Which of the demographic variables provided ordinal level data? Provide a rationale for your answer.
Most studies describe the subjects that comprise the study sample. This description of the sample
is called the sample characteristics which may be presented in a table or the narrative of the
article. The sample characteristics are often presented for each of the groups in a study (i.e. experimental
and control groups). Descriptive statistics are used to generate sample characteristics, and
the type of statistic used depends on the level of measurement of the demographic variables
included in a study (Burns & Grove, 2007). For example, measuring gender produces nominal level
data that can be described using frequencies, percentages, and mode. Measuring educational level
usually produces ordinal data that can be described using frequencies, percentages, mode, median,
and range. Obtaining each subject’s specific age is an example of ratio data that can be described
using mean, range, and standard deviation. Interval and ratio data are analyzed with the same type
of statistics and are usually referred to as interval/ratio level data in this text.
Source: Troy, N. W., & Dalgas-Pelish, P. (2003). The effectiveness of a self-care intervention for the
management of postpartum fatigue. Applied Nursing Research, 16(1), 38–45.
Troy and Dalgas-Pelish (2003) conducted a quasi-experimental study to determine the effectiveness
of a self-care intervention (Tiredness Management Guide [TMG]) on postpartum fatigue. The study
subjects included 68 primiparous mothers, who were randomly assigned to either the experimental
group (32 subjects) or the control group (36 subjects) using a computer program. The results of
the study indicated that the TMG was effective in reducing levels of morning postpartum fatigue
from the 2nd to 4th weeks postpartum. These researchers recommend that “mothers need to be
informed that they will probably experience postpartum fatigue and be taught to assess and manage
this phenomenon” (Troy & Dalgas-Pelish, 2003, pp. 44-5).
Relevant Study Results