Data Analysis and Critical Appraisal of Evidence

You do not need advanced skills in data analysis or statistics to conduct or utilize research, as long as you understand the principles involved and can draw on the expertise of nurse statisticians and/or consultants as needed. Many healthcare organizations have statisticians, information systems specialists, and other experts on staff who can assist researchers with many of the complex tasks involving data.

For this week’s Discussion, you will investigate data analysis resources that are available to you. Begin by reviewing the readings by DeVon et al. (2007) and Scales and Rubenfeld (2005). Consider the importance of evaluating reliability and validity of instrumentation and the need for statistically determining a power analysis for an appropriate number of subjects.

Next, identify a circumstance in which you would like to analyze data for your nursing practice. Perhaps you wish to utilize research but want an expert opinion about the interpretation of the results. Or, you have an idea for conducting a research study but want to consult with a specialist before you begin.

Then identify people in your organization??”or, if necessary, outside your organization??”to whom you could turn for assistance. Interview one of these people to find out more about the potential for collaboration. Ask if they could help you with the specific data analysis needs you identified. If so, what would the process be like?

When you have gathered that information, share what you have found as follows:

Post a brief account of the data analysis resources available to you. Include the following:

What did you learn from your investigation that you didn’t know before? How do you think this resource might be useful to you?

If you have already worked with a nurse statistician or other data expert, describe this experience. How valuable was this collaboration? Share any appropriate advice with your colleagues on what they can expect from a partnership of this kind.

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