Quantitative and qualitative techniques are the main approaches used to evaluate evidence in nursing research (Liddle, Williamson & Irwig, 2016). Quantitative technique entails assessment of data and comparison of various measures used in the research study. Metrics applied in quantitative method of evidence evaluation include standard deviation, mean or average, as well as other statistical parameters. In addition, quantitative criteria is a measurable formal tool used for predicting, and ensures objectivity of both the results and applied variables.
Conceptual framework in respect to qualitative methods of evaluating evidence involve assessment of the process, meanings, experiences, and perceptions that study subjects including patients with reference to a particular variable under evaluation (Jake-Schoffman, Silfee, Waring, Boudreaux, Sadasivam, Mullen & Pagoto, 2017). However, qualitative approach is not used in measurable parameters. Nevertheless, in order to analyze the relevance of evidence, interpretation we use of emphatic comprehensions. The above implies that the findings and variables relies on the context of research study.
Liddle J, Williamson, M, & Irwig, L. (2016). Method for evaluating research and guideline evidence. Sydney: NSW Health Department.
Jake-Schoffman, D. E., Silfee, V. J., Waring, M. E., Boudreaux, E. D., Sadasivam, R. S., Mullen, S. P. … & Pagoto, S. L. (2017). Methods for evaluating the content, usability, and efficacy of commercial mobile health apps. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 5(12), e190.
In conducting a research, the researcher often needs evidence from a variety of articles, journals, and/or other studies to direct, guide, and support his or her research. However, it is not every evidence that the researcher finds online, in journals, or in the library that can provide valuable evidence in research. In other words, evidence must be reliable and valid before it can be used in research, and must take the study’s methodology, as well as other important factors into consideration (East Carolina University Libraries, 2020).
Two different methods for evaluating evidence would include criteria pertaining to publication characteristics and criteria pertaining to study design and relevance to the study and variables of interest (Treadwell et al, 2011). Evaluating evidence through its publication characteristics involves determining the source or evidence is peer-reviewed or whether it is a practice-based publication that publishes expert opinions about a specific issue. Another publication characteristic that must be considered when evaluating research evidence is the year of publication. Evidence published not more than five years ago are considered more appropriate than older evidence. Lastly, language of publication should also be considered when evaluating research evidence because of translation problems. On the other hand, evaluating evidence through the study design and study relevance criteria involves determining the kinds of research methodology used in the evidence and the relevance of such evidence to your own study or in explaining your variables of interest, and the applicability of such evidence to nursing practice. The hierarchy of research designs and levels of scientific evidence suggests that Meta- Analysis Systematic Reviews and Randomized Controlled Trials provide a more reliable and valid evidence in nursing research (Bowen and Forrest, 2017).
Bowen, D. M., & Forrest, J. L. (2017). Translating Research for Evidence-Based Practice. Access, 10–14.
East Carolina University Libraries. (2020). Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing: Evaluating the Evidence. Available from: https://libguides.ecu.edu/c.php?g=17486&p=97640
Treadwell, J. R., Singh, S., Talati, R., McPheeters, M. L., Reston, J. T. (2011). A Framework for “Best Evidence” Approaches in Systematic Reviews [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2011 Jun. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56653/