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# Reading, Using, and Creating Evidence, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 604

Research Paper

Descriptive analysis is a beneficial component of the research process because it allows researchers to consider the meaning of the data that they have collected. In order to understand data trends, using descriptive statistics is the best starting point for analysis because determining the relative similarity or dissimilarity between the mean, median, mode, and range of a set of data can allow the researcher to understand whether the data reflects a normal distribution or a deviation from the normal distribution (Mann, 1955). Often, this understanding could then be used to direct future analysis by providing the researcher with a general knowledge of the data set before him or her. If there are significant deviations from the expected results, it may be valuable for the researcher to construct new research methodology to evaluate a new scientific question that has arisen. On the other hand, this information can be used to draw general conclusions about data that could then be expanded in future research.

When choosing a specific analytical approach, it is valuable for the researcher to understand whether they wish to analyze qualitative data or quantitative data (Houser, 2015). Furthermore, it is valuable for them to use descriptive statistics to gain a general understanding of quantitative data to determine whether the use of non-parametric statistical testing is necessary. It is valuable for researchers to have a clear understanding of the type of study they will be conducting so they can predict the type of data that they will be analyzing in their results.

An example of a research question that would be addressed with a descriptive analysis is summarizing the portions of the population that are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the portion of the population that has developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Doing so will allow researchers to gain an understanding of the population that is impacted by this disease in a manner that will allow them to gain a population health understanding of the frequency of disease occurrence and the spread of disease (Mandell et al., 2010). Using descriptive statistics is beneficial, for example, by determining what the age distribution for HIV and AIDS is. By calculating the mean, median, and mode age, researchers could determine how practitioners can best target members of the population for disease prevention and symptom reduction programs. If a more complex statistical analysis were to be implemented in this situation, it would be more challenging to generate a clear understanding of the relationship between age and HIV infection or AIDS status. Thus, the use of descriptive analysis is valuable because it provides researchers with a quick understanding of their study population, thus allowing them to plan for more comprehensive analysis in the future.

While descriptive analysis can be used in various stages of research, it is often beneficial to use this type of analysis when considering which phenomena to study. Because researchers have access to a wealth of raw data, conducting simple analyses of information can allow them to generate beneficial understandings or discover new research questions in a matter of minutes. Descriptive analyses allow us to give meaning to the data that we constantly work with, which is beneficial both from a clinical and public health stand point because it allows us to have a greater understanding of our patient populations in addition to members of the public.

References

Houser, J. (2015). Reading, Using, and Creating Evidence with Access 3rd. Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

Mandell, Gerald L.; Bennett, John E.; Dolin, Raphael, eds. (2010). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Mann, Prem S. (1995). Introductory Statistics (2nd ed.). Wiley.

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