I am so confused..Nursing Research Class

  1. I am working on a research assignment where I was given an article and I am supposed to write a commentary on it using three sources from the article itself. My major problem is how to interpret the tables and statistics. I am not doing very well in this class all together and was hoping to bring my grade up with this paper since it is 35% of my grade.

    I am so confused by the article itself and by the statistics, research design etc. If anyone is willing to share some advice or give an explanation of how to state the "findings" from the article, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I'm ready to pull my hair out at this point.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide me.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    What is the article?
  4. by   Halinja
    Are you supposed to interpret the findings, or are you supposed to do a peer review type article?

    If you are reviewing, then exactly what they discovered isn't as important as how they did it. Did they use the correct research method for the research question? Did they do a thorough literature review? Did there seem to be any bias in the way they chose their sample? Have they listed the things that could have skewed their results? (no research is perfect, so there should be a couple of caveats in there...Like, "while the findings seemed to indicate this and so...our sample size may have been too small" something like that.

    If that's what your assignment is, then exactly what all the tables and graphs say don't really matter that much. To me, that's what a 'commentary' sounds like. If the teacher is looking for an interpretation of results, then that's a whole different proposition...but I've never heard that referred to as a commentary.
  5. by   PennyNickelDime_RN
    Thank you for your reply. It doesn't help that our professor doesn't seem to know what he wants either but here is a list of what he is expecting.

    The article I was given is called "Nosocomial Urinary Tract Infection, Nursing-sensitive Quality Indicator in a Thai Hospital."

    He then gave us a sheet with headings and questions to be answered. For example:

    Introduction and Literature Reviews (15/100 pts).
    Address these issues: Identify the specific problem area, describe the importance of the problem area, briefly describe how one or two theoretical concepts related to the study, briefly describe how two or three research articles relate to the study and properly cite these articles in the text of your paper as if you have first-hand knowledge of them.

    Research Question or Statement (10/100)
    Clearly describe the research statement or research question, clearly describe the research's hypotheses, if there are any. Clearly describe the variables for each hypothesis and identify them as independent or dependent.

    Research Design (10/100)
    Determine the research design. Describe how the research design was applied in the article. Describe the treatments (or contrasting participant characteristics) under study. Describe the care taken to systematically control for the influence of extraneous variables on the outcome of the study.

    Sampling Design (10/100)
    Describe the general nature of the sample, thesize of the sdample and an attrition that occured. Describe the major inclusions/exclusions of the sample. Determine the sampling design. Show how the sampling design was applied in the article.

    Ethical Considerations (10/100)
    Determine the researcher's efforts to ethically protect the subjects. Even if there was no references to ethical consideration, describe two ethical principles that could apply to the subjects of this study.

    Measurement (10/100)
    Describe the instruments or methods used to measure the variables in this study.

    Results (15/100)
    Refer back to the hypotheses, purposes, or questions originally stated in the introduction and describe how the research addressed this issue with the results obtained from the study. Refer to the distinction between clinical significance and statistical significance.

    Discussion (10/100)
    Describe the main impolications and limitation of the study.

    Your Opinion (10/100)
    Describe how this study could be applied to another clinical situation, real or imagined.

    Ok....this may sound clear to an experienced researcher, but to me it is like a foreign language. So, in other words, am I supposed to read the article and then "summarize" it? He is calling it a research article commentary but I don't know what that means and he can't seem to explain it.

    Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I must pass this class, don't want to repeat it.

    Thanks
  6. by   augigi
    Ok, breathe...

    The good news is, it sounds like your instructor has given you a great detailed outline of what he wants, so it should all be very easy! **The MOST important thing, when you are given such a detailed task list, is make sure you address every point he has listed for you!**

    1. Intro - Gather some references from the article in question, read them, and reword what kind of problem the authors were trying to address. Eg. a brief summary of why the quality of the nursing care is important with relation to nosocomial UTIs. You should be able to get this info from the article abstracts or introductions and reword it. Summarize from the articles what the issue was, and how the research to date has addressed it.

    2. Research Question or Statement - This is simply as described. Write down what exactly their research question to be addressed was.

    3. Sampling Design - Again, just as listed. Talk about the study population, inclusion and exclusion criteria, whether all patients enrolled were accounted for at the end of the study (loss to follow up, or 'attrition'), sampling design and execution.

    4. Ethical Considerations - This should be listed in the paper (eg. informed consent was obtained, ethics committee approval was obtained).

    5. Measurement - How did they gather their data? Eg. Survey, chart review, etc.

    6. Results - what were the authors able to prove? Was it significant with regard to the problem identified in the research question? Was the results statistically significant (eg. p<0.1 or <0.05)? Does it mean anything in terms of clinical outcomes? eg. did the patients with less UTIs have shorter hospital stays?

    7. Discussion - Was the study worthwhile? How will it be used in the clinical area? How could it have been made better (bigger sample size, different methodology, different data collection)?

    8. Your Opinion - This should be simple at this point. How do YOU think you could use this research? Could it be reproduced in your area? Could it have implications for different types of infections in the same area studied? etc

    OK I am all typed out. If you are still lost, I have some great articles about introductory literature critiquing I'd be happy to send you.
  7. by   augigi
    By the way, looks after a quick read like a good, interesting article - and your teacher has even chosen words for the task list which are exactly taken from the paper, so you shouldn't have too many problems.
  8. by   Halinja
    I agree with Augigi, you've been given a very clear outline of what the prof is looking for. And Augigi has given you great advice for each section. I would only disagree a teeny bit with what you should put under sampling design. In our research book there were specific names for specific methods of gathering samples. You would probably need to identify what method...by name...the article used. BTW, your textbook for the class should define and explain each of those expectations for you. There should be a whole section on how to critique someone else's article/research. If not...go to the library and find a book about research that does. It will help immensely.

    Our research text was "Essentials of Nursing Research" by Polit & Beck. It dealt with every one of the points asked by your prof. (That is a fairly standard review/critique assignment) if yours doesn't cover the points of the assignment you could see if your library has polit & beck.

    Good luck! It isn't impossible, you can do it!
  9. by   augigi
    I didn't think the example requested for "sampling design" was talking about actual gathering of samples - that is addressed in "measurement" - but rather than method of deciding the study population/sample ie. how did they decide how many patients to include, which patients to include etc.
  10. by   Halinja
    Quote from augigi
    I didn't think the example requested for "sampling design" was talking about actual gathering of samples - that is addressed in "measurement" - but rather than method of deciding the study population/sample ie. how did they decide how many patients to include, which patients to include etc.
    I read the assignment over again. Boy, I dunno. I can see your point. Trouble is I can see it both ways. One read through and I think one thing, then I tilt my head and read it again and come up with the other. LOL, now me, being somewhat of an overachiever, I'd probably do BOTH.

    What I'm talking about is...is it quota sampling, or convenience sampling, or snowball sampling or purposeful sampling or probability sampling, or random sampling, cluster sampling, etc etc. (I had to drag out my book. I couldn't remember any of the names.)

    I think, in a way, Augigi and I are saying the same thing. When I talk about the probability sampling, or snowball sampling it is basically...how did they decide to find their research subjects. I'm just slapping fancy labels on it. But professors sometimes like fancy labels?

    Measurement is about the data, as mentioned. survey, observation, whatever.

    And I may be totally wrong. It has happened in the past! (more times than I like to remember!!!) So all of the above is just IMO, and I mean no disrespect.
  11. by   PennyNickelDime_RN
    I want to thank all of you who replied to my question. You have taken the time to explain aspects of my assignment that makes it much more clear.

    You all deserve recognition for your time and effort in attempting to help a student.

    Thank you so much!

    P.S. As I proceed through the paper, don't be surprised if you hear from me with more questions.....and you all thought you were off the hook.
  12. by   PennyNickelDime_RN
    It's me again. Would any of you be willing to take a quick look at what I have so far for my research commentary. It is rough draft, citations are not complete or verified for accuracy etc. The major points are finished though and I would greatly appreciate an experienced eye to look at it.

    Let me know if you are willing and I will send it to you. It is in Word format.

    Thanks :smilecoffeecup:
  13. by   holmespretty
    You seem to know research. I need any article on quantitative research training family caregivers of dependent elderly adults through on-site and tetecommunications proogram. If you have a quantitative research paper that I could for a guideline that would be great.
  14. by   Halinja
    Quote from holmespretty
    If you have a quantitative research paper that I could for a guideline that would be great.
    Um. Sorry, but no. With the incredible brouhaha over plagiarism these days, my papers go nowhere but into my professor's hot little hands. (Or, as happens more often, to turnitin.com)

    I personally would be very wary even of reading another person's work, as occasionally a phrase or sentence will burrow into your brain and then pop out when you're writing your own paper. And in our program, if you are caught plagiarizing, even inadvertently, you are out.

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