Usefulness of Abductive Reasoning in Nursing Education
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BACKGROUND: Hypothetico-deductive reasoning used by novice nurses could limit their ability to explain a presenting care situation in its entirety. Hence, scholars recommend the use of abductive reasoning as an alternative approach. PURPOSE: This study explored the effects of abductive reasoning training on baccalaureate nursing students' hypothesis generation abilities. METHOD: Through a pretest-posttest study, we delivered educational training on abductive reasoning and examined hypothesis accuracy, expertise, and breadth. Participants generated scenario-specific hypotheses before and after the training. Academic content experts validated the scenarios, and 2 independent raters scored participants' hypotheses. RESULTS: Twenty first- and second-year nursing students participated in this pilot study. Posttest scores showed a significant improvement in participants' hypothesis generation abilities: accuracy (P < .001), expertise (P < .001), and breadth (P = .006). CONCLUSION: Abductive reasoning training in nursing education may improve students' hypothesis generation abilities.
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