Research Design, Appraisal, and Utilization Nurse Practitioner

The focus of this course is on the critical examination of nurse practitioner research, with an emphasis on maintaining the links between the research problem, theory, and research methods. Consideration is given primarily to quantitative research approaches, designs, data collection and analysis, and implementing and disseminating findings. Strategies for critically analyzing research studies and for utilizing research findings in clinical practice are discussed. At the end of this course, you should be able to become a confident and efficient user of health care research, and an advocate for evidence-based practice.

Course content falls within the following major categories:

  1. Why should research inform practice? The benefits – and stress – of making decisions about the best form of care for a patient. Formulating a clear, answerable health care question.
  2. Finding the evidence: searching relevant databases.
  3. Critical appraisal of research publications: advantages and disadvantages of common quantitative research designs. Issues include bias, confounding variables, statistical power, generalizability, interpreting results, and determining implications for practice.
  4. Systematic reviews and meta-analysis: synthesizing the evidence. How to critically read a systematic review and apply its conclusion to practice.
  5. Measurement: critical appraisal of reports of diagnostic and screening tests; interpreting the results of psychometric studies.
  6. Strategies to implement and disseminating evidence: preparing for and implementing change in practice.