Compare a qualitative and quantitative study’s quality, significance, and the practical application of results (evidence) in a health care setting.

Introduction

Evidence-based practice involves finding the best research evidence to support an intervention, which is integrated with patient preferences and values and professional expertise, and then implemented. Once you have searched and found relevant and timely research studies, the next step is to evaluate the quality of their methods, design, and other elements and to explore the application of the evidence they provide in different scenarios and settings. It is of paramount importance to correctly identify the type of research methods used in the study—quantitative or qualitative, or a mixture of both—and to evaluate the study to ensure those methods are high-quality, valid, reliable, and accurate. Consequently, doctoral professionals must develop a working knowledge of how to identify and critically appraise specific, important elements of both quantitative and qualitative research studies. Rapid critical appraisal tools assist in developing this skill.

Preparation

  • Review the media pieces in Weeks 1–3, focusing on the EBP process, the PICO(T) process, and the important step of critically appraising research evidence.
  • Review the following two quantitative and qualitative studies. You will describe the key elements of each study and complete a critical appraisal of each.
  • Locate the following tools, found in Appendix B in your Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare textbook. You will use these tools to complete the appropriate rapid critical appraisal for each study. Choose the tool that matches the methods and design of each study.
    • Rapid Critical Appraisal Questions for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), page 711.
    • Rapid Critical Appraisal Questions for Qualitative Evidence, pages 715–716.

Note: Remember that you can submit all or a portion of your completed executive summary and both general overviews and critical appraisals to Smarthinking for feedback before you submit the final version for this assignment. If you plan on using this free service, be mindful of the turnaround time of 24–48 hours for receiving feedback.

Instructions

Write a paper in which you:

  • Describe the key elements of a research study.
  • Complete a rapid critical appraisal of each study.
  • Write an executive summary that compares the two studies.
Document Format and Length

Your document should be 4–5 pages in length, including the overviews, rapid critical appraisals, and executive summary.

Supporting Evidence

Include at least two resources, other than the course textbook, to support your critical appraisals. Provide in-text citations and references in APA format for each study, the critical appraisal tools, and other resources used.

Assignment Grading

The following requirements correspond to the scoring guide criteria, so be sure to address each point. Read the performance-level descriptions in the scoring guide for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.

  • Describe the key elements of a research study.
    • Include the study’s purpose, methods, design, results, and any other aspects of the study you think are noteworthy.
    • Consider how the study contributes to the scholarly literature.
  • Evaluate the quality of each study, using the appropriate rapid critical appraisal tool (RCA).
    • Create a table or other organized format for your answers to the questions on the RCA tool for each study.
    • What evidence supports your assertions and conclusions?
  • Compare a qualitative and quantitative study’s quality, significance, and the practical application of results (evidence) in a health care setting.
    • Consider the following questions to guide the comparison of these studies in your executive summary:
      • Which study provides the best overall evidence? What elements in the study led you to this conclusion?
      • Which study provides subjective information that could be integrated to make positive changes to services, processes, systems, or patient care?
      • What is the significance of each study’s results in a hospital setting? How do the results affect patients?
      • How could the evidence found in each study be applied in different health care settings? In the overall health care industry?
  • Support main points, assertions, arguments, or conclusions with relevant and credible evidence.
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