Methodologies used in nursing research designed to improve patient safety.
Nursing research studies of patient safety for 2002-2005 were reviewed to determine methods used and methodological challenges within this field of research. Methods used in traditional clinical research and in health services research were often combined or adapted in innovative research designs to advance knowledge regarding nursing care and patient safety outcomes. This relatively new focus of complex research posed methodological challenges in areas such as measurement and the availability and analysis of data. The most frequent methods used included survey research, analysis of secondary data, and observational studies. This review points to the need to increase the incorporation of complex methodological training, including health services research, the analysis of secondary data and complex survey design in our doctoral programs, and to provide opportunities for researchers to gain further methodological training. Increased use of multi-site and multi-level studies is also needed.
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