Innovative and pragmatic research designs are critical to advance nursing science

Yates, Patsy (2016) Innovative and pragmatic research designs are critical to advance nursing science. Cancer Nursing, 39(3), pp. 251-252.

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For many decades, the prevailing view has been that the randomized controlled trial (RCT) is the criterion standard research design. The RCT is a strong and highly desirable research design as it enables researchers to generate the highest level of evidence and allows clinicians to be confident to use research findings in practice. At the same time, the limitations of the RCT design in addressing questions of relevance to nursing are well known. In some cases, it is not feasible or ethical to randomize participants to control and intervention conditions. More and more of our research requires testing of multicomponent interventions, which are quite complex to do within an RCT design. Take cancer-related symptoms as an example. Advances in nursing science mean we now have a much deeper understanding of the multifactorial etiologies, intricate pathophysiologic mechanisms, and multiple environmental and social influences that contribute to symptom experiences. Nursing interventions are becoming increasingly sophisticated to deal with this symptom complexity. Randomized controlled trials can take years to complete, by which time knowledge has advanced and practice has moved on. The time and resources required to conduct an RCT are increasingly being questioned as we face diminishing resources for research and increasing pressure to achieve rapid translation of knowledge into practice. Pragmatic approaches to trialling healthcare interventions have been described in the literature for some decades.1 The popularity of these approaches is growing as we respond to the challenges facing modern healthcare systems...

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ID Code: 97943
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000377
ISSN: 0162-220X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 08 Aug 2016 00:06
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2016 23:05

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