Write a 500-word APA Format. A decision-making investigation often requires the investigator to do the following. List these 4 investigations from the text book, and explain each one. Nursing Research: Studying A Study & Testing A Test, 6 th Edition, Reading Evidence – Based Health Research. Author: Richard K. Riegelman, MD, MPH, PhD; Michael L. Rinke, MD, PhD.

Title: A Review of Decision-Making Investigations in Nursing Research


Decision-making investigations play a crucial role in advancing the field of nursing research. These investigations involve a systematic and evidence-based approach to gather, analyze, and interpret data, in order to make informed decisions regarding patient care, healthcare policies, and nursing practices. In this review, we will explore four key investigations discussed in the textbook “Nursing Research: Studying A Study & Testing A Test, 6th Edition,” authored by Richard K. Riegelman, MD, MPH, PhD, and Michael L. Rinke, MD, PhD. These investigations include observational studies, experimental studies, diagnostic test studies, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Observational Studies:

Observational studies aim to observe and analyze naturally occurring events, without any manipulation or intervention by the researcher. These studies allow researchers to assess relationships between variables and identify potential causality. Observational studies can be categorized into two types: cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.

Cross-sectional studies provide a snapshot of a specific population at a particular point in time. Researchers collect data from a representative sample and examine the prevalence and distribution of variables of interest. This investigation allows preliminary assessment of potential associations but does not establish causality.

On the other hand, longitudinal studies involve follow-up over an extended period, enabling researchers to establish temporal relationships between variables. Cohort studies track a group of individuals over time, assessing exposure and outcomes, while case-control studies compare individuals with and without a specific outcome. Both these designs provide valuable insights into the etiology of diseases and the impact of risk factors.

Experimental Studies:

Experimental studies involve deliberate manipulation of variables by the researcher to establish causal relationships. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard in experimental studies. In an RCT, participants are randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group receives the experimental treatment, while the control group receives either a placebo or standard treatment.

By randomizing participants, RCTs ensure that groups are comparable, reducing the likelihood of bias and confounding factors. The results are then compared, and researchers can determine whether the intervention had a causal effect. RCTs provide strong evidence for clinical decision-making and have significantly contributed to evidence-based practice in nursing.

Diagnostic Test Studies:

Diagnostic test studies evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of diagnostic tests, such as imaging, laboratory tests, or physical examinations. These investigations aim to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and likelihood ratios of tests. Sensitivity measures the ability of a test to correctly identify individuals with a specific condition, while specificity measures its ability to correctly identify individuals without the condition.

Positive predictive value indicates the probability that a positive test result is accurate, while negative predictive value indicates the probability that a negative test result is accurate. Likelihood ratios assess the change in probability of a condition given a positive or negative test result. Diagnostic test studies provide valuable information on the diagnostic accuracy and validity of tests, facilitating efficient and reliable diagnosis in clinical practice.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses:

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are comprehensive investigations that synthesize and analyze multiple primary studies on a specific research question. These investigations follow a rigorous methodology to identify, select, and appraise relevant studies, and then combine the findings using statistical techniques.

Systematic reviews provide an unbiased summary of existing evidence, whereas meta-analyses quantitatively combine data from primary studies to provide a more precise estimate of treatment effect. These investigations, often considered the highest level of evidence, play a crucial role in informing clinical practice guidelines and healthcare policies. By analyzing a large body of evidence, systematic reviews and meta-analyses enhance decision-making in nursing research, promoting evidence-based practice.


In conclusion, decision-making investigations in nursing research are essential for advancing healthcare practices and policies. Observational studies, experimental studies, diagnostic test studies, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses each serve unique purposes and contribute to the accumulation of evidence for nursing practice. By understanding the merits and limitations of each investigation, nurse researchers can make informed decisions and improve patient outcomes.

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