Data collection is an important part of both quantitative and qualitative research.
Although the actual approach to gathering information may vary, for either research
design, researchers need to plan in advance how the data will be gathered, reported, and
stored, and they need to ensure that their methods are both reliable and valid. As nurses
review research when considering a new evidence-based practice, it is important to be
familiar with sound collection practices in order to ascertain the credibility of the data
Consider the following scenario:
Nurses and other health care professionals are often interested in assessing patient
satisfaction with health care services. Imagine that you are a nurse working in a suburban
primary care setting that serves 10,000 patients annually. Your organization is very
interested in understanding the patient’s point of view to help determine areas of care that
can be improved. With this focus in mind, consider how you would create a survey to assess
patient satisfaction with the services your organization provides. You may wish to consider
variables such as the ease of accessing care, patient wait time, friendliness of the staff, or
the likelihood that a patient would recommend your organization to others.
For this Discussion, you generate questions and an overall plan for data collection that
would be appropriate for a patient satisfaction survey in relation to the above scenario.
�Consider the guidelines for generating questions presented in this week’s Learning
�Review the scenario and formulate at least five questions that you could use to evaluate
�Reflect on the different methods or instruments that can be used for gathering data
described in Chapter 13 and Chapter 22 of the course text. Which methods or instruments
would work well for the scenario?
�Determine an appropriate sample size for the scenario.
Post on or before Day 3 the questions that you created for gathering information about
patient satisfaction based on the above scenario. Explain which method or instrument you
would use to gather data. Describe the sample size appropriate for the population and how
you would select participants. Provide a rationale for your choices, and explain how you
can ensure high standard of reliability and validity.
Planning for Data Collection
How long do you normally wait before seeing the doctor or collecting medicine at the pharmacy?
Have you ever experienced a case where one of the staff appeared unfriendly and not ready to
How would you rate the ease of care accessibility? Gerrish & Lacey, 2012).
PLANNING FOR DATA COLLECTION 2
Would you say that the health care has been effective in offering comprehensive care?
Have you ever recommended our services to somebody? Are you likely to do in future?
The most appropriate tool for collecting data is an interview. With an interview, it will be
possible to reach the target participants easily even while they are in the queues waiting to be
served. This will ensure that time is saved. In addition, depending on the approach that the
patient takes, it will be possible to reframe the questions so as to get the answers needed. In
addition, the facial expressions will be assessed to add onto what the patient says (Gerrish &
So as to ensure representativeness, a total of 480 patients will be interviewed, 40 every
month for 12 months. This will ensure that different diseases experienced depending on the
season are covered. The 40 patients interviewed every month will be from different departments
including pediatric, maternity, physiotherapy, oncology, pharmacy, and general wards among
others. This will ensure that patients’ notions on different wards are explored Gerrish & Lacey,
When collecting data, the patients participating will be informed about what the questions
are intended for. Confidentiality will also be maintained and patients will be informed about this
vital aspect. The person collecting the data will first admit to being accountable of the data
gathered. So as to avoid bias, participants will be picked randomly and any other nurse can
gather the data and assist on data analysis after being trained on what is needed.
PLANNING FOR DATA COLLECTION 3
Gerrish, K., & Lacey, A. (2012). The research process in nursing. Oxford: Blackwell Pub.