NURS 8200/NURS 8200F/NURS 8200M/NURS 8200C/NURS 8200A: Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice | Week 5
Last week, you examined and applied the principles of descriptive statistics, which, as you may have noted, are only used to make conclusions about the data and sample in a particular study. Descriptive statistics are not useful in making generalizations or broad conclusions beyond the scope of the immediate components of the study. In order for researchers to apply the findings of a study to the outside population or world, they employ what is known as inferential statistics.
This week explores the concepts and uses of inferential statistics and introduces two useful parametric tests: ttests and analysis of variance (ANOVA). These tests are used to inspect the differences in the means of two or more data sets in a study. Through the material and assignments, you familiarize yourself with t tests and ANOVA and their relationships to dependent and independent variables, hypotheses, and power analysis. You continue to use SPSS to apply the weekly concepts by calculating, presenting, and drawing conclusions based on a t test and ANOVA.
- Analyze the purpose and value of t tests and ANOVA in research and evidence-based practice
- Differentiate between the independent and dependent t test
- Interpret and report results of t tests and ANOVA
Discussion: t Tests and ANOVA in Clinical Practice
Inferential statistics enable researchers to apply the data they gather and the conclusions they draw from a particular sample to a larger population. As the name implies, inferential statistics focus on inferring whether there is a relationship between two or more variables. These statistical analyses include t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA). t Tests are part of a group of statistical tests that test hypotheses; in fact, it is necessary to formulate a hypothesis in order to use a t test, because the results of the test can only be interpreted in the context of a scientific hypothesis.
Inferential statistics such as t tests work well for comparing two groups. Although mathematically equivalent to the t test, ANOVA allows for the comparison of more than two groups. Therefore, when three or more groups are involved, the ANOVA should be used.
In this week’s Discussion, you are asked to locate a current research article that utilizes either a ttest or ANOVA analysis. You provide a summary of the research study and of the study’s application to evidence-based practice. You also examine the article’s use of a t test or ANOVA and how either of those statistical analysis tools helped to inform the article’s conclusions and recommendations.
- Consider some of the important issues in health care delivery or nursing practice today. Bring to mind the topics to which you have been exposed through previous courses in your program of study, as well as any news items that have caught your attention recently. Select one topic to consider for this Discussion.
- Next, review journal, newspaper, and Internet articles that provide credible information on your topic. Then, select one research article on which to focus that used inferential statistical analysis (either a t test or ANOVA) to study the topic.
- With information from the Learning Resources in mind, evaluate the purpose and value of the research study discussed in your selected article and consider the following questions:
- Who comprised the sample in this study?
- What were the sources of data?
- What inferential statistic was used to analyze the data collected (t test or ANOVA)?
- What were the findings?
- Ask yourself: How did using an inferential statistic bring value to the research study? Did it increase the study’s application to evidence-based practice?
By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:
- Identify the topic you selected in the first line of your posting.
- Summarize the study discussed in your selected research article and provide a complete APA citation. Include in your summary the sample, data sources, inferential statistic utilized, and findings.
- Evaluate the purpose and value of this particular research study to the topic.
- Did using inferential statistics strengthen or weaken the study’s application to evidence-based practice?
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
- Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
- Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
- Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
- Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
- Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments made by your colleagues.