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Identifying a Researchable Problem

Project: Course Project: Part 1—Identifying a Researchable Problem

One of the most challenging aspects of EBP is to actually identify the answerable question.
—Karen Sue Davies

Formulating a question that targets the goal of your research is a challenging but essential task. The question plays a crucial role in all other aspects of the research, including the determination of the research design and theoretical perspective to be applied, which data will be collected, and which tools will be used for analysis. It is therefore essential to take the time to ensure that the research question addresses what you actually want to study. Doing so will increase your likelihood of obtaining meaningful results.

In this first component of the Course Project, you formulate questions to address a particular nursing issue or problem. You use the PICOT model—patient/population, intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome—outlined in the Learning Resources to design your questions.

To prepare:

  • Review the article, “Formulating the Evidence Based Practice Question: A Review of the Frameworks,” found in the Learning Resources for this week. Focus on the PICOT model for guiding the development of research questions.
  • Review the section beginning on page 75 of the course text, titled, “Developing and Refining Research Problems” in the course text,( Marquis & Huston) which focuses on analyzing the feasibility of a research problem.
  • Reflect on an issue or problem that you have noticed in your nursing practice. Consider the significance of this issue or problem. (Refer to the PICOT question you earlier formulated for me on handwashing)
  • Generate at least five questions that relate to the issue which you have identified. Use the criteria in your course text to select one question that would be most appropriate in terms of significance, feasibility, and interest. Be prepared to explain your rationale.
  • Formulate a preliminary PICO question—one that is answerable—based on your analysis. What are the PICO variables (patient/population, intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome) for this question? (once again refer to the PICO question you earlier formulated for me on: Does hand washing and appropriate staff dressing among the surgical ward nurses reduce cross infection during patient management)
Note: Not all of these variables may be appropriate to every question. Be sure to analyze which are and are not relevant to your specific question.
  • Using the PICOT variables that you determined for your question, develop a list of at least 10 keywords that could be used when conducting a literature search to investigate current research pertaining to the question.To complete:Write a  4-page paper that includes the following:
  • (1) A summary of your area of interest, an identification of the problem that you have selected, and an explanation of the significance of this problem for nursing practice
  • (2) The 5 questions you have generated and a description of how you analyzed them for feasibility
  • (3) Your preliminary PICOT question and a description of each PICOT variable relevant to your question
  • (4) At least 10 possible keywords that could be used when conducting a literature search for your PICOT question and a rationale for your selections Reference:
    Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: A review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(2), 75–80. Retrieved from https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/viewFile/9741/8144 Readings
    • Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2012).  Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
      • Chapter 2, “Evidence-Based Nursing: Translating Research Evidence into Practice” (Review pages 27–34)
      • Chapter 5, “Literature Reviews: Finding and Critiquing Evidence”

        In this chapter, you focus on conducting a literature review. Topics include how to identify the relevant literature on a given topic and then how to critique the strengths and weaknesses of the literature that you have found. Finally, the chapter examines how to synthesize the research findings into a written literature review.
    • Houde, S. C. (2009). The systematic review of literature: A tool for evidence-based policy. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35(9), 9–12.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.  

      This article emphasizes the importance of systematic reviews of literature. The authors present an overview of resources that may assist in conducting systematic reviews.
    • Krainovich-Miller, B., Haber, J., Yost, J., & Jacobs, S. K. (2009). Evidence-based practice challenge: Teaching critical appraisal of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines to graduate students. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(4), 186–195.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

      This article reviews the features of the TREAD Evidence-Based Practice Model. In particular, the authors of this article stress how the model emphasizes the use of standardized critical appraisal tools and Level I evidence.
    • Robeson, P., Dobbins, M., DeCorby, K., & Tirilis, D. (2010). Facilitating access to pre-processed research evidence in public health. BMC Public Health, 10, 95.
      Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

      This article describes a hierarchy of pre-processed evidence and how it is adapted to the public health setting. The authors identify a range of resources with relevant public health content.
    • Barker, J. (n.d.) Basic search tips and advanced Boolean explained. Retrieved August 3, 2012, from
      http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/Boolean.pdf

      This resource provides a graphical representation of different approaches to research and gives examples of each.
    • Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: A review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(2), 75–80. Retrieved from https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/viewFile/9741/8144

      This article reviews the frameworks commonly used to assist in generating answerable research questions. The author recommends considering the individual elements of the frameworks as interchangeable (depending upon the situation), rather than trying to fit a situation to a specific framework.
    • Walden University Library. (2012). Levels of evidence. Retrieved from http://libraryguides.waldenu.edu/evidencepyramidThis guide provides a listing of evidence-based clinical resources, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, critically appraised topics, background information and expert opinions, and unfiltered resources.
    • Indiana State University. (n.d.). Database search strategies. Retrieved July 6, 2012, from
      http://libguides.indstate.edu/content.php?pid=118904&sid=1065428

      In this resource, the most common types of database searches are highlighted. It includes topics such as nesting searches, phrase searches, and using synonyms of key words in the search.
    • Library of Congress Online Catalog. (2008). Boolean searching. Retrieved from
      http://catalog.loc.gov/help/boolean.htm

      This web page provides a basic overview of Boolean searches and provides simple examples of key search terms.
    • Walden University. (n.d.b.). Searching and retrieving materials in the research databases. Retrieved August 10, 2012, from http://libraryguides.waldenu.edu/content.php?pid=162865&sid=1375878

      This resource provides tips for searching in the Walden Library. It includes a guide to keyword searches, an explanation of Boolean searches, and tips on locating specific journals or articles.
    • Document: Course Project Overview (Word document)
    Media
    • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012e). Finding resources for EBP. Baltimore, MD: Author. 

      Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.

      In this video, Dr. Marianne Chulay identifies sources where nurses can find evidence to support their practices. She provides several examples of resources that provide specific information about best practices in health care.
    • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012f). Finding sources of evidence. Baltimore, MD: Author. 

      Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

      Dr. Kristen Mauk explains the process of performing a literature review in this video. She provides advice for nursing students in browsing databases and analyzing sources of evidence.
    • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012g). Hierarchy of evidence pyramid. Baltimore, MD: Author. 

      This multimedia piece explains the hierarchy of evidence pyramid. The piece offers definitions and key information for each level of the pyramid.
      

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