Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

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Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Question Description
Weighing the Evidence

You may be familiar with the phrase, “Correlation does not imply causation.” For example, consider the following statistics:

99.7% of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate pickles within 14 days preceding the accident.

More than 90% of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

As the number of churches in an area increase, so does the rate of crime.

Obviously there is a faulty correlational link established in each case. This is an extremely significant concept to keep in mind when it comes to weighing the evidence in scholarly research. After researchers collect data and analyze it using the appropriate statistical tests and analyses, they must formulate interpretations about what the data, statistics, and analyses indicate. As a nurse engaged in evidence-based practice, it is important to understand how researchers generate conclusions so that you can recognize sound and unsound interpretations of data as you peruse the literature.

This week, you examine how researchers have reached their conclusions based on their data and analyze if their claims are valid.

Reference:

Anonymous. (1966). Pickles and humbug: A bit of comparative logic. The Journal of Irreproducible Results, 15(1), 18. Retrieved from http://www.jir.com/pickles.html

Reference:

Mikkelson, D., & Mikkelson B. (2006). Snopes.com: The dangers of bread. Retrieved from http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/bread.asp

Reference:

University of Michigan. (n.d.). Power in numbers: Mastering the math you think you know. Retrieved from http://www.umich.edu/~numbers/statistics/statistic…

Learning Objectives

Students will:

Evaluate the conclusions of a research study

Analyze areas for additional research on a specific research question

Develop a cohesive, evidence-based practice to address a specific PICOT question

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Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Discussion: Correlation does not  imply Causation

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Review Chapter 2, Fig. 2.1

Chapter 29, “Systematic Reviews of Research Evidence: Meta-analysis, Metasynthesis, and Mixed Studies Review”
This chapter focuses on the different types of systematic reviews. The chapter discusses the advantages of this type of analysis and the steps for conducting a meta-analysis or metasynthesis.

Dingle, P. (2011). Statin statistics: Lies and deception. Positive Health, 180, 1.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

In this article, the author outlines how misleading statistics are used to make false claims about the positive use of statin drugs in order to retain a market share of sales for pharmaceutical firms.

Katapodi, M. C., & Northouse, L. L. (2011). Comparative effectiveness research: Using systematic reviews and meta-analyses to synthesize empirical evidence. Research & Theory for Nursing Practice, 25(3), 191–209.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The authors of this article assert that more comparative effectiveness research (CER) is necessary to accommodate the elevated demand for evidence-based health care practices. The article supplies a summary of methodological issues relevant to systematic reviews and meta-analyses used in the process of CER.

Stichler, J. F. (2010). Evaluating the evidence in evidence-based design. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(9), 348–351.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The quality of evidence used in EBP can vary considerably. This article highlights the necessity of critically appraising facility design research articles and using a hierarchical model to rate the strength of evidence.

Bernd, R., du Prel, J.-B., & Blettner, M. (2009). Study design in medical research: Part 2 of a series on the evaluation of scientific publications. Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, 106(11), 184–189. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC269537…

This article provides guidance in evaluating the study design of scientific publications for reliability and credibility. The authors suggest that the most important elements to consider are the question to be answered, the study population, the unit of analysis, the type of study, the measuring technique, and the calculation of sample size.

Walden University. (n.d.a). Paper templates. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm

This website provides you access to the School of Nursing Sample Paper, which will serve as a template for formatting your papers.

Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012g). Hierarchy of evidence pyramid. Baltimore, MD: Author.

This multimedia piece explains the hierarchy of evidence pyramid. The piece offers definitions and key information for each level of the pyramid.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012n). Weighing the evidence. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.

In this video, Dr. Kristen Mauk provides insight about how she analyzed her data and interpreted meanings of what the data showed. She describes how she drew conclusions based on the results and how she explained unexpected findings that were contrary to her initial hypotheses.

Weighing the Evidence

When conducting original research, the final step researchers must complete is weighing the evidence and interpreting the meanings of their data, statistics, and analyses. This is the culmination of the research process in which all of the research methods and designs can be synthesized into a meaningful conclusion. In this stage, researchers should formulate explanations for what their data indicates, determine whether the data answers their initial research question, identify areas of uncertainty, and consider directions for further research.

Discussion: Correlation does not imply Causation

In this Discussion, you focus on one of the research articles that you identified for Part 2 of the Course Project (Literature Review). You then explore the process of how the researchers generated conclusions based on their data, consider other possible interpretations of their data, and formulate ideas for further research.

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on how researchers find meaning in their data and generate sound conclusions. Pay particular attention to Table 2 in the article, “Study Design in Medical Research.”

Revisit the 5 articles that you identified in Part 2 of the Course Project. Select one to consider for the purpose of this Discussion.

Read sections of the chosen article where the data is presented, analyzed, and interpreted for meaning. What reasoning process did the researchers use to formulate their conclusions? What explanation did they give to support their conclusions? Were there any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions?

Consider possible alternate conclusions that the researchers could have drawn based on their data.

Examine the findings that the article presents and consider how well they addressed the researcher’s initial question(s). What additional research could be done to build on these findings and gain a fuller understanding of the question?

Assignment 1

WRITE an APA citation and brief summary of the research article that you selected. Describe the data and the results of any statistical tests or analyses presented in the article. Explain how the researchers formulated their conclusion, any weaknesses in their analysis or conclusions, and offer at least one alternate interpretation of their data. Propose at least one additional research study that could be done to further investigate this research topic.

Assignment 2: Course Project

Submit your Course Project. Reminder: You will combine Parts 1, 2, and 3 of your Course Project (assigned in Weeks 2, 4, and 8 respectively) into one cohesive and cogent paper. Note: In addition, include a 1-page summary of your project.

For this final iteration you will need to:

Submit your paper to Grammarly and SafeAssign through the Walden Writing Center. Based on then Grammarly and SafeAssign reports, revise your paper as necessary.

Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS

Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication

Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.

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