Discussion: Developing Research Questions or Hypotheses

Is social support correlated with HIV infection rates in Sub-Saharan Africa?
If nurses participate in leadership organizations, are they more likely to advocate for state-level policy changes?
Exposure to pet therapy decreases the perception of pain in patients who are terminally ill with cancer.
Is limited English proficiency a barrier to the adoption of the new information technology system by Newbury Clinic personnel?

For each item above, consider the following:

  • Is it a research question or hypothesis? Why do you think so?
  • Which elements of a theoretical foundation for research are evident in the research question/hypothesis?
  • Would the research question/hypothesis be reasonable and appropriate for dissertation research or a similar program of research? If not, what modifications would you suggest?
  • Is it written clearly and effectively for the purposes of research? Why or why not?
  • If a nurse scientist were to address this research question/hypothesis, how would it further nursing’s body of knowledge and promote positive social change?

Examination of a variety of research questions and hypotheses can help you think creatively and analytically about your phenomenon of interest and the program of research you wish to pursue. In this Discussion, you develop research questions or hypotheses that you may be able to use to study your phenomenon of interest. You also provide feedback to your colleagues to help them strengthen their own research questions or hypotheses.

To prepare
  • Review the Learning Resources, including the information that Dr. Hathaway’s presents in the media program, “Research Questions and Hypotheses.”
  • Review the framework or theory that you identified in the Week 6 Discussion as having the most potential for use in your theoretical foundation for research. Using this framework or theory, think of potential research questions or hypotheses that you may use to study your phenomenon.
  • In addition, try other strategies that may help you develop useful research questions or hypotheses. For example:
    • Reexamine the literature related to your phenomenon of interest.
    • Review the questions and comments you noted as you analyzed concepts and conceptual relationships in previous weeks of this course.
    • Reflect on your firsthand observations of this phenomenon.

By Day 3

Post one or more research questions or hypotheses. Provide your rationale for selecting each question/hypothesis, explaining why it may be beneficial for studying your phenomenon of interest.

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