Concept and Terminologies In Nursing Research

Afza.Malik GDA

Research Principles and Methods In Nursing 

Concept and Terminologies In Nursing Research

 Research terminologies includes Researcher, Sample, Population, Site or Setting, Variable or attributes, Data,Data types, Validity, Reliability.

Researcher , Research Subjects and Research Sample 

    A research study (or investigation or research project) is conducted by one or more investigators (or investigators or scientists). People who provide information to researchers are called subjects, subjects or respondents (in quantitative research) or subjects or informants in qualitative research; together they form the sample.

More than one Investigators 

    Collaborative research, involving a team of nurses with both clinical and methodological expertise, is increasingly used in the management of clinically relevant problems.

Research Environment 


    The location or site  is the general location for the investigation; Researchers sometimes participate in studies at multiple sites. 

    The physical setting or premises selected by investigator to conduct a research is titled as Setting in research.Nursing research settings can range from completely naturalistic settings to formal laboratories.

Phenomenon / Concept

    Researchers study concepts and phenomena (or constructs), which are abstractions or mental representations derived from behaviors or events.

    The concepts or view about an idea are the lime stones of  a theory, thee concepts leads the theory to the real world or evidence based observations.

Variables and Their Types 

    In quantitative studies, concepts are called variables. A variable is a property or property that takes on different values ​​(ie a variable varies from one person or object to another).

Types by Origin 

    Variables that are inherent characteristics of an individual that the researcher measures or observes are attribute variables. 

    When a researcher is actively creating a variable, such as when introducing a specific intervention, the variable is an active variable.

Types by Nature of Data

    Variables that can take on infinite values ​​along a continuum are continuous variables (for example, height and weight). 

    Instead, a discrete variable is a variable that has a finite number of values ​​between two points (for example, number of children). 

    Variables with different categories that do not represent size are categorical variables (such as gender and blood type).

Types by Relationship Among Variables 

   A dependent variable /Attribute  is the behavior/ expression, trait/characters, or outcome that the investigator want to understand, explain, assume, or expect any affect. 

    The independent variable is the suspected cause, history, or influence on the dependent variable.

Types by Characteristics

    Groups that are very different with respect to some characteristics are called heterogeneous; Groups with limited variability are called homogeneous.

Types of Definition 

    A term or conceptual definition clarifies the abstract or theoretical meaning of the terms examined. 

    An operational definition is the specification of the procedures and tools necessary to measure a variable.

Data and its types 

    Data, the information collected throughout a study, can take the form of narrative information (qualitative data) or numerical values ​​(quantitative data).

Relationships on the Base of Research Type 

    Researchers often focus on the relationships between two or more concepts.A relationship is a link or connection (or a pattern of association) between two phenomena.

    Quantitative researchers focus on the relationship between independent variables and dependent variables.

    In the case when independent variable/ attribute causes or affects the dependent variable, the relationship is called  cause-and-effect (or causal) relationship. In a functional or associative relationship, the variables/ attribute  are related in a non-causal way in an investigation.

Reliability and Validity

    Researchers face numerous conceptual, practical, ethical, and methodological challenges. Major  methodological/Research design  challenge is to design/construct studies that are reliable and valid (quantitative studies) or trustworthy (qualitative studies) for the investigator's satisfaction.

    The Reliability is known as the accuracy and consistency of the information/data gain in a study. While Validity is a more complex/Multi conceptual view refers under large shed umbrella to the strength of the study evidence, that are,r the results are compelling, convincing/justifying , and well-supported/ with strong evidence base.

  • Reliability in qualitative design have several different dimensions/aspects.
  • Reliability refers to evidence that is credible, consistent, and stable over time during a research span.

    The Confirmiability known as demonstrating/explaining the objectivity of the investigator.While Credibility is gained to the extent that the research methods provide confidence or trust in the veracity of the data and in the interpretations of the data by the researchers.

Terms for End Results of a Research 

    The term Triangulation, is  the use of multiple sources/references to draw conclusions about what constitutes of truth, is one approach/effort to establishing credibility.

    A bias is an influence that creates a bias in the results of the study. Systematic bias occurs when bias is consistent or uniform across study participants or situations. In quantitative studies, research control is used to keep external influences on the dependent variable constant so that the relationship between the independent and dependent variables can be better understood.

    The external influences that the researcher is trying to control are external variables alien to the purpose of a particular study. There are several ways to control such influences, but the general principle is that external variables should be held constant.

    For a quantitative researcher, randomness is a powerful tool for eliminating bias: certain features of the study are determined by chance rather than by design or personal preference.

    Generalized ability is the criterion used in a quantitative study to assess the extent to which the results can be extrapolated to other groups and settings. A similar concept in qualitative studies is transfer ability, the extent to which qualitative results can be extrapolated to other settings. An important mechanism for promoting transfer ability is a bold or thick  description, the rich and comprehensive description of the research setting or context so that others can draw conclusions about contextual similarities.

    Replications, i.e. attempts to validate study results in independent research, are a crucial form of triangulation. Duplication/Replication research/investigation is essential to the development of nursing science and evidence-based practice in the health care setting for better outcome in future.

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