Conceptual Frameworks

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Conceptual Frameworks

            In conducting research works, a theoretical or conceptual framework should always be utilized. Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2010) defines framework as “a basic conceptional structure.” Thus, a theoretical or conceptual is the basic defining structure that holds and supports the research work.

Advantages and Disadvantage

            Generally, theoretical or conceptual frameworks are advantageous. However, some disadvantages can not be avoided to arise. In this course work, two advantages and one disadvantage are discussed.

            Advantages. Braithwaite (2003) cited by Becker (2005) stated that one specific advantage of theoretical or conceptual framework is more developed “formal theoretical bases for nursing science that can, in turn, support the transfer of research findings into clinical practice.” Indeed, with widely established and accepted theories or concepts as premises, a research becomes formal and credible. In the field of healthcare, recognized and believable findings are the ones taken into account for basis of interventions. This is very imperative as healthcare professionals are dealing with human lives. Healthcare providers need to rely on factual results from studies before implementing certain actions for the care and management of their patients.

            Another specific benefit from utilizing theoretical or conceptual framework is guided step in the ensuing research process (Becker, 2005). The theories or concepts guide the research as a whole. All the steps in each chapter of the research work are directed by the concepts or theories.

            Disadvantage. Becker (2005) also mentioned disadvantages of using theoretical or conceptual frameworks. One disadvantage can be encountered when all the relevant parts of the theoretical or conceptual framework are not used to support the study which then results to specification errors (Becker, 2005). With this situation, it can be implied that the theoretical or conceptual framework does not fulfill its role in the research work being conducted. It may be implied that the theories or concepts were just used for compliance. To address this matter, Becker (2005) suggests that specific construct appropriateness and finding interpretation validity should be considered by the researchers or reviewers before utilizing certain theories or concepts.

Evidence-based Practice Framework: A Summary

            The framework of evidence-based practice (EBP) was defined by David Sackett as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care or individual patients…The practice of EBM means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available clinical evidence from systematic research” (Keckley, 2004). It is “an ongoing process involving clinicians and patients (Keckley, 2004). According to Greiner and Knebel (2003) cited by Krainovich-Miller, Haber, Yost, & Jacobs (2009), EBP is a core competency for healthcare education that was proposed by the Institute of Medicine’s Health Professions Educational Summit. EBP is very imperative as it enables healthcare providers “to make informed advanced practice decisions and improve patient outcomes” (Krainovich-Miller, Haber, Yost, & Jacobs, 2009).

            Standardized critical appraisal tools are used to facilitate evidences especially in systematic reviews (Krainovich-Miller, Haber, Yost, & Jacobs, 2009). Houde (2009) mentioned that systematic review of literature “can be a valuable tool in the public policy arena, to ensure that policies are developed based on a body of evidence that has been systematically synthesized and analyzed” and can be utilized to refine policies within specific healthcare settings that can lead to enhanced healthcare outcomes.


            In the study conducted by Carter, Rogers, Daly, Zheng, and James (2009), EBP framework was applied. The three critical integrated processes in EBP can be seen.

            The first critical integrated process is EBP involving “ongoing systematic review of the “science” supporting the diagnosis and treatment planning for a condition by clinicians and patients” (Keckley, 2004). Carter, Rogers, Daly, Zheng, and James (2009) conducted a systematic MEDLINE review that determined the mean reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, using critical appraisal tools and inclusion-exclusion criteria.

            The second critical integrated process in EBP framework entails “the integration of the science with the clinician’s training and practice experience” (Keckley, 2004). The study by Carter, Rogers, Daly, Zheng, and James (2009) showed that there was involvement of healthcare providers specifically nurses and pharmacists in controlled clinical trials. Team-based care was also highlighted.

            Lastly, the third critical integrated process in EBP is “the active participation of patients in making decisions about their care” (Keckley, 2004). Since the study aimed to determine the intervention potency for blood pressure, there was active participation from patients regarding their care and management.

            With all of the parts of the study following the guidelines set by the EBP framework, implications for a better and quality healthcare on the management of blood pressure resulted which are now adopted by nurses and pharmacists. From the recommendations of the study, consideration on the changes in healthcare structure of the organization should “include important components of team-based care” (Carter, Rogers, Daly, Zheng, and James, 2009).

Reference List

Becker, P. T. (2005). Conceptual frameworks: Issues for manuscript review and the dissemination of research findings. Research in Nursing and Health, 28, 363–364.

Carter, B., Rogers, M., Daly, J., Zheng, S., and James, P. (2009). The potency of team-based care interventions for hypertension. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(19), 1748-1755. Retrieved July 12, 2010, from

Framework. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved July 12, 2010, from

Houde, S. C. (2009). The systematic review of literature: A tool for evidence-based policy. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35(9), 9–11.

Keckley, P. (2004). Evidence-based medicine in managed care: evidence-based practice: the framework for managed care. Medscape General Medicine, 6(2). Retrieved July 12, 2010, from

Krainovich-Miller, B., Haber, J., Yost, J., ; Jacobs, S. K. (2009). Evidence-based practice challenge: Teaching critical appraisal of systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines to graduate students. Journal of Nursing Education, 48(4), 186–195.


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