NURS 8200 Week 4: Quantitative Methods: Analyzing Quantitative Data

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NURS 8200/NURS 8200F/NURS 8200M/NURS 8200C/NURS 8200A Week 4: Quantitative Methods: Analyzing Quantitative Data

“Cellphone Cancer Warning: Possible Link to Brain Tumors Cited in Expert Panel’s Review of Past Studies”: This headline appeared on June 1, 2011, in the Wall Street Journal. News agencies began reporting that cell phones can cause certain types of brain cancer before the research study was published. When reviewing the actual study,—an organization based out of George Mason University—found that the authors of the research study actually cautioned against a causal interpretation of the study results.

In order to make accurate, straightforward interpretations and reports, researchers should perform careful statistical analyses of the data and variables in their studies. Otherwise, they run the risk of making inappropriate assumptions and generating incorrect conclusions. This week, you begin to develop a foundational knowledge of statistics and the vital role that it plays in research and problem solving. Over the next several weeks, you will complete statistics exercises using SPSS. The knowledge of statistics that is promoted through your work on these exercises will enable you to better contextualize and interpret health care data and its application to evidence-based practice.

This week provides an introduction to descriptive statistics, which can be useful in analyzing data and drawing conclusions about the sample from which that data was taken. You also examine confidence intervals, frequency distributions, and the levels of measurement.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Identify independent and dependent variables
  • Calculate descriptive statistics and interpret the results
  • Construct a table to summarize descriptive statistics using APA format

NURS 8200 Week 4: Quantitative Methods: Analyzing Quantitative Data

There are many different methods for analyzing quantitative data; each method is dependent on the type of data gathered as well as the research question being addressed. The first step in analyzing data is to determine what kind of data you have—the level of measurement. Determining the level of measurement is a method of classifying the variables within a research study. Classifying a variable into its appropriate level of measurement helps a researcher determine the most appropriate statistical analysis for those data and to interpret the data the variable generates.

In this Discussion, you identify independent and dependent variables in your research problem, which you identified in the Week 2 Discussion. You classify these variables into their appropriate levels of measurement and determine suitable ways of analyzing the data generated by each variable.

To prepare:

  • Review the materials presented in Chapter 1 of the Polit textbook.
  • Consider Dr. Pothoff’s comments in this week’s media presentation on data analysis.
  • Recall your research problem statement developed for the Week 2 Discussion. Based on your problem statement, develop a research question to address the problem.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Do the research question involve a comparison of groups or the relationship of variables?
    • How many independent variables do I have? Dependent variables? What are they?
    • Is the independent variable categorical or continuous?
    • Is the dependent variable categorical or continuous?
    • What might be the advantages, or disadvantages, of each variable’s level of measurement?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive summary of the following:

  • Post your research question. Describe the independent and dependent variables.
  • Identify the level of measurement of both the independent and dependent variables. Provide a brief rationale for your classification of each variable.
  • Discuss considerations of analyzing data related to each variable based on its level of measurement. Identify any advantages or challenges you might encounter in your statistical analysis of each variable.
  • Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings, noting any discrepancies or alternatives in the levels of measurement and statistical analyses.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments made by your colleagues.

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and any additional sources.

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Discussion 2: Peer Support: Using SPSS

Using this Discussion, post questions you have about using SPSS and collaborate with your colleagues to complete Assignment 2, assigned and due this week. The questions you post will not only give you the opportunity to address any problems you encounter and assist your colleagues, but will also give your Instructor an idea of the challenges and successes you and your classmates are experiencing. This will allow your Instructor to identify overall areas in which there is a lack of comprehension and areas of mastery and complete understanding, which will be useful in better explaining SPSS in future online courses.

Note: You do not earn any points for participating in this Discussion. It is not required that you participate; however, it is an opportunity for you to connect with your colleagues to discuss the statistical exercises.

Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements.

NURS 8200 Week 4: Quantitative Methods: Analyzing Quantitative Data

Assignment 1: [Major Assessment 4]

By Day 7 of Week 9

Continue to work on your article critique which was assigned in Week 2 and is due in Week 9. Analyze the appropriateness of the statistical methods used in your selected research article. Remember that the content of your article critique should be specific and detailed and should reflect an understanding of the content presented throughout this course.

You are not required to submit this assignment this week.

Assignment 2: Descriptive Statistics

This week, you explore key statistical concepts related to data and problem solving through the completion of the following exercises using SPSS and the information found in your Statistics and Data Analysis for Nursing Research textbook. The focus of this assignment is to become familiar with the SPSS data analysis software and to develop an understanding of how to calculate descriptive statistics and make conclusions based on those calculations. As you formulate your responses, keep in mind that descriptive statistics only allow you to make conclusions and recommendations for the sample at hand—not for the larger population to which that sample may belong.

To prepare:

  • Review the Statistics and Data Analysis for Nursing Research chapters assigned in this week’s Learning Resources. Pay close attention to the examples presented, as they provide information that will be useful when you complete the software exercise this week. You may also wish to review the Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice video resources to familiarize yourself with the software.
  • Refer to the Week 4 Descriptive Statistics Assignment page and follow the directions to calculate descriptive statistics for the data provided using SPSS software. If you run into any difficulties or problems, post them to the Week 4 Discussion 2 area.
  • Download and save the Polit2SetA.sav data set. You will open the data file in SPSS.
  • Compare your data output against the tables presented in the Week 4 Descriptive Statistics SPSS Output document. This will enable you to become comfortable with defining variables, entering data, and creating tables and graphs.
  • Formulate an initial interpretation of the meaning or implication of your calculations.

To complete:

  • Complete the Part I, Part II, and Part III steps and Assignment as outlined in the Week 4 Descriptive Statistics Assignment page.

By Day 7

Submit this Assignment.

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