Friday, May 28, 2010

Health Research: Looking for a Topic/Problem to Study

The first step in the research process is problem identification. In other words, at this point a researcher's problem is finding a problem. A problem is a question that needs to be answered, something that needs a solution.

One must first state the simplest research question or proble showing the variables or concepts to be described and possible relationships between variables.

The sources of problems may be from research agenda by different scientific communities, out of curiosity as problems are encountered or experienced and from an analysis of needs.

The problem then needs to be analyzed with the help of the acronym FINER.
Is the problem feasible?
  • with time and money?
  • enough subjects?
  • feasible to implement?
interesting? novel? ethical? relevant?

The problem the n needs to be dissected and clarified by identifying the components. Get the key terms and analyze what needs to be determined. This will help later on in the formulation of objectives.

Afterwards, state the problem and subproblems in clear and specific terms specifying variable/s, population and setting (when applicable).

There you have it, problem solved for now!

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