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The research process

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The research process

  1. 1. The Research Process
  2. 2. AIM <ul><li>Promote understanding of the research process, </li></ul><ul><li>methods and statistical analyses reported in </li></ul><ul><li>publications </li></ul><ul><li>Identify strengths and weaknesses in papers </li></ul><ul><li>Better understanding of research methods </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the meaning of relevant statistical terms </li></ul><ul><li>To increase confidence in reading and using the literature </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Research Process <ul><li>What is research? </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic and principled method of obtaining evidence (data/information) </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we need research? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informed judgements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Credibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practice - effectiveness, efficiency (cost) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solve problems </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Planning & Aims </li></ul><ul><li>Formulating a research question/hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting appropriate strategies and measurements to answer your research question or to test your hypotheses. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider previous research evidence, literature, ethical and economic factors </li></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  5. 5. Hypotheses <ul><li>Formally have two hypotheses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental hypothesis – what you predict will be the outcome of the research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Null hypothesis – that there is no impact / relationship between the variables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aim of research is to reject the null hypothesis. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Research design & method </li></ul><ul><li>Deciding on appropriate method for gathering data to answer the research question </li></ul><ul><li>Consider issues which impact on method chosen, including sampling method, sample size, generalisability of results, reliability and validity </li></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  7. 7. Planning data collection <ul><li>Sampling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Random samples: an equal probability of being selected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-random samples: Convenience, Purposive, Snowball </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Size of sample </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validity - accuracy of the test or measure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability - reproducibility of the results </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Data collection </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Quantitative (numerical) </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative (non-numerical) </li></ul><ul><li>Procedures & Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Different measurement scales </li></ul><ul><li>Standardised measures </li></ul><ul><li>Participant assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Setting </li></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  9. 9. <ul><li>Presentation of data </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive statistics for summarising and describing the characteristics of the data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of variables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summary statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measures of central tendency e.g. mean </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measures of variability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pictorial representation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graphs </li></ul></ul></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  10. 10. <ul><li>Data analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Inferential statistics - test whether or not the data support the experimental hypotheses </li></ul><ul><li>Selected according to specific rules about data type </li></ul><ul><li>Involves applying the principles of probability for calculating confidence intervals and testing hypotheses. </li></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  11. 11. Terminology Statistical significance (p values) p<.05 Test statistic is calculated when a hypothesis test is performed by software such as SPSS. The statistic helps us to decide whether or not the difference (e.g. between two groups of patients) or relationship (e.g. between smoking and lung cancer) is statistically significant which means it was unlikely to have arisen by chance. 95% confidence intervals – defines the range within which we are 95% confident that the true population value may be Found Standard deviation (SD) – most commonly used measure of variability - the distribution of values around the mean. If The SD is large the values are widely distributed, if it =0 then all values equal the mean.
  12. 12. <ul><li>Interpretation and dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Final step of a research </li></ul><ul><li>project is to interpret it’s </li></ul><ul><li>findings </li></ul><ul><li>For research to be </li></ul><ul><li>scientifically meaningful, </li></ul><ul><li>investigators must present </li></ul><ul><li>their findings in professional </li></ul><ul><li>journals and/or conferences. </li></ul>Planning Hypotheses or aims Research Design Data collection Organization and presentation of data Interpretation and conclusions Dissemination Data analysis
  13. 13. Method Summary <ul><li>NO PERFECT DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>YOU CHOOSE BALANCE </li></ul><ul><li>INTERNAL VALIDITY (Control) </li></ul><ul><li>EXTERNAL VALIDITY (Real-world ) </li></ul><ul><li>MINIMISE THREATS TO WHAT YOU WANT TO DETERMINE </li></ul><ul><li>TIME, RESOURCES - SEVERE LIMITATION!! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Critical appraisal quantitative data <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adequacy of lit review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aims/hypotheses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection of appropriate research strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection of appropriate variables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample size and sampling method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measures/instruments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedure – design, control groups, assignment of participants </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Critical appraisal quantitative data <ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistically correct summary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Descriptive and inferential statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct inferences/conclusions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generalisability of findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protocol deviations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistical and clinical significance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theoretical significance </li></ul></ul>

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