How To Write a Nursing Research Paper
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The elements needed to be included in a good title should contain the critical words or a phrase that describes the article; identify the major variables and the population. The title of this article has identified the independent and dependent variables which is the adaption and effects of the training program to help patients with end stage renal disease (Coughlan, Cronin, and Ryan, 2007; Nieswiadomy, 2008 p.380).
The authors of this article have outlined the purpose, aims, and objectives of the study. It also provides the methods used which is quantitative approach to collect the data, the results, conclusion of the study. It is important that the author should present the essential components of the study in the abstract because the abstract may be the only section that is read by readers to decide if the study is useful or not or to continue reading (Coughlan, Cronin, and Ryan, 2007; Ingham-Broomfield, 2008 p.104; Stockhausen and Conrick, 2002; Nieswiadomy, 2008 p.380).
This article hasn’t provided an introduction; however a lengthy summary of the study which identifies the problem, purpose and rationale for the research study has been provided in the background. The introduction should give the reader a general sense of what the document is about, and preferably persuade the reader to continue reading. This prepares the reader for reading the rest of the document (Burns & Grove, 2001 p.636; Nieswiadomy, 2008 p.380; Stockhausen and Conrick, 2002).
As Burns and Grove (2001) & Polit and Hungler (1997) as cited in Ingham-Broomfield (2008 p.104) mentioned that the primary purpose of the literature review is to discuss what is known, gain broad background and understanding of the available information related to the study. As Coughlan, Cronin, and Ryan (2007) stated that literature review should also help to identify any gaps in the literature relating to the problem and suggest how those gaps might be filled. The authors of this article has not provided any review of literature and this could misinform the reader what the main focus of the study; however, several appropriate references were used in the background. The terms used in the key concepts are adequately defined and consistent with the topic. The background of the study introduces the previous knowledge or what is already known which is to investigate the effectiveness of an ATP designed to help ESRD patients to cope with stressors while receiving haemodialysis treatment.
The study needs to be undertaken due to limited rationale of adaptation training for patients with ESRD. The authors have clearly stated the gaps in the knowledge which makes the information considerable and lays a solid basis for the study. This study has clear significance for nursing which will deliver effective understanding and knowledge on patients with ESRD. The proposed paradigm and method of the study is a good match between the research problem which will provide evidence if the ATP is helpful or not to the patients with ESRD.
The aim in this article has clearly stated and congruent with the data presented in the article (Coughlan, Cronin, and Ryan, 2007). In addition, the purpose of the article is consistent with the literature review and focuses on what the study wanted to achieve for patients with ESRD (Stockhausen and Conrick, 2002).
The research design that was mentioned in the study article did not clearly explain what the researcher did and how it was undertaken. The researchers only mentioned a two-group randomized controlled trial which was carried out. This does not allow the readers to evaluate the appropriateness of the researchers’ methods, methodological consistency, reliability, validity and whether the study can be replicated (Stockhausen and Conrick, 2002). However, the methodological rigor that has been used in this study is the experimental design which is cited in the last paragraph of the background section. The threats to internal and external validity of the study weren’t discussed by the researchers in this section. As Roberts and Taylor (2002 p.178) stated threats to internal and external validity should be addressed before the discussion of the types of experimental designs so the researchers can determine the strengths and weaknesses of the designs because validity is hard to prevent from happening.
The researchers used convenience sampling in selecting the participants for the study. According to Burns and Grove (2001 p. 374) convenience sampling is considered a poor approach to sampling because it provides little opportunity to control for biases and a multiple biases may exist in sample size is reached. However, the researchers did not described and identify any biases on the research study. The participants were selected from outpatient dialysis units from 267 ESRD patients, 66 patients were consented to participate and selected randomly assigned either the control group or ATP group. From a sampling point of view, this will provide an equal opportunity for each participant to be selected for the sample (Burns & Grove, 2001 p.377; Ingham-Broomfield, 2008 p.105; Meadows, 2003). The researcher used Cohen’s table to estimate the power of the study; significance level at 0.05 means the researcher can only be wrong 5 times out of 100 (Duffy, 2006; Nieswiadomy, 2008 p.130). The effect size in this study is large while the anticipated sample size is small, according to Burns and Grove (2001 p. 377-378) in developing the methodology for a study, the research must evaluate the elements of the methodology that affect the required sample size which means the sample size in this study was adequate.
Data collection and measurement
During the data collection, the study variables are measured through the use of a variety of techniques (Burns and Grove, 2001 p. 50) in this study the participants identify their stressors by observation and discussions. The key variables that were used in experimental group are sufficient in adaptation training program. However, research questionnaires are better than self-report and observation because the participants may find it difficult or reserved to express their own feelings (Coughlan, Cronin, and Ryan, 2007; Polit and Beck, 2006 p.380). Hence, the methods that been use in this study are not sufficient enough to measure the specific experiences of the participants since this will not provide a quality information to collect the data.
Nevertheless, the instruments that were used in the research study measures the effectiveness of the interventions and whether the patients with ESRD who received ATP showed any improvement than those who did not. According to Nieswiadomy (2008 p.226) the data should be collected accurate and precise for the instruments to be reliable and appropriate for this study in measuring stressors, depression levels and quality of life of the participants.
The research protocol has been approved by the institutional review board before conducting the research. Coughlan, Cronin and Ryan (2007) and Ingham-Broomfield (2008 p.106) states that research protocol has to be approved by the institutional review board or ethical committees to ensure that ethical principles are being applied and the rights of the patients are being adhered to. However, it wasn’t mentioned that the family of the participants are informed of the study. The researcher is also obliged to inform the family and society regarding the implications of the proposed study (Ingham-Broomfield, 2008 p.106).
Table 1, the researchers have obtained information of the participants to simplify characteristics and corresponding figures of the sample groups. Sample characteristics are presented in Table 2 comparing both intervention the group who receives (ATP) and the control group who receives usual care towards specific characteristics. Burns & Grove (2001, p.185) states that a number of variables such as age, marital status and working status that could change the results of the study. Table 3, Comparison of pretest and post-test scores are being compared between groups. In between-group comparison of pre-test scores, there were no significant differences in mean score for quality of life; however, differences were found between the groups in terms of perception of stress and depression (Duffy, 2006; Nieswiadomy, 2008 p.130). All the tables have been well presented and can be viewed easily by the readers. Furthermore, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted in the study to control the differences between groups due to a confounding variable (Burns & Grove 2001, p.587; Polit and Beck, 2006 p.379).
Discussion, limitations, implications for practice and research
According to Burns & Grove (2001 p.639) the major findings, which are generated through an interpretation of the results, should be discussed in relation to research problem, purpose, and objectives, questions of the study. The research paper has discussed the major findings, the limitation of the study, conclusions drawn from the findings, implications of the findings for nursing and the recommendations for further studies. This made that the research study has been successful on the improvement of coping strategies of the patients with intervention and the adaptation program particularly in the level of stress, depression and quality of life. However, it is mentioned in the article that the one limitation of the study was the short follow-up period after treatment over a period of three months. Reading this study, the findings of the study have presented completely relevance in clinical practices that will assist the patient with ESRD to adopt their chronic illness. For this reason, the researcher provided satisfying nursing intervention techniques when dealing with patients with ESRD.
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Polit, D.E. & Beck, C.T. (2006). Essentials of nursing research: Methods, appraisal, and utilization. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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