Clinical studies require the adoption of well-stated research questions, which are utilized to guide the outcomes of a clinical project. A summary of two research articles in this paper reveals that a study that does not focus on answering a question or a set of questions does not yield findings that are measurable. The research question that is composed in this essay follows the PICOT format. It is clear and measurable.
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Critique on Thorne, S., & Sawatzky, R. (2014). Particularizing the General: Sustaining Theoretical Integrity in the Context of an Evidence-Based Practice Agenda. Advances in Nursing Science, 37(1), 5-18, and Smith, C., & Hewison, A. (2012). Are nurses prepared to respond to a bioterrorist attack: a narrative synthesis. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(12), 2597-2609.
Research questions are essential in all clinical studies because they greatly influence the focus of studies. A clinical research question allows a researcher to follow specific routes so that the right data could be gathered for analysis and conclusion. Thorne and Sawatzky (2014) focused on understanding the factors that make nurses not offer evidence-based nursing care. The topic of the article is very clear, but the authors did not provide a research question. Thus, it could be concluded that the research questions did not have valid and measurable findings. It was essential for the researchers to formulate a question to be answered by the study. On the other hand, Smith and Hewison (2012) concentrated on assessing the level of preparedness among nurses with regard to responding to terror attacks within healthcare facilities. The authors set a clear question that they needed to answer through the study. The question that was adopted was characterized by a high level of clarity, which ensured that it was not ambiguous.
An example of a research question
Brown (2012) asserts that clinical research questions should be formulated based on specific parameters that help to achieve the goals of the project. Based on the suggestions of Brown (2012), a clinical research question would be “what is the rate of rehospitalization of patients suffering from chronic illnesses?”
It has been argued that research questions fall under the following four categories: prevention, etiology, prognosis, and diagnosis (Tappen, 2010). On the premises of the four categories, it can be concluded that the above research question is about prevention. It seeks to know the rates of rehospitalization of patients characterized by chronic illnesses so that the right approaches could be adopted to reduce the number of patients readmitted due to disease complications. The question has all the five elements proposed by Brown (2012).
Population/ patient problem- this component of the PICOT approach is adopted in the above question. The public is being targeted, but with a focus on the persons with chronic illnesses.
Intervention- this element seeks to find what could be done to help patients. In this context, medications with better efficacy could be used by patients so that they cannot be readmitted to hospitals.
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Comparison- this component attempts to propose alternatives for the selected intervention. For example, if medications are not helping the patients, then other treatment approaches can be adopted. In addition, some drugs could be causing adverse effects on patients.
Outcome- it is important for all clinical studies to focus on achieving specific outcomes (Tappen, 2010). The above research question seeks to have lower rates of rehospitalizations of patients with chronic diseases. In fact, this component of the research makes it measurable because the number of such patients can easily be quantified in healthcare settings.
Time- this element is not always present in clinical research questions. However, it is used to define the amount of time within which the desired clinical project outcomes would be achieved.
Brown, S. J. (2012). Evidence-Based Nursing: The research-practice Connection (2nded.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Barrlett Learning.
Smith, C., & Hewison, A. (2012). Are nurses prepared to respond to a bioterrorist attack: a narrative synthesis. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(12), 2597-2609.
Tappen, R. M. (2010). Advanced Nursing Research: From Theory to Practice. Sadbury, MA: Jones and Barrlett.
Thorne, S., & Sawatzky, R. (2014). Particularizing the General: Sustaining Theoretical Integrity in the Context of an Evidence-Based Practice Agenda. Advances in Nursing Science, 37(1), 5-18.