Demystifying nursing research

Wendy Durham and Chris Sykes explain conceptual frameworks and how they are used in nursing research

Although doctorate studies and research in nursing are growing, there are still large numbers of nurses and other professional groups who find research terminology a challenge.

It is imperative if we are to encourage more professional staff to undertake and embrace doctorate study and research that we ensure the terminology and research processes are clear and understandable.

As professional doctorate students we were surprised by how confusing some of the research terms were and how limited the supporting explanatory information.

Conceptual framework

One of the most challenging areas encountered was the conceptual framework. There was limited evidence available to support the development of a comprehensive conceptual framework and what was available was often difficult to decipher and synthesise. Therefore our intention was to attempt to demystify these terms.

It has been said that the conceptual framework can help the researcher to focus and develop