. I'd like to explore that further. Again, qualitative design.
Third one: Arresting Pre Term Labor: The Nurse's Influence on Preventing Readmission.
PTL is very near and dear to me clinically, as this was my area of expertise, if you will, in L&D. This problem seems to lend itself towards quantitative, but I'm not so sure. In this problem I'd like to explore how adequately educated and trained nurses can assist patients in managing their PTL (when discharged to home on oral terbutaline, for example) so that readmissions are less likely to occur once terb has been DC'd.
I appreciate it. Thanks!
Feb 4, '03
Doing what you know is easier and less stress. But may be hard to finish because your interest level may not be as high.
Doing what you may not know quite as well may be more challenging. And challenging is not always stressful -- sometimes it's fun. And you will be sleeping, eating and breathing this subject in your spare time, so it may help you finish if you feel really interested.
Depends on what motivates you...
The best research often gets done for love of the subject matter.
BTW, all 3 prospective titles sound good.
I guess another consideration is how you plan to gather data when you get past your lit review. How will you gather data, where will you go to gather it, and how long will it take? If one of your subject areas lends itself to easy data collection, that will eliminate something that often is hugely frustating.
Last edit by researchrabbit on Feb 4, '03
Feb 4, '03
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
I know what you mean about picking a topic that is in line with what I want to do later or "when I grow up." Thing is, I'm not sure. I know that if I did anything clinically, it would most likely be with obstetrics. If I taught, I would like it to be that as well. If I went the patient education or staff development role, well, then it doesn't quite matter.
As a matter of fact, I tried so hard to think of a topic related to OB, and tried to narrow it down to my area of expertise. PTL is very fascinating and I know there are numerous factors which contribute to it's incidence, but why the readmission rates? Anyway, that's what led me down that path to the PTL problem statement.
I keep leaning towards the relapse question. I think because honest to god, I want to know. I did a small lit search on the topic and most of the research out there is physiologically based, or based on some more measureable variables that are classified, like self-worth, etc, and after implementing specific relapse prevention programs. Also it's highly medically based - not much in the nursing literature that I could find so far.
Someone else mentioned ease of access to the populations I would need to do the study. I think all three are all relatively easy. I work on the campus of a regional medical center which includes an inpatient psychiatric hospital as well as outpatient crisis center. With the "barriers to research" question, I'm already involved in recruiting subjects in a low-income, minority neighborhood so I am already in touch with them; and with the "PTL question", again, by the nature of my job I have an office just outside of the NICU and L&D units of the largest Perinatal Center in my city. So the issue of population access doesn't seem to be one, at least from my perspective.
And precisely llg, I don't want to do a topic that's been "done to death." So even with qualitative studies, you recommend a full lit review?
Last edit by Susy K on Feb 4, '03