Observational Survey

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Example of an Observational (Survey) Study

Appel, S.J., Harrell, J.S., & Deng, S. (2002). Racial and socioeconomic differences in risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Southern rural women. Nursing Research, 51(3), 140-147.

The title appropriately indicates the target population sampled (Southern rural women), as well as two key independent variables (race and socioeconomic status—inclusive of education and income) examined for their associations with risk of cardiovascular disease. A possible enhancement of the study title would be to include reference to the type of study design used (e.g., “An observational study of…”). The abstract is well structured per the journal standards and is complete in presenting the key points of each section of the article. The clinical problem and study objectives are clearly presented in the abstract and text of the article. Specific research questions are outlined just prior to the Methods section of the article. A thorough and current literature review is presented in which the authors identify the current state of knowledge and needs for additional research. They make a clear and convincing case of the importance of the research for preventing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in at-risk/vulnerable populations, of which their sample includes a subset (African American women residing in the rural southeastern U.S.). This research topic and the study population match well with current national research funding priorities focusing on health disparities in vulnerable populations (in this case, disparities among African American versus white women in the burden of mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease). There are two limitations of the study background that if addressed could have enhanced the clarity of the presentation. First, a variety of factors that could influence the dependent variable/outcome of interest are addressed, but the logic diagram presented in Figure 1 is less than fully...
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