NURS 350  the researcher’s theoretical framework 

NURS 350  the researcher’s theoretical framework
NURS 350  the researcher’s theoretical framework
 
When you critically evaluate a study, you must decide whether you agree or disagree with the researcher’s theoretical framework (the underlying assumption or theory that supported the formation of the hypothesis and the development of the research design). The following scenarios have two possible hypotheses, each driven by a different theory.
NURS 350  the researcher’s theoretical framework
Choose one scenario and one hypothesis from that scenario. Identify your personal assumptions about this hypothesis and choose a nursing theory to support your assumptions. You may use information from http://www.nursing-theory.org/theories-and-models/ to help you. Defend your answer.
Scenario 1: A patient with chronic back pain requests a narcotic prescription.
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1. Hypothesis: In patients with chronic back pain not caused by injury, what is the effect of eight weeks of physical therapy compared to oral narcotic medication on the patients’ perception of pain?
2. Hypothesis: Are patients with chronic back pain who are denied narcotic pain medications at increased risk of depression as compared to patients on a prescribed pain regimen using oral narcotics?
Scenario 2: A diabetic patient misses several follow-up appointments.
1. Hypothesis: In patients with type 2 diabetes, does the use of an educational diabetic phone app improve compliance with appointments, diet, and medication regimens?
2. Hypothesis: Do patients with type 2 diabetes with a low economic status miss more follow-up appointments than patients with type 2 diabetes with a high economic status?
The terms paradigm and theory are often used interchangeably in social science, although social scientists do not always agree whether these are identical or distinct concepts. In this text, I will make a clear distinction between the two ideas. Regarding them as analytically distinct will provide a useful framework for understanding the connections between research methods and social scientific ways of thinking.
Paradigms in social science
For our purposes, we’ll define paradigm as a way of viewing the world (or “analytic lens” akin to a set of glasses) and a framework from which to understand the human experience (Kuhn, 1962). [1] It can be difficult to fully grasp the idea of paradigmatic assumptions because we are very ingrained in our own, personal everyday way of thinking. For example, let’s look at people’s views on abortion. To some, abortion is a medical procedure that should be undertaken at the discretion of each individual woman. To others, abortion is murder and members of society should collectively have the right to decide when, if at all, abortion should be undertaken. Chances are, if you have an opinion about this topic, you are pretty certain about the veracity of your perspective. Then again, the person who sits next to you in class may have a very different opinion and yet be equally confident about the truth of their perspective. Who is correct?
You are each operating under a set of assumptions about the way the world works, or the way you believe the world should work. Perhaps your assumptions come from your political perspective, which helps shape your view on a variety of social issues, or perhaps your assumptions are based on what you learned from your parents or in church. In any case, there is a paradigm that shapes your stance on the issue. Those paradigms are a set of assumptions. Your classmate might assume that life begins at conception and the fetus’ life should be at the center of moral analysis. Conversely, you may assume that life begins when the fetus is viable outside the womb and that a mother’s choice is more important than a fetus’s life. There is no way to scientifically test when life begins, whose interests are more important, or the value of choice. They are merely philosophical assumptions or beliefs. Thus, a pro-life paradigm may rest in part on a belief in divine morality and fetal rights. A pro-choice paradigm may rest on a mother’s self-determination and a belief that the positive consequences of abortion outweigh the negative ones. These beliefs and assumptions influence how we think about any aspect of the issue.
 
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