Last week you synthesized the evidence and identified the intervention for your evidence-based project proposal. This week you will begin to design the study that will determine if the intervention you have chosen is as successful in your particular setting with your population as it was in the research setting. The first step in this process is to develop a clinical question that will guide not only your project design, but also help to identify the appropriate evaluation methods.
Your PICOT question was worded in such a fashion as to guide the search for evidence. The clinical question should be written to indicate the type of outcomes desired, which will in turn, help you understand the type of study you will be doing to evaluate the outcomes. Do you plan to study differences between two outcomes? Is a comparison of outcomes desired based on different variables?
Another indicator of the type of study you will be conducting is how much control you have over the variables. The quasi-experimental approach does not require random assignment of participants to groups (intervention and control) and is a common approach to quality improvement projects. Once you determine how much control you have over the variables, you will have a better idea of the type of study that is indicated, the type of data you can collect, and how that data will be analyzed. In coming weeks, you will be working on the pieces of this study.
This clinical or study question will include the variables (population, setting, intervention) and the relationship of those variables. It is much like writing a research question or a hypothesis statement. You may find that it is simply a rewording of your PICOT question that includes the type of results you are looking for such as a comparison, relationship, or difference. Rewording your question in this way will clarify the type of study you will be conducting.
In addition, this week you will choose the theoretical framework or frameworks to guide your study. Since a single theory may not include the significant aspects of your study, you may need to draw from more than one framework.
Demonstrate synthesis of the knowledge and skills acquired in preceding graduate nursing core and specialty curriculum content.
Incorporate evidence-based research methods, scientific writing, and critical thinking demonstrative of graduate level professional nursing practice.