Dependent and Independent Variables in Evidence Based Practice-Nursing

Sample Question

Based on how you will evaluate your EBP project, which independent and dependent variables do you need to collect? Why?

Sample Answer

My evidence based project is based on application of prewarming methods to reduced hypothermia and the adverse health complications associated with the condition among surgical patients in operating room setting.  To evaluate the outcomes of the EPB projects, collection of dependent and independent variables in the project is essential (Watson, Stimpson, Topping & Podorock, 2002). One of the dependent variables that I would collect in the evidence based projects are the health outcomes of the surgical patients undergoing surgery in the healthcare organization. This variable is important because it is determined by the application of prewarming methods on surgical patients   before, during and after undergoing surgery. 

The health outcomes in this regard include the prevalence of hypothermia among the surgical patients after they undergo surgical operation and the health complication that are associated with the condition. Empirical evidence indicates that hypothermia among surgical patients increases the risks of various adverse health complications, including delayed healing of the surgical site, increased rate of infections on the surgical site and high rate of blood loss through bleeding (Conway, 2016). Other health outcomes associated with hypothermia includes cardiac problems and increased hospital stay (Conway, 2016). Evaluating the incidence/prevalence of the diverse health outcomes among the surgical patients under medical care in the health organization over a given period of time would help in assessing the successful implementation of the change in the given hospital.

The independent variable required in evaluation of the evidence based project is the uptake of prewarming methods within the healthcare organization.  Application of prewaraming techniques in the operating room determines the prevalence of hypothermia and the resulting health complications. Uptake of prewarming methods as an independent variable also entails the adoption of the required skills and knowledge among the nursing staff in the healthcare institution (Conway, 2016). The uptake of the evidence in nursing practice helps in determining   the prevalence of hypothermia and the health outcomes associated with the condition among the surgical patients in the healthcare organization.


Conway, A.(2016). A review of the effects of sedation on thermoregulation: Insights for the   cardiac catheterization laboratory. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing,31(3):226-236.

Watson, R., Stimpson, A., Topping, A., &  Podorock, D. (2002). Clinical competence  assessment in nursing: a systematic review of the literature. J.Adv. Nurs. 39 (5), 421–431