Nursing research is so important to the care we provide our patients as it gives us the evidence from which we can guide our practice. Quantitative research in nursing focuses on data, numerical measurements or statistics (Melyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2014). Quantitative research can be broken down into four different designs; descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasi-experimental. Correlational quantitative research focuses on interpreting the associations of different variables without the researcher manipulating them but not going so far and to stating a cause and effect relationship between the variables. A fictitious example of this related to my PICOT question would be data that looks at the number of patients that have total joint replacements and noting that more infections occur in the summer months. There is no cause and effect relationship, just the statistical data that has been gathered.
Another type of quantitative research is the experimental design. This design tries to determine cause and effect and variables are controlled and manipulated by the researchers. A real world example of an experimental study is that completed by Kuo, Chen, Lee, Yen and Wang (2017) which compared Aquacel dressings to a control group related to infection rates for joint replacement surgeries. Studies of this nature are very important because the control that the researchers have can give us a better clear cut answer to the question that is being asked. By eliminating certain test candidates to make the control and the study group as similar as possible we are more able to establish a cause and effect relationship.
Not only in the field of nursing is this type of research important but in the other sciences as well. No matter what the method or design of the research study, the interpretation of the results and integrating it to the theory that it was based on is important in the analysis of results (Yarcheski & Mahon, 2013). Using the different methods and designs can yiled different results and thus give us more information and results regarding out question or research topic.
Kuo, F.-C., Chen, B., Lee, M. S., Yen, S.-H., & Wang, J.-W. (2017). AQUACELÂ® Ag Surgical Dressing Reduces Surgical Site Infection and Improves Patient Satisfaction in Minimally Invasive Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study. BioMed Research International, 2017, 1262108. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1262108
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2014). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: a guide to best practice. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams et Wilkins.
Yarcheski, A., & Mahon, N. E. (2013). Characteristics of Quantitative Nursing Research from 1990 to 2010. Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 45(4), 405-411. doi:10.1111/jnu.12038 —
April Klavinger, RN