causal inferences in research

I need these follow-up questions answered in about 150 words each with references


This week we discussed causal inferences as they pertain to research and as they pertain to quasi experimental designed projects. Throughout the DPI project journey, we stress the fact that the DPI project is not research.

· QUESTION: Can a QI project generate new knowledge?  How does that connect to causal inferences in the cause of quasi experimental designed projects?

Causal relationships between nursing staffing and patient outcomes is difficult to ascertain as a RCT would be unethical. Longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies are the ones discussed in the article that was assigned for this discussion forum. A lot of factors however affect patient outcomes. Some of these factors include practice habits of the providers, availability of evidence to be translated into practice, availability of medical supplies, involvement of patients/families in decision making etc. Being able to control all these factors is what would determine how well isolated that intervention is and thus changes to the outcome can be attributed to that intervention alone.

· QUESTION: Given the complexity of all these factors, is it truly possible then to determine a causal relationship between nursing staffing and patient outcomes?

It can be difficult to conclude a causal relationship between the intervention and the outcome. Your project is looking at evaluating the effect of implementing nurses led diabetes education on self-care behaviors of adult diabetes type II patient in an urban primary care clinic. Since your project is using a quantitative methodology with a quasi-experimental design, once you have analyzed your data for your outcome, you may notice no change in self-care behaviors, an improvement in self-care behaviors or a decrease in self-care behaviors.

· QUESTION: In either of those situations, how would be report the relationship of your intervention to your outcome since you mentioned that you can not conclude a causal relationship?

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