1. Phenomenological Studies
a. “Lived experience”
b. Examines human experiences through descriptions provided by the people
• The researcher releases expectations and biases prior to doing the
d. End purpose
• To determine themes and patterns of behavior, etc.
2. Ethnographic Studies
a. Collection and analysis of data about cultural groups.
b. End purpose
• To develop cultural theories.
• Participant observation and interviews with “key informants”
3. Grounded Theory Studies
a. Data are collected and analyzed and then a theory is developed that is
grounded on the data.
• Purposeful sampling, done in field or naturalistic setting.
c. Concerned with generation rather than testing the hypothesis.
4. Historical Studies
a. Identification, location, evaluation, and synthesis of data of the past
b. End purpose
• To relate the past to the present and the future.
c. Sources of data for historical research
a. Oral history, written research, diaries, eyewitness
accounts, pictorial services.
2. Relics and artifacts
a. Physical evidence.
d. Classification of sources can be:
a. An account of the event from the person himself.
a. Summarized or retold by another.
e. Evaluation or Critism of the data
a. Authentically or genuineness of the source
a. Accuracy of the data in the source.
5. Case study
• In-depth examination of people.
1. Identify the problem
a. Broad topic, narrowed down
b. May be the most difficult and will take the most amount of time
c. Sources of study problems
i. Personal experiences
ii. Literature sources
iii. Previous research
iv. Testing of theories
d. Characteristics of a good problem statement
i. Stated as a question
ii. Specifies the population and the variables
1. One-variable studies
• Also called Univariate.
• Eg. What is the primary motivation of student nurses in
preparing the Licensure examination?
2. Two-variable studies
• Also Bivariate.
• Can be cause and effect in experimental studies. But in a
correlational study, the two variables are not “cause and
effect” but may be two variables that are compared or
3. Multiple-variable studies.
• Also called Multivariate
• Eg. Why do nursing students fail on NLE?
iii. Emphirically testable
• Hearing, sight, taste, touch, smell.
1. Ethicai and value issues, “right or wrong”, are not empirically
testable but can be measured based on their effect to a subject .
• Eg. Should patients be allowed an unlimited number of
visitors during their stay in the hospital?” can be measured
if “Is there a difference in the comfort level of hospitalized
patients who receive an unlimited number of visitors
compared to those limited to two visitors compared to those
limited to two visitors per day?”
2. Avoid words like “cause” and “effect”.
e. Is there a significant difference in the average weight of school age children
who eat fast food twice a week than those who eat fast food once a week?
f. Problem Statement Format:
i. Correlational statement: Is there a correlation between X and Y in
ii. Comparative statement: Is there a difference in Y between people
in the population with X characteristics and those who do not have
iii. Experimental study: Is there a difference in Y between group A
who received X treatment and group B who did not receive X
g. Research problem considerations:
i. Ethical issues
ii. Significance to nursing
iii. Personal motivation
iv. Researcher qualifications
v. Feasibility of the study
3. Equipment and Supplies
4. Administrative support
5. Peer support
6. Availability of Subjects
2. Determine the purpose of the study
a. Define why the study ids being made (often mistakenly interchanged with
b. Must state the significance and use of the study results in order to get
c. Eg. To develop a better understanding of the significance of consumption of
fast food in the growing number of cases of obesity and overweight among
school aged children.
3. Review of Related Literature
i. To determine what knowledge already exist on the topic to be
ii. To develop a conceptual and theoretical framework for the study.
iii. To help the researcher plan the study methods (eg. Instrument and
b. Primary vs. Secondary sources
i. Written by the original researcher
(eg. The Thesis itself, or the article written by the researcher).
Seen in Nursing Journals.
ii. Secondary source
Summary of the research as written by someone other than the
c. Review of related literature must be done on a continuous basis so as to ensure
that researcher’s informations are up to date.
4. Develop a Theoretical/Conceptual Framework.
To assist in the selection of the study variables and in defining
Research without a theory provides a set of isolated facts.
Definition of terms:
Set of related statements that describes or explains phenomena
in a systematic way.
Eg. Newton’s Theories of motion, Callista Roy Adaptation
a. A word picture or mental idea of phenomenon.
b. Maybe concrete or abstract.
c. The building blocks of theory
d. Eg. Thermometer, Hate, Anger
Highly abstract, complex phenomenon.
Cannot be directly observed by, must be inferred by certain
concrete or less abstract indicators.
Eg. Wellness, Mental health, Self esteem, Assertiveness.
Statement of assertion of the relationship between anger
Eg. Bacteria causes disease. There is a relationship between
anger and increase in BP”.
v. Empirical Generalization
When a similar pattern of events is found in the empirical data of a number of
Eg. Women are likely to pass the board exams than men.
Researcher’s expectations about the study.
Symbolic representation of some phenomenon or phenomena.
Eg. Flowchart or diagram.
Conceptual Models – made of concepts and propositions that
state the relationship between the concepts.
d. Theoretical vs. Conceptual framework
i. Theoretical framework
Broad, general explanation of the relationships between
concept of interest in a research study.
Based on the existing theory.
ii. Conceptual framework
• Explains relationship between concept but links concepts
selected from several theories, from previous research results,
and from the researcher’s own experience.
• Eg. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory and Job satisfaction
e. Theory Generation and Development
i. Deductive reasoning
• Proceeds form general to specific.
• Eg. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs – job satisfaction scale.
• Theory -> Propositional statement -> Hypothesis -> Empirical
ii. Inductive reasoning
Proceeds from specific to general
Empirical date -> Empirical Generalization -> Propositional
statement -> theory.
Eg. Observed that workers who receive low salaries have poor
work performance – job satisfaction theory.
f. Two types of theories
i. Grand theory
Address a broad range of phenomena in the environment or
ii. Middle-range theory
Concerned only with a small area of the environment or human
Middle range theories have been found to be more valuable to
nursing research than grand theories.
5. Identify the Study Assumption
o Beliefs that are held to be true but have not necessary
o Eg. Fast food makes you fat.
Three types of assumptions:
i. Universal assumptions
Beliefs assumed to be true by a large percentage of society.
Eg. “Fast food makes you fat”.
ii. Assumptions based on theory or research findings
Using another research finding assumptions as the basis of
Eg. An existing research finding may have stated an
assumption that children who eat fast food twice a week tend to
be twice more likely to become overweight than children who
eat only once a week.
iii. Assumptions that are necessary to carry out the study
In the mentioned research, the assumption that children who
study in elementary schools are of “school-age”.
6. Acknowledge the Limitation of the study
Uncontrolled variables that may affect the study results and limit the
generalizability of the findings.
Also called Confounding or uncontrolled
Variables over which the researcher either has no control or chooses not to
Eg. The attitudes and beliefs of parents of children involved in the study is not
being something that the researcher can control.
In experimental studies, uncontrolled variables are referred to as threats to internal
and external validity.
Limitations placed on the research by the researcher himself.
The extent to which the study will be made.
7. Formulate the Hypothesis
o Predicts the relationship between two or more variables.
o Problem statements ask the question, hypothesis gives a
Characteristics of a hypothesis
i. Declarative form
ii. Written in present tense
iii. Reflects the problem statement
iv. Contains the population and the variables
v. Must be testable or empirically verifiable
c. Two main types of variables:
a. Independent – the cause
b. Dependent – the effect
Classification of Hypothesis
i. Simple vs. Complex
a. Relationship between one independent and one dependent variable.
Relationship between two or more independent or dependent variables.
An interaction effect would concern the action of two variables in
conjunction with each other.
ii. Null vs. Research
i. No relationship exists between two variables.
ii. There is a relationship, states the expected relationship.
iii. Nondirectional vs. Directional
iii. Mere prediction that a relationship exists.
iv. Researcher further predicts the type of relationship.
Which types of research require hypothesis?
i. Experimental, correlationa, comparative studies, require hypothesis.
1. Eg. Children who eat fast sood twice a week are morelikely to be
overweight that those who eat fast food only once a month.
ii. Descriptive studies, exploratory studies
1. Do not necessarily require hypothesis.
2. Eg. A description of the lifestyles, customs and practices of indigent
Manobos from Central Mindanao.
8. Define Study Variables and terms
o To make the meaning of terminologies and variables clearer
to the researcher and the reader.
o To allow for replication of the study.
Types of Research Definitions:
o Indicates hoow a variable will be observed or measured.
o Eg. Weight – can be measured in kilograms or pounds.
Dictionary definitions or Theoretical definitions
Obtained from literature sources
Eg. School-age-child – any child from age 7 to 12. Fast food – any
food that is consumed in eating establishments that are served
within a considerably short period of time.
9. Select the Research Design
a. Research design
i. The PLAN for how the study will be conducted.
b.Will it examine cause-and-effect or will it only describe existing situations.
Two major types
a. Can be Experimental and non-experimental
Experimental vs. Non-experimental studies
Concerned with cause and effect relationships.
Highly respected in the scientific world.
Must have: Manipulation or control of independent variable, random
selection of subjects, measurement of independent and dependent
More control can be exercised over extraneous variables.
In nursing experimental, a nursing intervention is usually introduced.
i. Validity of Experimental Design. Extraneous variables (confounding
or intervening or study limitations).
Those which the researcher cannot control or chooses not to
o Degree to which changes in dependent variable can be
directly attributed to the independent variable.
o Can have the following as threats to validity:
o Results are due to subject differences before the independent
variables was manipulated.
o Some event other than the experimental treatment occurs
during the study that influenced the dependent variable.
o Changes that occur within the subjects during an experiment
study influences the study results.
o Difference between the pretest and the post test measurement
caused by a change in the accuracy of the instrument of the
o Avoided by trial runs, or training sessions for judges prior to
o Subject dropout rate is different between the experimental and
i. Degree to which the study results can be generalized to other people
and other settings. Threats include:
i. Hawthrone effect
1. Study participants respond in a certain manner
because there are aware that they are being
ii. Experimenter effect
i. Researcher characteristics or behavior influence subject behavior.
ii. In non-experimental research, this is called the Rosenthal Effect.
iii. Reactive effects of the pre-test (measurement effect)
1. Subjects have already been sensitized by the pre-test and may affect
Types of Experimental Designs
a. True Experimental
Researcher has great deal of control over the research
3 criteria: Manipulation of variables; One experimental
and one comparison group (control group).
Subjects are randomly assigned
i. Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design
R O1 X O2 (experimental group)
R O1 O2 (control group)
i. Subjects are randomly assigned to groups
ii. Pretest given to both groups
iii. Experimental groups receives treatment, control
group the usual or no treatment
iv. Posttest given to both groups.
ii. Posttest only Control Group Design
R X O1 (Experimental Group)
R O1 (Control Group)
a. Subjects are randomly assigned to groups
b. Experimental group receives treatment, control group the usual or
c. Posttest given to both groups.
Missing one criteria for true experimental design.
Non-equivalent control group design
o Similar to pretest posttest control group
design but there is no random assignments
o Biggest threat: Selection bias.
Researchers periodically observes measures the
subjects. Experimental treatment is administered
between two of the observations. 01 02 03 X 04
c. Pre-experimental design
Weak researcher has little control over the
i. One-shot case study
Single group is exposed to an experimental treatment and observed
after the treatment.
TX X O
ii. One-group pretest-posttest design
Provides a comparison between a group of subjects before and
after the experimental treatment.
01 X 02
g. Types of Non-experimental Research design
i. Correlational Studies
Researcher extent to which one variable (X) is related to another
1. Correlation Coefficient
Researcher extent to which one variable (X) is related to
a. + Relationship
Also called Direct
As the value of one variable increases, the value of
the other variable also increases.
b. – Relationship
Also called Inverse
As the variable of one value increase, the value of the
other variable decreases.
ii. Survey studies
Self report data are collected from samples with purpose of
describing populations on some variables of interest.
iii. Comparative studies
Examine the differences between intact groups on some dependent
variable of interest.
Almost similar to experimental but has no manipulation of
Experiemental studies are rarely done in nursing research since this
will usually involve experimentation with human beings, and are
thus perceived as having ethical issues.
Eg. In the case of making the research on the weight gain of school
age children who frequently eat fast food, we cannot conduct
experimental study since doing so can endanger the health of the
1. Retrospective studies
Dependent variable identified in the present, and the
independent variable that occurred in the past is
2. Prospective studies
Independent variable is identified at the present time, and
the subjects are followed in the future to observe the
Eg. Fast food and weight gain.
3. Ex post facto studies
Data are collected “after the fact” variations in the
independent study are studied after the variations have
occurred, rather than at the time of the occurrence.
iv. Methodological Studies
Concerned with the development, testing, and evaluation of
research instruments and methods.
Eg. Post partum depression screening scale.
10. Identify the population
Complete set of individuals or objects the posses some common
characteristics that is of interest to the researcher.
i. Target population
Also called Universe.
The group of people or objects to which the researcher
wishes to generalize the findings of the study.
That group which is actually available for the study.
iii. The accessible population must posses the characteristics similar to the
target population, and vice versa.
11. Select the sample
A subgroup chosen to represent the population and used to make
generalizations about the population.
b. Two major types of sampling
Everyone in the population has the chance of being selected.
1. Sample Random Sampling
Ensures that each element of the population has an equal and
independent chance of being chosesn.
Identify the sample population and list all the elements of the
population (sampling frame).
Table of random numbers.
2.Stratified Random Sampling
Population is divided into subgroups or strata, according to some
variable/s of importance. After this, a simple random sample is
taken from each of the subgroups.
a. Proportional stratified
b. Disproportional stratified
3. Cluster Random Sampling
Large groups or samples become the sampling units.
Eg. Geographical area, school, etc.
4. Systematic Random Sampling
a. Sample is taken from every kth element of the population.
b. Eg. 1,000 population and researcher needs 100 samples, then:
(k interval = N/n) 1,000/100 = 10. Every 10th person in the list
will be taken as sample.
ii. Non-probability Sampling Methods
Sample elements are chosen from the population by non-random
methods. More likely to produce biased samples.
1. Convenience sampling
Accidental or incidental.
Choosing readily available people or objects for a study.
o Study subjects help refer additional subjects.
2. Quota Sampling
Similar to stratified random but selection not random.
Basis of stratification is determined by the researcher.
Eg. 50% females, 50% male.
3. Purposive sampling
a. Judgmental sampling
b. Handpicking of subjects.
c. Time frame for studying the sample
i. Longitudinal study
Follows the subject over a period of time (6 months or more).
More accurate study of changes that occur over time
1. Cohort study
Persons are studied who have been born during a particular
ii. Cross-sectional study
Examines the subjects at one point in time.
Less expensive and easier to conduct
Eg. Use of marijuana in high school freshmen vs. seniors, etc.
12. Conduct a pilot study
Maniature, trial version of the planned study. Can prevent a
researcher from conducting a large-scale study that might be an
To examine issues related to the design, sample size, data
collection procedures and data analysis approaches.
Can be used to test an instrument, evaluate the study
13. Collect the data
Pieces of information or facts that are collected in scientific
b. What data will be collected? Who will collect the data? Where will the
data be collected? When will the data be collected? How will the data be
collected? (Why, is answered by the purpose of the study or the research
design, and is not part of this).
c. The choice of data collection method is determined by the study
hypothesis or research question of the study.
d. Criteria for selection of data collection instrument
Practicality of the instrument
Reliability of the instrument
• Consistency and stability
Validity of the instrument
Ability to gather data that is intended to gather. Concerns that
content of the instrument. Will the instrument gather data that is
needed in the research.
e. Data collection methods
Paper and pencil, self-report instrument.
Contains questions the respondents are asked to answer in writing.
1. Guidelines in wording questions
i. Affirmative rather than negative (never say never).
ii. Avoid ambiguous questions (many, generally, few, often)
iii. Avoid double negative questions
iv. Neutral wording
v. Double-barreled questions
2. Types of questions
Data on the characteristics of the subjects.
Demographic or attribute variables.
Age, educational background, religion.
b. Open-ended questions
c. Closed-ended questions
Respondent is asked to choose from given alternatives.
Must be collectively exhaustive (all possible answer provided) and mutually
exclusive ( no overlap between categories)
d. Contingency questions
Items that is relevant for some respondents and not for
Eg. If yes..
e. Filler questions
a. Items in which the researcher has no direct interest but are
included in a questionnaire to reduce the emphasis on the
specific purpose of other questions.
b. Interviewer obtains responses from a subject in a face-to-face
encounter or through a telephone call.
1. Unstructured interview
c. Interviewer given a great deal of freedom to direct the course
of the interview.
d. Conducted more like a normal conversation.
o Additional prompting questions that encourage the
respondent to elaborate on the topic.
2. Structured interviews
Asking the same questions in the same order and in the
same manner of all respondents in the study.
Even subtle changes in the wording of the interview may
not be permitted.
3. Semi-structured interview
Interviewers are generally required to ask a certain
number of specific questions but additional probing
questions are allowed or even encouraged.
iii. Observation method
Gathering data through visual observations.
Can be psychomotor skills, habits, non-verbal communication.
1. Structured vs. Unstructured Observations
Carried out when the researcher has prior knowledge about
the phenomenon of interest.
Uses a checklist.
Researcher attempts to describe events or behaviors as they
occur, with no preconceived idea of what will be seen.
2. Event sampling vs. Time sampling
Observation of an entire event.
Eg. Bed making techniques of student nurses.
Observation of events or behaviors during specified times.
Eg. Appetite of patients during scheduled meals.
3. Relationship between observer and subjects
a. Non-participant observer-overt
Observer openly identifies himself and provides subjects
with information about the types of data that will be
b. Non-participant observer-covert
Generally not ethical.
Observer does not let participant know of his activity.
Eg. Public behavior (can be ethical)
c. Participant observer-overt
Involved with the subjects openly and subjects know that
they are being observed by the same.
Eg. Immersion with families while observing their day-to-
d. Participant observer-covert
Observer interacts with the subjects and observes their
behavior without their knowledge. Rarely ethical.
iv. Physiological Measures
Involve in the collection of physical data from the subjects.
Generally more objective and accurate than many of the other data
v. Attitude scales
Self-report, data collection instruments that ask respondents to report their
attitudes or feelings on a continuum.
1. Likert Scale
Uses five or seven responses for each item ranging from
Strongly Agree (5) to strongly disagree (1).
Negatively worded questions are rated scored reverse.
2. Semantic Differential Scales
Asks subjects to indicate their position or attitude about some
concept along a continuum between two adjectives.
vi. Psychological Tests
1. Personality Inventories
Self-report measures used to assess the differences in
personality traits, needs, or values of people.
2. Projective Techniques
Subject is presented with an ambiguous stimuli, subject
describes what the stimuli appear to represent.
Eg. Rorschach Inkblot Test.
vii. Delphi Technique
Uses several rounds of questions to seek a consensus on a particular topic
from a group of experts.
To obtain group consensus without a face-to-face meeting.
viii. Visual Analogue Scale
ix. Preexisting Data
Use of existing information that has not been collected for research
Eg. Patient’s chart
14. Organize the Data for Analysis
a. Tabulation and evaluation
b. Plans for organizing the data should be made prior to data collection. Plans for
analyzing the data should be made prior to data collection.
c. Determine if questionnaires have been completed correctly. What to do with
missing data. Audio tapes transcribed.
15. Analyze the data – statistical concepts
i. Frequency distribution
Simply counting the occurrence of values or scores represented in the
Appropriate for tabulating all types of data (nominal, ordinal, interval,
If range of score is less than 20, each score can be listed individually,
when the range is large you can group them into “class intervals”
ii. Graphic Presentations
Have visual appeal that may cause readers to analyze the data more
1. Bar graph
Used to represent frequency distribution with nominal data or
some type of ordinal data.
May be horizontal or vertical.
Uses bars to represent the frequency distribution of a variable
that is measured at the ordinal, interval, or ratio level.
Has X and Y axis.
3. Frequency polygon
Graph that uses dots connected with straight lines to represent
the frequency distribution or ordinal, interval, or ratio data.
The class intervals are on the horizontal axis, the frequency on
the vertical axis.
Represents the proportion of a subgroup to a total group.
Minimum number for the computation of percentages should be atleast
b. Measures of Central Tendency
Statistics that describe the average, typical, or most common value for
a group of data.
Category or value that occurs most often in a set of data under
If the data gathered are nominal this is referred to as “nominal
Maybe unimodal, bimodal, multimodal.
Middle score or value in a group of data.
If number of values is even, the midpoint between the two
middle values is the median. If the number of values is uneven,
then the median is the middle value.
The average sum of a set of values found by adding all values
and dividing by the total number of values.
X = Total of all values or number of values.
c. Measures of Variability
Measures how spread out values are in a distribution of values.
Distance between the highest and lowest value in a group of
values or scores.
Eg. Highest 60, lowest 40, the range is 20.
A datum point below which lies a certain percentage of the
values in a frequency distribution.
Eg. NCEE Score, Weight for Age charts in Pediatrics.
iii. Standard Deviation
Most widely used when interval or ratio data are obtained.
Indicates the average deviation or variation of all values in a
set of values from the mean values of those data.
Standard deviation squared.
d. Measures of Relationships
Measures the correlation between variables.
i. Correlation Coefficients
Pairing the value of each subjects on one variable with the
value on another variable.
Eg. Athletic ability vs. IQ level. Anxiety level vs. pulse rates.
ii. Scatter Plots
Scatter diagram or scattergram
Graphic representation of the relationship between two
variables (X and Y axis).
16. Interpret the findings
a. Made in light of the study hypothesis or research question and the theoretical
17. Communicate the findings
a. The final step in the research process and yet the most important one for
nursing. No matter how significant the findings may be, they are of little value
to the nursing profession if not communicated to other collegues.
b. Best method to reach a large number of nurses is the publication in research
c. May also be done through oral presentations. Poster sessions. Books.