What I learned about descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and qualitative analysis:
Descriptive statistics utilizes information from a data set that represents research questions or information from a sample group that is then represented numerically in a graph, table, or chart ranging in complexity (simple count to analyses of relationship) to describe the characteristics of the sample group (p.284). Data collected by the researcher can be represented by nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio measurement levels. Each level is unique and requires a “particular type of statistical technique” (p.286) for proper representation (Houser., 2021).
Inferential statistics is utilized to determine if an outcome can be expected in a larger population that had been observed in a sample group. It is used to analyze differences between samples and their population or groups or over time to assess interventions and/or risk factors to an event and how the change affected the outcome. (Houser, 2021, p.349).
Qualitative research is developed from the point of view of the patients or participants in a study by directly asking questions or the researcher’s observations. This research type focuses on questions that relate to “the human experience by exploring motives, attitudes, reactions, and perceptions” (p.379) to an intervention or circumstance and are very beneficial for determining patient “needs, preferences, and motives” (Houser, 2021, p.379).
Something interesting that I learned while doing this assignment is that the nursing profession is focused on human perception or experience. However, in the past evidence-based practice only focused on the medical model that would use experimental studies to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention. Only relying on that type of experimental study does not allow for understanding human perception, which created the initiative for nursing practice studies to include qualitative research methods. Data analysis that includes qualitative and quantitative research methods (integrative review) results in nursing practice methods, both of which view the patient as a whole by determining the effectiveness of an intervention and its impact on their life (Houser, 2021, p. 380).
Comparison of Clinical and Statistical Significance:
Statistical significance is an evaluation by which research results are measured. The researcher is responsible for rejecting the hypothesis based on set standards within the group, questioning whether the results were due to chance. This can be very beneficial to describe research studies; however, the results may have little to no significance in a clinical setting because “it is often incorrectly used for evaluating the magnitude of a quantified effect” (Carpenter & Carter-Templeton, 2021, p.50).
Clinical significance represents the patient’s condition and the change in condition that is experienced by the patient, in which their self-assessment is the indicator of clinical significance, creating the question of if the intervention produced enough effect to impact the patient’s life (Carpenter & Templeton, 2021, p.51).
Personally, I believe clinical significance is more meaningful to me. Interventions in nursing practice are to be done to benefit the patient. Working mainly with patients at the end of their life, I see many tasks and/or interventions that are ordered and would benefit the patient from a medical perspective; however, they do not elicit a genuine effect on their daily lives and sometimes make it more difficult. Taking the patient’s perspective allows us to center their care around them, which is what makes this the best choice for the application to nursing practice in my opinion.
Carpenter, R., Waldrop, J., & Carter-Templeton, H. (2021). Statistical, practical and clinical significance and Doctor of Nursing Practice projects. Nurse Author & Editor, 31(3–4), 50–53. https://doi.org/10.1111/nae2.27
Houser, J. (2021). Nursing Research: Reading, Using, and Creating Evidence (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. https://ambassadored.vitalsource.com/books/9781284254730 Links to an external site.