Evaluating theoretical framework also assists in determining whether the structure directs the research study. This process entails identification of constructs or concepts, assessment of definitions, relationships, variables, hypothesis, methodology and findings.
Discussion Question Two: Will there always be a theoretical framework that aligns with your chosen topic of study? Why or why not?
Theoretical framework entails the collection of combined concepts that are not essentially well established (Aparasu, 2011). Theoretical framework determines the things a researcher measures and the statistical link to look for. Through theoretical framework, researchers engage preconceived ideas. For instance, some people deem that human beings are untrustworthy and lazy. Such basic beliefs regarding human temperament influences how a researcher views things when conducting a research. In this regard, not understanding the actual framework is an enormous concern. Theoretical framework directs the researcher to what he/she views in his/her environment, and what he/she does not notice in his/her environment. Researchers do notice aspects that fail to fit their framework. Getting around this issue is not easy, but researcher can minimize the problem through making implicit theoretical frameworks explicit (Aparasu, 2011). When implicit theoretical framework is made explicit, the researcher can consider other theoretical frameworks and view the situation being studied via different lenses. A theoretical framework of a given study may be overtly identified in published report or sometimes not identified. While authors do not report a theoretical basis, it does not imply that they did not use one. In this regard, theoretical framework can be based on the defined concepts, the manner in which the ideas link and the references utilized.
Sound research and effective interventions depend on lining up the most suitable practice strategies and theories for a particular research (Aparasu, 2011). Divergent theories are suitable to differing practices. For example, in assessing the how a nurse practitioner can help deinstitutionalized person through establishing a wellness and recovery center, the Health Belief Model was applied. This model is useful in creating interventions to the problems those mentally ill persons from state-run psychiatric hospitals experiences once they are released to the society. The sufficiency of a theory depends in its internal consistency or logic in not producing mutually paradoxical derivations. Researchers must also consider the degree to which the theory is prudent or widely pertinent with use of manageable ideas. Selected theory must show credibility while linked to other major theories in nursing. Theories are assessed with regard to practices of researchers and practitioners (Aparasu, 2011). Practitioners may sometime pertain to the realistic criterion of expediency to particular theory, and, as a result, would be looking for the consistency of the theory with daily observation. Researchers on the other hand, make scientific assessment of ecological validity of a given theory or judges a theory to the degree in which it matches the observable veracity when tested empirically.
According to Aparasu (2011), theories are intrinsically abstract and are only logically constructive when applied to certain problems. As a result, to apply a given theory effectively, a researcher must operationalize concepts so that they can be measured and links tested. Variables functions between observation and theory. Concepts should be operationalized carefully as this marks the phase where empirical reality and theory are joined (Aparasu, 2011). From this perspective, attention should be given to the aspects of the selected population, its surrounding environments and research problem particulars. Description of variables determines the major links between empirical work and theoretical.
Researchers must search for a theory that assists them in explaining their empirical occurrence of importance. This initial stage entails the conceptualization procedure where researchers must seek for suitable theoretical constructs to fit their experimental problem. For instance, this research employed Health Belief Theory. Interventions founded on the health belief theory are more effective in assisting deinstitutionalized persons (Aparasu, 2011). However, the choice of the most appropriate theoretical framework starts with identifying the research topic and culminates with choosing a theoretical framework that is best suitable to the research problem. Nursing researcher does holds major theory that guides the profession, but a massive amount of theories can be used from other disciplines as well. However, the theoretical framework selected should relate to the research topic. Misapplication of theory lowers the researcher's knowledge of the occurrence that is being tested and compromises successive advances in the knowledge foundation in their field of study (Aparasu, 2011).
Sometimes it may be hard to find a theoretical framework that corresponds to the chosen research topic. When this happens, some researchers may artificially fit the research topic to the selected theoretical framework. However, in an applied, virtually oriented field like nursing, care must be taken when artificially fitting the study problem to the selected theoretical framework. This is because the hypothesis and theory derived from theoretical framework directs the research design, data collection methods, data analysis and interpretation of research findings.
Discussion Question One: Why is it important to know where data about the problem can be found before determining the methodology?
Data collection is a crucial factor in any given research. Incorrect data collection negatively affects the results and it leads to achieving of invalid results (Beck & Faan, 2013). At this point, in research, the study problem has been determined and the researcher had the prospect of reading a lot of literature linked to the study problem. From this perspective, the researcher probably holds a good idea of who to include in the study and where to collect the data. Determining the source of data is crucial, and this process must be done before selecting the research methodology. Understanding the data source gives the researcher the chance to select feasible research methodology that gurantees valid results. Data selection, which entails assessing the most suitable data source and type, comes before the real data collection practice. Selection of data source depends on the research questions subject to investigation.
Quantitative data collection procedures depend on random sampling while structured data gathering instruments are suitable for different experiences. Quantitative research tests hypothesis drawn from a theory, and considering the research question, participants may be chosen randomly. Determining the source of data for researcher before selecting the methodology to be used allows the researcher to determine what form of instruments to use on the study population (Kumar, 2005). For instance, qualitative data collection methods are crucial in offering facts applicable in comprehending the procedure behind observer findings.
While study population determines the most appropriate methodology, researchers determine what data source to use to collect data. Data sources include interviews, observations, and physical artifacts. Once the researcher has determined the most appropriate data source, he/she is able to collect information in a systematic way and orderly manner. The researcher is also able to close-validate the information. For instance, in the capstone project, nurse practitioners were interviewed on the feasibility, importance and strategies of establishing a wellness and recovery center. Equally significant with gathering and analyzing data sources is the sample selection.
Discussion Question Two: How would you determine the availability of the population for the study?
Population study refers to a group of people drawn from a general population who hold similar characteristics, which a researcher wishes to study. Study population includes the overall members of a delineated class of individuals chosen because of their relevancy to the research problem. For instance, the capstone projects involve nurse practitioners with over five years experience in the field of mental health. The study population has to involve registered and qualified nurses who have meet legal, state and education requirements to practice in the mental health field. In the capstone, the study population has been delineated with respect to certain characteristics with both genders involved in the study. The definition of the study population is subject to the problem being investigated and the study objectives.
The availability of study population depends on the research problem and the study objectives. However, there are different nurse practitioners practising in different specialities, but the project required psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners wishing to enter into own practice. As a result, the research included people who were easily accessible. However, even with a well-delineated study population, some potential respondents may make it unrealistic to engage everyone in the research study. In such a situation, researcher performs sampling procedure to determine the best-suited respondents. For instance, the capstone projected utilized purposive sampling where participants were chosen based on the understanding of the population and the objective of the project. Subjects are to be chosen based on some characteristics (Beck & Faan, 2013). Other factors that determine the availability of study population include homogeneity of the population and the anticipated phenomenon event rate or the upshot being assessed. Design factors, the number of variables being measured, practical factors such as convenience and cost and measurement factors influences the accessibility of study population.
Discussion Question One: Post the methodology chosen for your capstone project and explain how it was chosen.