Observational Research Analysis


Observational studies are often the first type of research conducted in an area of clinical interest. The data obtained from observational research can

be used to develop interventions that are tested experimentally or implemented directly into practice and evaluated clinically.

The ability to analyze a research study allows clinicians to assess its value as evidence for a practice change. Analysis is an objective process in

which you breakdown and describe what is reported by the authors. It does not include inference or interpretation of the article. The goal of this

assignment is to increase your understanding of analysis and competency in identifying the components of a research study. To do so, you will work

backwards by first identifying and reading an observational research article and then analyzing it using the appropriate analysis form posted on

Blackboard. The assignment is worth 50 points

Assignment Guidelines
1. Review course content regarding quantitative research designs, especially Polit& Beck (Ch. 9), Concato (2004) and Concato et al. (2000), and

class discussion regarding analysis.
2. Identify a problem you have encountered in your clinical setting.Ideally this will be the problem you will investigate throughout the semester.
3. Conduct a literature search and identify one relevant observational research article that could be used to support (provide evidence for) the

problem. Before choosing an article I recommend you carefully look at its format. If it is not written in the traditional research report format

(Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion) then do not choose that article. If you do not select the correct research design (observational study)

you will receive no credit for the assignment.
4. Analyze the article using the observational research analysis form posted on Blackboard. I have posted it as a Word document so you can fill

in your analysis in the “Student Comments” column. Do not submit your analysis as an essay-type paper or in any other format. I will not accept it and

you will not receive credit for the assignment. You do not need a title page or abstract for this assignment, so please do not include them.
5. Include subheadings in the Comments section (right column) that match the Category bullet points/prompts (left column) so I can correctly

identify which part of your analysis matches each prompt.
6. For analysis of the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion, you may take specific wording/content directly (copy and paste) from the

article (i.e. use the author’s own words). This will save you time and will not be considered plagiarism in this case. Just be sure to include the

page number(s) of the article from which the wording/content was taken. This will allow me to check your “answers” with the original research article.

As appropriate (and necessary) you may use the Abstract as a backup source for content not included or clearly articulated in the Introduction,

Methods, Results, and Discussion sections.Do not make inferences or interpret what you believe the authors mean to say as part of your analysis. You

will lose points if you do. If content is not included in the article, then state “none,” “not included,” etc.
7. Please keep in mind that you will be graded based on the quality of your analysis (your ability to extract the critical content only), not its

length (i.e. do not recopy the entire content of the article onto the analysis form).
NURS 7024 – Fall 2017
Observational Research Paper Analysis Form

Student Name: Date:

Provide a description and analysis of the observational research article using the following bullet points/prompts.
(APA Format)
Include as appropriate:
• Cross-sectional
• Longitudinal
• Prospective
• Retrospective
Briefly summarize:(with page #)
• Problem
• Purpose
• Question (if articulated)
• Hypothesis (if articulated)
Briefly summarize:(with page #)
• Inclusion criteria
• Exclusion criteria
• Ethical oversight
• Measurement tools
Briefly summarize the most important findings:(with page #)
• Study N
• Participant grouping for analysis
• Data that answer the purpose, problem, question or hypothesis
Briefly identify 1 important point(with page #) made by the authors (if articulated) in relation to each of the following:
• Theircurrent study results
• Comparison with prior research studies
• Future research needs
• Limitations of this study
• Strengths of this study
• Conclusions
How would you use the evidence from this study to improve your clinical practice?Use first person here (I…).