Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

Master's ・Astronomy ・MLA ・2 Sources

Inferential statistics seem more suitable for the study of the usefulness of inflatable sleeping surfaces in the prevention of bedsores among the elderly. According to Creswell (2014), researchers should identify the type of statistics most suitable to their investigation question. In this case, the research question seeks to make inferences based on the data collected and relates the independent and dependent variables. The independent variable is the inflatable sleeping surfaces while the dependent variable is the sleeping sores all studied in the elderly population. Moule (2015) provides a clear definition of both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics represent results and are more centered in explaining properties about a population or data set while inferential statistics are used to infer or measure the probability that an observed outcome or difference is dependable or an aspect of chance. The current study is a healthcare research that is expected to add to the available evidence. As such, inferential statistics would help provide reliable information regarding the ability or inability of inflatable services in preventing bed-related sores among the elderly.

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Both inferential and descriptive statistics can be useful to the proposed healthcare study to serve in the delivery of research findings differently. Descriptive data can be utilized to illustrate the spread of the information obtained from the identified population as well as indicate where particular data stands with respect to other values. For example, descriptive statistics such as can be used to provide a graphical representation of the percentage of elderly participants who suffered from sleep-related sores in both control and experimental groups. On the other hand, inferential statistics help make inferences by analyzing data in a manner that allows generalizability of the study findings to other populations under similar circumstances. The inferential statistics help healthcare professionals in determining the effectiveness of an intervention and the clinical and statistical significance which informs their decision in the course of evidence-based practice.

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  1. Creswell, J. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th Ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.   
  2. Moule, P. (2015). Making sense of research in nursing, health, and social care (5th Ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications Inc. 
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