This paper analyzes a quantitative research report selected because it focuses on enhancing patient education by attention to patient perceptions of the nurse educator. “Quantitative research is the formal, objective, systematic process used to describe variables, test relationships between them, and examine cause and effect interactions among variables” (Burns & Grove, 2007, p. 530). The report being analyzed is titled, “Nurses’ Body Size and Public Confidence in Ability to Provide Health Education” (Hicks, Rouhana, Schmidt, Seymour, & Sullivan, 2008). It replicates a 2006 original study by Wells, Lever, and Austin, listed among its references. Problem Statement
Burns and Grove (2007) describe the problem statement as one “that concludes the discussion of a problem and indicates the gap in the knowledge needed for practice” (p. 550). The report being analyzed notes little research demonstrating association between nurse weight and patient confidence in health education received from that nurse, and much debate about nurse obligation to serve as role model. Abundant literature exists on the prevalence of obesity and some on nurse hesitancy to address risks because of associated emotions. The problem is important in planning effective interventions to reduce obesity that build on literature and support National Institutes of Health and Healthy People 2010 initiatives. Study Purpose
“The research purpose is a clear concise statement of the specific aim or goal of the study” according to Burns and Grove (2007, p. 99). The report being analyzed states the purpose is “to replicate research about confidence level in receiving health teaching from either an overweight or a weight-appropriate nurse” (Hicks et al., 2008, p. 349). The statement is about a relationship between the manipulated variable weight and the response variable confidence. Replication should validate the original study and support generalizability. Affiliation of original and replication study authors is the State University of New York at Binghamton. Since credentials, study methods, and statistical approaches replicate the original study, the current is study feasible and inexpensive. Research Question
Burns and Grove (2007) define the research question as a “concise interrogative statement to direct a study; focuses on describing variables, describing relationships among variables, and determining the differences between two or more groups” (p. 553). The report being analyzed states the central question is “What do patients actually think about nurses’ body sizes, and does it have any influence on their perception of confidence in a nurses’ ability to teach them about healthy life styles?” (Hicks, 2008, p. 350). The question guides researchers to determine if the relationship supported by the original study, which provides historic control, can be replicated. Hypothesis/hypotheses
The researchers ended discussion of findings by stating the hypothesis was supported, “that the observed difference in confidence level between groups was explained by which image, normal weight or over-weight, the respondents viewed, and not by other factors" (Hicks, 2008, p. 352).. The hypothesis is "the formal statement of the expected relationship between two or more variables in a specific population" (Barnes & Grove, 2007, pg 542), providing the basis upon which the study is created and predicting the relationship between examined variables. After data is collected and analyzed, findings either support or do not support the hypothesis.
The relationship between independent and dependent variables affects study outcome. An independent variable is a stimulus or activity manipulated by the researcher to create an effect on the dependent variable. Whereas a dependent variable is an outcome or response, the researcher wants to predict or explain. Changes in the dependent variable are presumed to be caused by...