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Theory, Research, and Evidence-Based Practice

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As they explore the world around them, young children often want to know the “why” and “how” of the things they observe. This is similar to what researchers do when they approach a new problem. Researchers develop new theories or build on old ones to explain the “why” of the world around them. They use models and conceptual frameworks to help explain “how” the processes and events they observe occur. Together, theories and models provide an understanding of the world and allow researchers to explore it in meaningful ways.

Virtually all research questions can benefit from the use of an existing theory or model. Researchers should consider their research questions and select the most suitable theory or model, which then serves as a foundation for the research design. The selection of a theory or model is an important part of the research process.

In this Discussion, you focus on the role of theory and models in research and evidence-based practice.

To prepare:

Review the information in Chapter 6 of the course text. Focus on the various conceptual theories and models that are currently used in nursing research.

Select one of the theories or models described that is of interest to you.

Using the Walden Library, search for and identify a research article that uses the theory or model you selected.

Reflect on how the theory or model provides structure to the research study described in the article.

Now, think about an issue in your practice area that you would be interested in exploring through research.

Review this week’s media presentation and consider strategies for locating and identifying a relevant theory or model for a research study.

Please Provide References

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Chapter 2, “Evidence-Based Nursing: Translating Research Evidence into Practice” (Review pages 14–31)

Chapter 6, “Theoretical Frameworks”

In this chapter, you are introduced to the concept of theories, models, and frameworks and how they serve as the foundation for research. The chapter examines key theories for both quantitative and qualitative research. Finally, critiquing frameworks in research reports is detailed.

 

Cantrell, M. A. (2011). Demystifying the research process: Understanding a descriptive comparative research design. Pediatric Nursing, 37(4), 188–189.

This article discusses the primary aspects of a prominent quantitative research design as used in a specific research study. The author analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of the design, along with the rationale for choosing that design.

Finn, P. (2011). Critical thinking: Knowledge and skills for evidence-based practice. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42(1), 69–72.

This article responds to the assertion that “rational or critical thinking is an essential complement to evidence-based practice.” The author stipulates how critical thinking is relevant to EBP, what skills and thinking dispositions are important, and how thinking can go wrong.

 

Tagney, J., & Haines, C. (2009). Using evidence-based practice to address gaps in nursing knowledge. British Journal of Nursing (BJN), 18(8), 484–489.

This article illuminates key barriers to undertaking and implementing nursing research. The authors suggest a framework for improving the implementation of evidence and research.

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