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Research question/Hypothesis

Every research work must have


research question (s)/hypothesis.

Research question:
A Research Question is a statement
that identifies the phenomenon to be
studied
Many studies have more than one
research question.

FINER Criteria for a Good RQ


Feasible
Adequate number of subjects
Adequate technical expertise
Affordable in time and money
Manageable in scope
Interesting
Getting the answer intrigues the investigator and her/his friends
Novel
Confirms, refutes or extends previous findings
Provides new findings
Ethical
Amenable to a study that institutional review board will approve
Relevant
To scientific knowledge
To clinical and health policy
To future research

Example of research question


For cross sectional descriptive studies:
What is the prevalence of dry eye
among the computer users of Dhaka
university?
Who are the people mostly affected by
conjunctivitis?
For case control studies:
Is there any association between
computer use and dry eye?
What are the risks of conjunctivitis?

For interventional study:


Does amitryptyline reduce frequency of
migraine attack compared with
propranolol?

Components of the clinical question


Population - type of person /patient
Intervention (exposure) - type of
exposure
Comparisons - type of control
Outcomes - type of outcome

Refining the clinical question


Type of exposure

Are anticoagulant agents useful in


patients who have had a stroke?

Type of patient

The well-formulated question

Type of exposure Type of outcomes



Do anticoagulant agents improve
outcomes in
Type of person

patients with acute ischemic stroke


Type of control

compared with no treatment?

Hypothesis
Definition:
A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work.
Many study questions undergo a further transformation
into a final and most specific version, termed research
hypothesis
When Hypothesis?
Other than descriptive type of cross sectional study all
may have a hypothesis
Characteristics of a good hypothesis:
Simple
Specific
Stated in advance

When hypothesis should be


formulated?

If any of the following terms appear in the


research question:
Greater than
Less than
Causes
Leads to
Compared with
More likely than
Associated with
Related to
Similar to
Correlated with

Example:
Chocolate may causes migraine
Bacterial growth may be affected by
temperature
Ultra violet light may cause cataract

Simple versus complex


Simple hypothesis:
One predictor and one outcome
E.g. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an
increased risk of proteinurea in patients with
diabetes
Complex hypothesis:
More than one predictor
(a sedentary lifestyle and alcohol consumption
are associated with an increased risk of
proteinuria in patients with diabetes) or
More than one outcome (alcohol consumption is
associated with an increased risk of proteinuria
and neuropathy in patients with diabetes)

Types:
Null hypothesis or hypothesis of no difference:

There is no association between the


predictor and outcome (e.g. there is no
difference in the frequency of dinking well
water between subjects who develop
peptic ulcer disease and those who do not)
Alternative hypothesis:

The proposition that there is an association


(e.g. the frequency of drinking well water is
different in subjects who develop peptic
ulcer than in those who do not)
In research only alternative hypothesis should be
written. The null hypothesis does not need to be
written in the dissertation/thesis.

One-and two-sided alternative


hypothesis
One sided: specifies the direction of
association between predictor and
outcome
E.g. drinking well water is more common
among subjects who develop peptic ulcers

Two-sided: specifies association; does not


specify direction
E.g. Subjects who develop peptic ulcer
disease have a different frequency of drinking
well water than those who do not.