1.Quantitative Research Designs

In order to find the best information on a topic, not only should you develop a question and search for resources, but you should also know how to analyze the value of the resources that you identify. There are different ways to evaluate resources, such as using the hierarchy of evidence, which you explored in Week 4 of this course. Another way to evaluate resources is to consider the appropriateness of the research design. Understanding how research designs contribute to the quality of a study is essential for being able to analyze resources when conducting a literature review or locating evidence for practice.

In this Discussion, you consider the different research designs and evaluate how these designs have been used to research a specific topic. You also consider strategies for selecting an appropriate research design.

To prepare:

· Review the information in the course text on quantitative research designs. Focus on the information on, “Guidelines for Critiquing Research Designs in Quantitative Studies”.

· Select a topic from the list below and search the Walden Library to find two different quantitative research studies addressing that issue:

o Caregiver stress

o Anxiety in children

o Sleep apnea

o Depression in college freshmen

o Rural health care issues

o Post-traumatic stress syndrome

o Traumatic brain injury in veterans

o Health effects of environmental contaminants

o Bipolar disorder

o End-of-life ethical issues

o Alternative medicine

· For each of the sources that you select, identify the type of quantitative research design used, and evaluate whether it is the most appropriate approach to the research.

· Consider the ramifications of choosing an inappropriate design for a research study.


Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Chapter 8, “Planning a Nursing Study”

This chapter focuses on the necessary steps for planning a research study. It describes different research designs and their key features and discusses how to plan for data collection.

Chapter 9, “Quantitative Research Design”

This chapter explores quantitative research in greater depth including the importance of experimental design and the role of randomization in conducting research. The chapter also describes quasi-experimental design and observational research.


Laureate Education (Producer). (2012m). Quantitative research for evidence-based practice. Baltimore, MD: Author.

In this video, Dr. Kristen Mauk explains specific quantitative research designs, methods, and considerations related to her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) project. She discusses how she developed her research design and how she used sound quantitative research methods throughout her project.

2.Validity in Quantitative Research Designs

Validity in research refers to the extent researchers can be confident that the cause and effect they identify in their research are in fact causal relationships. If there is low validity in a study, it usually means that the research design is flawed and the results will be of little or no value. Four different aspects of validity should be considered when reviewing a research design: statistical conclusion validity, internal validity, construct validity, and external validity. In this Discussion, you consider the importance of each of these aspects in judging the validity of quantitative research.

To prepare:

· Review the information in Chapter 10 of the course text on rigor and validity.

· Read the method section of one of the following quasi-experimental studies. Identify at least one potential concern that could be raised about the study’s internal validity.

o Metheny, N. A., Davis-Jackson, J., & Stewart, B. J. (2010). Effectiveness of an aspiration risk-reduction protocol. Nursing Research, 59(1), 18–25.

o Padula, C. A., Hughes, C., & Baumhover, L. (2009). Impact of a nurse-driven mobility protocol on functional decline in hospitalized older adults. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 24(4), 325–331.

o Yuan, S., Chou, M., Hwu, L., Chang, Y., Hsu, W., & Kuo, H. (2009). An intervention program to promote health-related physical fitness in nurses.Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(10), 1,404–1,411.

· Consider strategies that could be used to strengthen the study’s internal validity and how this would impact the three other types of validity.

· Think about the consequences of an advanced practice nurse neglecting to consider the validity of a research study when reviewing the research for potential use in developing an evidence-based practice.


Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

  • Chapter 10, “Rigor and      Validity in Quantitative Research”

This chapter introduces the concept of validity in research and describes the different types of validity that must be addressed. Key threats to validity are also explored.

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