Discuss why it is important for nurses to understand the basics of these statistical methods. The key concepts of the chapter: Focus on the basic concepts that are important for nurses to understand as they review research studies. A description of the statistical methods covered in the chapter, what they measure, and under what circumstances they are used. Identify examples of how the statistical methods have been used in research studies. An explanation of the key statistical tests and how they measure significance (if applicable).
To prepare, read one of the chapters below and follow the instructions for your discussion,
Chapter 16, “Descriptive Statistics” This chapter introduces descriptive statistics, which, as the name implies, describe characteristics of the data. There is an overview of the different levels of measurement—nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio—and how they are used. The chapter also defines frequency distributions and distinguishes between univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics. Chapter 17, “Inferential Statistics” This chapter focuses on inferential statistics, which are based on the laws of probability. It introduces sampling distributions, estimates of parameters, and levels of significance. In addition, the chapter provides an overview of some of the most commonly used inferential statistical tests, including t-tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and chi-square tests. Finally, the process of testing correlations is examined. Chapter 18, “Multivariate Statistics” In this chapter, the focus shifts to multivariate statistics. These are often used when the data analysis involves three or more variables. The multivariate tests described include simple linear regression, multiple linear regression, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), causal modeling, and event history analysis. Chapter 19, “Processes of Quantitative Data Analysis” The previous chapters have described a number of different statistical tests used to examine data in a quantitative study; this chapter focuses on how to analyze and interpret the results. It describes the steps in the analysis process and how to determine the credibility of the results. Chapter 24, “Qualitative Data Analysis” The focus of this chapter is qualitative data analysis, which is more difficult in some ways than quantitative analysis, because there are not specific tests that can be used. Instead, much of the analysis is based on the researcher’s ability to identify patterns of behavior or similarities in events. Suggestions are provided for analysis of each of the major types of qualitative studies and how to document findings.