Identifying a Researchable Problem

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

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Identifying a Researchable Problem

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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

     

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