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Design Decisions in Research

2. Introduction

Health professionals rely on research to improve the delivery and outcomes of health care for individuals, families, and communities. Research must be thoughtfully designed and rigorously conducted to produce accurate and generalizable results. Therefore, it is important for those conducting research to develop expertise in the design and conduct of research.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview on design decisions to consider when planning a study.

The reader is referred to research textbooks for greater detail on specific designs or methodological challenges pertinent to a particular design (Aday & Cornelius, 2006; Burns & Grove, 2004; Hulley et al., 2006; Pedhazur & Smelkin, 1991; Polit & Beck, 2009).

Aday, L. A., & Cornelius, L. J. (2006). Designing and conducting health surveys: A comprehensive guide (3rd Edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2004). The practice of nursing research (5th Edition). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
Hulley, S. B., Cummings, S. R., Browner, W. S., Grady, D., & Newman, T. B. (2006). Designing clinical research: An epidemiologic approach (3rd Edition). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Pedhazur, E. J., & Schmelkin, L. P. (1991). Measurement, design, and analysis: An integrated approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publications.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2009). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (8th Edition). Philadelphia: Wolters Klower/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.