Application of Research in Evidence Based Care
Nursing practice has evolved greatly in the last decade to respond to the changing health care needs in the world. The lifestyle in the world has improved leading to people living longer. This aging population has unique health challenges. In addition, there is a rise in chronic diseases. To meet this health challenges nursing care has adopted evidence based care. Evidence based care means using credible and reliable research to make clinical nursing decisions. The most reliable evidence used in nursing care comes from randomized controlled clinical trials. The first step in implementing evidence based care is to identify a clinical practice that needs improvement. This can be done through problem focused triggers such as clinical problems or from knowledge focused triggers such as new findings presented in scientific conferences. In this paper, we analyze qualitative and quantitative research as applied in evidence based care. This is in view of the challenge for new graduates face when determining the most effective method for treating patients since different hospitals have different codes for care delivery. Evidence based care is a tool for solving this challenge and provide uniform care that is most effective.
Qualitative research is a type of research that seeks to understand behavior and answer questions such as why, how, what, where, and when (Speziale, Steubert & Carpenter, 2011). These are significant questions in nursing that can enhance nursing care. There are different approaches that are employed in qualitative research. The most common approaches include grounded theory, phenomenology, philosophical research, ethnographic studies, ethical inquiry, foundational research, historical review, and pragmatic qualitative research. Ethnographic research focuses on cultural studies and develops theories from collected data. In nursing practice, ethnographic studies are widely used to evaluate diseases that affect particular groups or to analyze diseases in context of cultures (Barrow, 2011). Grounded theory is inductive research in which observed data is used to develop theories. The data is generated from observational surveys, interviews, article reviews, and from quantitative data. Phenomenology studies are subjective and focus on phenomenon. Ethical inquires cover intellectual analysis of ethical problems. Ethics is an important part of nursing and ethical studies analyze obligations, rights, duty, rights, wrongs and choices (Aitamaa et al., 2010).
Qualitative data is interpreted based on the impression the researcher gets. For use in nursing practice, qualitative data should be credible. Credibility and reliability of data is determined from the method used and how the data is analyzed. Of paramount importance is that the researcher should not take sides in the study.
Quantitative research is systematic investigations that use quantitative data and statistical analysis to determine relationships. The common approach used in nursing to conduct quantitative research is randomized trials. These trials are used to test the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of various drugs and interventions. Randomized clinical trials are usually controlled by use of a control group which provides baseline data to determine efficacy (Polit, 2013). In addition, such studies can be blinded or even double blind to improve reliability. Qualitative research uses structured techniques with clear defined inclusion and exclusion principles. The data is analyzed by statistical means to determine the significant of the findings.
Application of Research in Evidence Based Care
When a problem in nursing practice is identified, retrieving evidence is the next step in evidence based care. The aim of evidence retrieval is to generate evidence that is credible, reliable and relevant to the problem. The PICO model is used to retrieve evidence from published research. The model is an acronym for four questions that nurses need to ask when determining the relevance of evidence (Salmond & Holly, 2011). “P” stands for the patient population that the research incorporated while “I” considers the potential interventions in the area of interest. “C” stands for comparison intervention and control group and “O” represents the desired outcome. In addition, nurses should consider the research limits, exclusion and inclusion criterions. The nurses should also critique the research adequately to determine the hypothesis, the purpose, the methodology used, data analysis, and the conclusions reached. Once the research is proved to be rigorous, the research findings are incorporated into nursing practice through clinical guidelines provided in the hospital.
Health facilities have different clinical practices and this can be a challenge to new graduate health care providers. However, the different clinical practices can be unified by evidence based care. All health facilities want to provide quality care that is safe, effective and tolerable to the patient. New graduates need to embrace evidence based care as a means of finding common points in health care delivery. Research data that is used for evidence is divided into qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research evaluates people’s opinions and is applied in nursing to evaluate cultural aspects of health care delivery. Quantitative research uses statistical data and is widely applied in clinical trials. Selecting credible, reliable and relevant research for use as evidence is an important skill that enhances nursing care delivery.\
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