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Statistical Methods in Data Analysis Interval Measurement Discussion

Data Analysis

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


—Lewis Caroll,
Jabberwocky (from
Through the Looking Glass)

It might be fun to read through the nonsense syllables of the poem, Jabberwocky, but, for those who are new to statistics, looking at statistical results can feel like trying to read and garner meaning from an unfamiliar language. McNemar’s test, Cochran’s Q, ANOVA, and the Kruskal-Wallis H test may sound like something in another language, but they are all examples of statistical tests used to analyze quantitative data. Though the topic of statistics can seem intimidating and overwhelming, as a nurse, you can benefit from becoming familiar with the types of statistical tests, knowing when they are used, and understanding what they measure. Few nurses spend time calculating statistical significance using long columns of data and complex formulas, but nurses will find it useful, as they review resources for evidence-based practice, to have an acquaintance with the most commonly used statistical tests.

This week, you are introduced to the process of data analysis. You examine different types of statistics and statistical tests and when they are used. You also assess how to interpret the results of statistical tests.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the use of various statistical tests for analyzing data
  • Assess the significance of nurses understanding statistical methods

Photo Credit: [Sylvain Sonnet]/[Photographer’s Choice RF]/Getty Images


Looking Ahead

This week, you work in a small group for the Discussion as you prepare a study sheet for your colleagues. You receive your group assignment and assigned reading by Day 1. Your Discussion posting is due by Day 5.


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.

For this week’s Discussion, you are assigned to a group. Each group is assigned one of the following chapters. You are only be responsible for reading your assigned chapter. The Instructor will notify you of your group and assigned chapter by
Day 1 of this week.

  • Chapter 16, “Descriptive Statistics”This chapter introduces descriptive statistics, which, as the name implies, describe characteristics of the data. There is an overview of the different levels of measurement—nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio—and how they are used. The chapter also defines frequency distributions and distinguishes between univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics.

    As a group, develop a 1-page study sheet that includes the following:

    • The key concepts of the chapter: Focus on the basic concepts that are important for nurses to understand as they review research studies.
    • A description of the statistical methods covered in the chapter, what they measure, and under what circumstances they are used. Identify examples of how the statistical methods have been used in research studies.
    • An explanation of the key statistical tests and how they measure significance (if applicable).
      Discuss why it is important for nurses to understand the basics of these statistical methods.
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