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This project will be based on a quantitative research study, following the example of similar projects maintained by professionals in the sphere and scientists who were interested in the issue of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and believed in advantages of the usage of risk assessment scales that are meant for their prediction. Still, it cannot be denied that a part of the project will be devoted to the representation of the background information highlighted in the review of the literature. Thus, it will also presuppose the presence of qualitative research, which will not be expanded and will just introduce the topic with no critical insights that can affect the findings of the study. In this way, even though the paper is going to include two types of information, it will still be based on a quantitative research design, like the one that meets the purpose of the study and answers its questions.
Considering the necessity to determine whether the situation can improve when nurses start using risk assessment scales, it will be advantageous to resort to a longitudinal study. It will be performed as a quasi-experimental research design based on the observations of three sample groups: patients assessed with the Braden scale; patients assess with the Waterlow scale; and patients assessed with clinical judgment alone. In this way, the data will be obtained with the help of surveys. The data will be gathered twice: at the very beginning of the project and at the end. In this way, it will be possible to avoid the biases, as initially, the nurses could use different methods to predict pressure ulcers. It will be a prospective study, as it will focus on the development of pressure ulcers during a particular period of time to reveal the outcomes and will not look backward.
This project is likely to require the implementation of the forms needed to conduct an assessment with the help of the Braden and Waterlow scale because the findings of the related articles prove that nurses rarely have them (Ingwu, Ayanor, & Ohaeri, 2015).
The sample of this project will consist of patients. The inclusion criteria will focus on: age (adult population over 18 years old); absence of pressure ulcers before hospitalization; and duration of the hospital stay (at least 10 days). The exclusion criteria will deal with the presence of those diseases that increase risks of pressure ulcers development greatly.
The participants will be recruited during the personal communication with the representatives of the healthcare system, patients and/or their families. The study will try to cover all critically ill inpatients within the intensive care unit. Still, the number of the participants will be rather limited and is likely to include about 40-45 individuals. As a similar study that was held in three intensive care units gathered only 42 patients, this one is not likely to differ much (Araújo, Araújo, & Caetano, 2011). A control group will be represented by the group of patients assessed with clinical judgment only, while the Braden and Waterlow scale will be utilized in focus groups.
The EBP project is going to be held in three intensive care units within Pembroke Pines, Florida. In this way, the setting can be easily reached when it is needed. In addition to that, the representatives of the units are familiar with this research study and will provide a letter of support to conduct the EBP project. In this way, IRB approval will be obtained without any critical complications.
Of course, the protection of participants and obtained data will be guaranteed in this framework. To ensure it, this research will emphasize anonymity so that no names will appear in the paper. The access to the data will be available only to the researchers. It will not be communicated to any other parties when consisting personal information or having no identification of the author. The data will be stored so that no one except for the researchers can have access to it. Both technical and organizational measures will be taken to avoid unauthorized access. All procedures will be controlled and tracked by the researchers.
In order to collect the data needed for this research, the physical tests will be maintained by nursing professionals. In addition to that, some medical and personal information will be received from the patients’ records. Considering the fact that their families will also be addressed, they are likely to provide some data about the sample. As the information will be obtained twice and will not be analyzed from the very beginning, there will be a necessity to store it. Thus, an Excel program will be utilized as storage.
Measurement and analysis of data will be maintained with the help of several tools. Of course, SPSS 13.0 software will be used. It will be rather helpful when trying to formulate the statistical data in percentages and absolute frequency. What is more, it can be used to measure central tendency. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test will be needed to compare the focus groups with the control group. Conover test, in its turn, will be rather beneficial to find out how the results obtained from different groups altered with the course of time during the research period. The formulas can be seen in the Appendix. The reliability of research will be ensured due to the comparison with previous authoritative studies that have similar findings and support the outcomes of the project. The validity of the study will be proven with the help of controls.
The EBP project is going to last for 7 weeks. Week 1 will be focused on the preparation of required forms and tools. The EBP project will be explained, and the representatives of the healthcare system will be addressed to identify the participants of the research study and to obtain consent for it. Weeks 2-3 will be devoted to the initial step of the data collection. The first wave of the sample will be divided into three groups, and each of them will be treated with the help of clinical judgment alone during 10-15 days so that the first results needed for comparison will be obtained. Weeks 4-5 will be needed to start using the Braden and Waterlow scale for pressure ulcers prediction in two focus groups and continue using clinical judgment in the control one. Finally, Weeks 6-7 will be needed to analyze the data obtained from the research study. During this time, the findings will be assessed and discussed. The conclusion will be made, and report that describes the project will be prepared. In his way, it can be concluded that the research process will consist of 3 main parts. One week will be left for presentation, four weeks for the study, and two for the analysis of the received data and concluding actions.
Araújo, T., Araújo, M., & Caetano, J. (2011). Comparison of risk assessment scales for pressure ulcers in critically ill patients. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, 24(5), 695-700.
Ingwu, A., Ayanor., N., & Ohaeri, B., (2015). Factors influencing nurses’ use of risk assessment scale for preventing pressure ulcer among patients in National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu State, South Eastern, Nigeria. International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, 7(10), 146-153.