Learning Tool to Assist with Understanding of Common Statistical Tests in Quantitative Research Studies

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sharon M. Jones, PhD, RN, CNE
School of Nursing, Indiana University South Bend, South Bend, IN, USA

Nurses and other healthcare professionals are engaged in evidence-based practice (EBP) to improve patient care in many settings. Nurses in the hospital setting may be members of teams to develop policies based on EBP. Quantitative research studies (non-random and randomized controlled trials) are frequently used as the basis for EBP. A barrier to reading published quantitative research reports may be lack of understanding of statistics and the data analysis used in quantitative studies. I developed a learning tool which is a simple diagram to help bedside nurses better understand the relationship between common statistical tests and their appropriate use based on the research hypothesis. Feedback from practicing nurses in the hospital and outpatient setting indicate this tool is helpful in providing a better understanding of statistical tests presented in reports of quantitative research studies. This diagram can be used for teaching in the clinical setting with nurses and healthcare professionals on interdisciplinary teams as well as for nursing faculty in undergraduate and graduate nursing courses.