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Abstract

Students new to research methods may fail to acknowledge that research findings are open to interpretation. They may see the sole purpose of research as proving or disproving a hypothesis. Purpose: The study aims to determine whether an exercise asking research methods students to compare studies using preset evaluation criteria helps those students to better grasp the intricacies of research. The goal of the exercise is to better inform future and current practitioners. Methods:Students in a multidisciplinary health sciences graduate program were asked to compare the methods and findings of two large-scale research studies dealing with a particular topic, the effect of aspirin on the cardiovascular health of women.Results: Student participants identified basic components of clinical research: population, intervention, sampling, and screening criteria. These components proved similar across the arguably landmark Nurses. Conclusions: By examining and comparing methods used in research studies with differing conclusions, future and current health care providers can better appreciate the dichotomy of conflicting findings from similar studies, the utility of applying different methodologies when studying a single issue, and the importance of evidence-based practice appropriate to their discipline.

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