Discussion: Utilizing Secondary Data

Utilizing secondary data requires that you understand how to craft appropriate quantitative research questions, define the dependent and independent variables, and consider if any confounding variables might impact your analysis. There is nothing more central to research than the formulation of research questions that address an identified problem and that are helpful in understanding that problem and potential solutions to it. This means being clear on the nature of the problem in its context and the variables that you need to measure.

For this Discussion, you will develop two potential quantitative research questions for secondary data analysis of a given problem and a given data set. Then you will examine potential confounding variables.

To prepare:

  • Examine the “Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Provider Summary for the Top 100 Diagnosis-Related Groups (DRG)—FY2011” data file at:
  • Consider potential health problems and quantitative research questions for which this secondary data set could provide an answer.
  • Select variables in the data set that could be used to answer the research question you have created, and determine potential confounding variables that would also need to be considered.

Post 2 to 3 paragraphs describing one problem and one to two research questions for which the given data set could provide an answer. Determine the independent and dependent variables that could be measured to answer each research question and two potential confounding variables that may impact your research study. Briefly justify your choices.

Support your Discussion with citations and specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the resources for this course.