Review The Differences In Descriptive, Explanatory, Predictive, And Prescriptive Studies And Select – Coursework Example

The differences in descriptive, explanatory, predictive, and prescriptive studies Research falls into four models that include descriptive, prescriptive, predictive and explanatory research (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). These models are employed in research based on the objectives of the study. Descriptive research purposes to investigate and describe processes, problems, causal relationships or any other subsisting phenomena (Stevens, 2006). Notably, descriptive research aims at asking “what has happened.” On the other hand, explanatory research seeks to answer the questions “how” and “why” phenomena took place (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). It attempts to determine the cause and effect association among variables. Therefore, explanatory research explains why and how something happened.
Predictive research is primarily involved in predicting the probability of something happening (Stevens, 2006). This study seeks to establish what will happen, with an already known baseline. It also determines the effects, costs, and consequences of the action. This research attempts to generalize the evaluation of subsisting policies or phenomena to forecast something that has not been tested or tried (Stevens, 2006). On the other hand, prescriptive research involves the application rather than theory. It is similar to evaluative studies ((Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). It assesses policies, programs and institutional frameworks in nursing and identifies their performance or consequences and offers recommendations, new ideas, and solutions (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). Prescriptive research seeks to answer the question “how.” For instance, how a policy can be modified or heightened, or how nurses can improve on delivery of care (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).
An example of a predictive research is that of Tourangeau (2006). This study seeks to establish the implications of policy on hospital patient mortality. The independent variables in this study include nurse staffing and policy, while the dependent variable is patient mortality, and patient safety is the mediating variable.
Melnyk, B.M. & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
Stevens, K. R. (2006). Review of research in nursing education, volume VII. New York: National League for Nursing.
Tourangeau, A. E. (2006). Impact of nursing on hospital patient mortality: a focused review and related policy implications. Quality & Safety in Health Care, 15(1), 4–8. doi:10.1136/qshc.2005.014514