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NUA 5450 Advanced Healthcare Research Course Guide

This guide will point students in NUR 5450 to library resources and provide easy access to reminders of general concepts in nursing research and evidence-based practice.

Description of Research Methods

Quantitative research uses numerical data to answer a research question or test a hypothesis. 

More information from Encyclopedia of Nursing Research

Qualitative research "is best suited for research aimed at rich description or in-depth understanding of a phenomenon, rather than determining causality; it is particularly useful in understanding the relevance of contextual features in the expression of the phenomenon."

More information from Encyclopedia of Nursing Research

Mixed methods research uses a combination of methods that are usually identified with qualitative research and methods that are usually identified with quantitative research. 

More information from Dictionary of Nursing Theory and Research

"Observational designs are nonexperimental, quantitative designs. In contrast to experimental designs in which the investigator manipulates the independent variable and observes its effect, the investigator conducting observational research observes both the independent and dependent variables. In observational studies, variation in the independent variable may be due to genetic endowment, self-selection, or occupational or environmental exposures."

More Information from Encyclopedia of Nursing Research

"Correlational research examines the relationships between variables, but unlike experimental or quasi-experimental studies, correlational studies lack active manipulation of the independent variable(s). Therefore, postulation of relationships among study variables in causal terms is risky. Discussion of associations in correlational studies, however, sometimes gives an indication of how likely it is that a cause-and-effect relationship might exist."

More Information from Dictionary of Nursing Theory and Research

"Quasi-experimental research is similar to experimental research in that there is manipulation of an independent variable. It differs from experimental research because there is no control group, no random selection, no random assignment, and/or no active manipulation. Quasi-experimental research is a useful way to test causality in settings when it is impossible or unethical to randomly assign subjects to treatment and control groups or to withhold treatment from some subjects."

More Information from Encyclopedia of Nursing Research

Experimental research "involves manipulation of the principal independent variable, i.e., the actual administration of treatments or interventions that comprise the categories of the independent variable. An investigation is made of the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable.

A true experiment is characterized by random assignment of individual subjects to the treatment conditions and a high degree of control over unwanted influence of extraneous variables and other factors that could bias the results of the study."

More Information from Dictionary of Nursing Theory and Research

Content for this section has been adapted from Angelo State University's Research Methods in Nursing Research Guide. Source material may be found at

Research Methods eBooks

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