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## Research Problems and Hypotheses

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**Research Problems and Hypotheses**“A research problem is a discrepancy between what one knows and ought to know to solve a nursing problem”.**Sources of Research Problems**• Experience • Technology • New roles of the nurse • Nursing Literature • Theories**EXPERIENCE**• GRIPE • PROFESSIONAL WISHES • CURIOSITY • NEW PERSON/EXPERIENCE**TECHNOLOGY**Monitoring Information technology**EXPANDING ROLES**Nurse practitioners Community and home health nursing Advocate, teacher, counselor, etc.**LITERATURE**Research Reports**Gaps in the literature**• There may be areas , as revealed by a dearth of available literature on the topic that remain unexplored**REPLICATION**No study can stand by itself, must be replicated for confidence in the results**SUGGESTED STUDIES**Every research report suggests areas for continued study**INCONSISTENCIES**Two studies on the same variables may produce different outcomes**THEORIES**Must be tested in the real world through the formulation of research problems and hypotheses**CRITERIA FOR A “good” RESEARCH PROBLEM**• 1. INTERESTING? • 2. RESEARCHABLE? • 3. FEASIBLE? PRACTICABLE? • 4. SIGNIFICANT? • 5. NURSING?**Interesting**• This is a subjective criteria, the study must only be interesting to the person doing the study**Researchable**• Variables should be precisely defined and measured and lead to an answer to the question • NB: “SHOULDNESS AND GOODNESS” questions not researchable**Feasible/Practicable**• Can the study be done by the researcher? • Time? • Place? • Money? • Equipment? • Subjects? • Instruments to measure variables?**Significant**• Will the results make a difference that matters to the profession? • Make a difference in patient care? • Add to professional practice knowledge? • Related to more general conceptual issues? • Is it an instance of a larger class of events? • Does it help support or build theory?**Nursing**• Does nursing have access to or control over phenomenon in question--or is it reasonable to think that they will? (this is defined broadly)**Developing and Refining Research Problem**• Define a specific problem area • Review the relevant literature • Examine the significance to nursing • Examine the feasibility**Defining the Problem Areas**• Begin with broad topic area and narrow it down • Focus on the dependent variable**A first Review of the Literature**• Define the problem in the context of the state of knowledge in the subject area**Significance**• Contributes to and extends the body of scientific nursing knowledge**Feasibility**• This must be pragmatically examined by the researcher in light of her own available expertise and resources**RESEARCH PROBLEMSTATEMENTS**• AS BRIEF AS POSSIBLE • IDENTIFY KEY VARIABLES • SPECIFY NATURE OF POPULATION • SUGGEST METHODOLOGY • NARROW/SPECIFIC • DECLARATIVE or INTERROGATIVE**Declaritive**• The purpose of this study is to……………… • The relationship between X and Y will be examined**Interrogative**• What is the relationship between X and Y?**HYPOTHESIS**• tentative prediction or explanation about the relationship between variables • Emanates from the ROL**Hypotheses**• SIMPLE or COMPLEX (multivariate) • DIRECTIONAL or NONDIRECTIONAL**PURPOSES of HYPOTHESES**GUIDES INQUIRY BY: • UNIFYING THEORY AND REALITY • EXTENDS KNOWLEDGE • GIVES DIRECTION TO RESEARCH**CHARACTERISTICS of a good hypothesis**• SPECIFIES RELATIONSHIP • TESTABLE • JUSTIFIABLE • CONCISE**Research Hypothesis**• Indicates what the actual outcome of the study is expected to be • Supported when the researcher obtains a statistically significant finding**Statistical or Null Hypothesis**• States “There is no relationship between the dependent and independent variables” • Failure to reject the null hypothesis implies that there is insufficient evidence to support the idea of a real difference in the dependent variable**Type I error**• The rejection of a null hypothesis that is actually true--or saying a treatment works when it does not.**Type II error**• The acceptance of a null hypothesis that is actually false, or saying a treatment doesn’t work when it really does.**Level of Significance=p**• Set by the researcher in consideration of the seriousness of the consequences of making a mistake in accepting a “false” research hypothesis**LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE**• .05---FIVE CHANCES IN 100 OF MAKING A MISTAKE IN ACCEPTING RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS (when it is actually “false”) • (TYPE I ERROR MORE LIKELY)**LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE**• .01---ONE CHANCE IN 100 OF MAKING A MISTAKE IN ACCEPTING THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS (when it is actually “false”)**LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE**• .001--ONE CHANCE IN 1000 OF MAKING A MISTAKE IN ACCEPTING RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS • (TYPE II ERROR MORE LIKELY)