NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Sample Answer for NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes Included After Question

Throughout this course you have focused on practice problems to address in applying nursing and interdisciplinary theories, and in the application of evidence-based practice for quality improvement. This week you begin exploring the components of evidence-based practice by framing a practice problem as a critical question. You will begin a search of the literature for evidence to answer the question and inform a practice change for quality improvement.

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To prepare:

  • Identify the practice problem as the focus of your Discussion post. You may use the same practice problem from earlier weeks orNURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomesa different one.
  • Review the chapter on practice questions in the Dang and Dearholt text and the Week 7 Media. With guidance from the Learning Resources, cast your practice problem as a critical question.
  • Search the Walden Library for 2–3 scholarly articles that address your critical question.
  • Analyze the articles to identify evidence that would guide quality improvement.
  • Return to the stakeholders that were the audience for your Module 3 Assignment. Identify the specific quality improvement component in the evidence. Then consider how you would present it to that set of stakeholders to secure agreement and action.

With these thoughts in mind …

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By Day 3 of Week 7

NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes
NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Post a brief explanation of your critical question. Then, summarize the 2–3 articles you identified that address your critical question. Using the same language you would use with stakeholders, explain the critical question and the value of addressing it as a quality improvement initiative. Be specific. Cite the scholarly articles and other resources to support your post.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.

By Day 6 of Week 7

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on 2 different days by suggesting a different way of framing their critical question. Cite sources to support your posts and recommend to colleagues.

Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the “Post to Discussion Question” link and then select “Create Thread” to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

Submission and Grading Information

Grading Criteria


To access your rubric:

Week 7 Discussion Rubric


Post by Day 3 of Week 7 and Respond by Day 6 of Week 7


To Participate in this Discussion:

Week 7 Discussion


What’s Coming Up in Week 8?

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Next week you will expand your literature search to answer the critical question you developed in the Week 7 Discussion. Be aware that your Week 8 Discussion is designed to support an effective search in the Walden Library. The literature search is Part 1 of your Module Assignment, which will be due in Week 10.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Title: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Post a brief explanation of your critical question.

My critical question is why there are so many people who suffer from co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Comorbidities are defined as two conditions or illnesses that manifest in the same individual, either concurrently or consecutively. Additionally, comorbidity suggests that the disorders interact, influencing each other’s course and prognosis. It may be challenging to diagnose the underlying mental illness in those who use drugs, and some patients require abstinence for a while for diagnostic reasons. (Igbal, 2019). People who suffer from co-occurring mental health and drug use disorders appear to be becoming more and more prevalent every day. I understand there is a critical part that health practitioners and the legislature need to play in reducing the incidence of comorbid mental health illness and substance use. In the United States, 9.2 million adults have a co-occurring disorder, according to SAMHSA’s 2023 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (SAMHSA, 2023). The rate of substance abuse is very alarming and makes one wonder if there is a possibility of a decrease in the number of substance users. In certain instances, people self-treat underlying mental disorders with illicit drugs. Chronic drug use can eventually result in a substance use disorder (SUD), which can exacerbate the underlying mental disorder. Extensive education needs to be provided on the risk of illicit drug abuse in all populations, especially in women of childbearing age, to reduce incidents like fetal alcohol syndrome/exposure of the fetus to illegal drugs. Compared to individuals without mental illness, patients with comorbid disorders exhibit worse treatment adherence and increased rates of treatment dropout, which has a detrimental impact on outcomes. For better patient outcomes and quality improvement, the problem of an increase in patients with co-occurring mental health illnesses and substance use disorders needs to be addressed.

Addressing the critical question

A strategy that can help to address comorbid substance use and mental health illness is education. Clinical could provide teaching opportunities to both clinicians and patients to ensure the clinician is knowledgeable on the topic and provide evidence-based education to the patient. (Frank et al., 2022). Clinicians can provide patients with education on the dangers of illicit drug use and the health implications. When two or more conditions are the focus of treatment, it is referred to as integrated treatment. One example of integrated treatment is using several therapies, such as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Research has consistently demonstrated that integrated treatment for comorbidity is superior to treating individual illnesses with separate treatment programs. (Kelly & Daley, 2013). Encouraging syringe exchange programs can help reduce the risk of infection from sharing needles with intravenous drug users. Research demonstrates that funding preventative initiatives can help communities save money and lives. For example, Patient education on syringe exchange locations can help reduce the risk of sharing or reusing needles for IV drug users. Monthly community fairs or adding a drug prevention class to all schools would help create the needed awareness and save the lives of innocent students who might be introduced to drugs.

Consequently, President Biden unveiled his Unity Agenda at the State of the Union address. President Biden’s agenda includes addressing our country’s mental health problem and combating the overdose epidemic. (NIDA, 2022). The President’s mental health initiative is built around three pillars:

Boost System Capability, Link Americans to Care, and Assist Americans through the Development of Healthy Environments. (NIDA, 2022). These interventions can help enlighten, provide care to those with comorbid disorders and ensure a safer environment for everyone.

The value of addressing the quality improvement initiative.

The value of addressing this quality improvement initiative would help reduce the initiation of illegal drug use, addiction/dependence on illicit drug use, the incidence of drug-induced psychosis/coma, or even Death from drug overdose. Clinicians can help improve patient health by encouraging patients with mental health and substance use to seek care and utilize pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy as treatment modalities to help ensure patient well-being.

Syringe exchange Programs can help halt the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C. They also assist in connecting drug injectors with addiction treatment and HIV screening. (NIDA, 2022). By treating patients for SUDs and other mental diseases regardless of their color, socioeconomic background, sex, or location, healthcare professionals can contribute to the reduction of health disparities and reduce possible stigmatization. The aforementioned evidence-based quality improvement measures are all warranted in their attempt to lower the proportion of individuals who have a co-occurring mental health illness and substance use disorder and who do not seek treatment.

In conclusion, proper interdisciplinary collaboration can help reduce gaps in treatment and ensure prompt care to patients dealing with comorbid mental health disorders and substance use.



Dang, D., Dearholt, S. L., Bissett, K., Ascenzi, J., & Walen, M. (Eds.). (2021). Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice: Model and guidelines (4th ed.). Sigma Theta Tau International. Chapter 4, “The Practice Question” (pp. 73–98)

Frank, A. A., Schwartz, A. C., Welsh, J. W., Ruble, A. E., Branch, R., DeMoss, D., & DeJong, S. M. (2022). Enhancing Addictions Education in Patient Care and Medical Knowledge Competencies for General Psychiatry Residents. Academic psychiatry: the journal of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training and the Association for Academic Psychiatry46(3), 375–380. to an external site..

Iqbal, M. N., Levin, C. J., & Levin, F. R. (2019). Treatment for Substance Use Disorder With Co-Occurring Mental Illness. Focus (American Psychiatric Publishing)17(2), 88–97. to an external site..

Kelly, T. M., & Daley, D. C. (2013). Integrated treatment of substance use and psychiatric disorders. Social work in public health28(3-4), 388–406. to an external site..

NIDA. 2022, March 23. Strengthening Federal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs: Opportunities, Challenges, and Emerging Issues. Retrieved from on 2024, January 7.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2023, January 4). Samhsa announces National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) results detailing mental illness and substance use levels in 2021.

A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Title: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Combining medication, therapy, and support groups is a common treatment strategy for co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders. Various drugs may be provided, contingent on the particular mental health problem. In the case of bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers may be utilized, whereas antidepressants may be used for depression. Substance use disorders can also be treated with medications to control cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, psychotherapy and drug abuse disorders are two more prevalent problems treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Through understanding and modification of cognitive patterns that result in negative feelings and behaviors, this kind of treatment aids patients.

Peer support is another important aspect of healing. Organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) offer a support network of others going through comparable challenges. Last but not least is the use of integrated treatment, which treats the mental health issue and the drug use disorder together, frequently inside the same treatment program.

Always keep in mind that the most effective treatment programs are customized to each patient’s unique needs and may include a mix of these approaches.



Regier DA, Farmer ME, Rae DS, et al. Comorbidity of mental disorders with alcohol and other drug abuse: results from the epidemiologic catchment area (ECA) study. JAMA. 1990;264:2511-2518.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. 2015. Accessed January 09, 2024.

Wolitzky-Taylor K, Operskalski JT, Ries R, Craske MG, Roy-Byrne P. Understanding and treating comorbid anxiety disorders in substance users: review and future directions. J Addict Med. 2021;5(4):233–247. doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e31823276d7.

A Sample Answer 3 For the Assignment: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

Title: NURS 8114 Framing a Practice Problem as a Critical Question With Measurable Outcomes

This  resourceful information on the problem of co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders. The treatment of co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders, also known as dual diagnosis or comorbidity, requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. It’s essential to address both conditions simultaneously to achieve the best outcomes. Some common elements of treatment for individuals with co-occurring disorders included developing an integrated treatment plans that address both mental health and substance use disorders simultaneously. This may involve collaboration between mental health and addiction treatment professionals. Psychiatric treatment for patients with comorbid mental health disorder may involve combining pharmacotherapy and self-help groups (Zhu, Y. et al,2021). For specific substance use disorders, medication-assisted treatment may be appropriate. Medications can help manage withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and stabilize mental health conditions.  While Individual and group psychotherapy also stand out as essential components of treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT and motivational enhancement therapy (MET) are commonly used approaches (Bergly, T. H., Gråwe, R. W., & Hagen, R. ,2014).  It is also important to Include family members in the treatment process to enhance support and understanding. Family therapy helps address communication issues, set boundaries, and improve overall family dynamics. Lastly, developing strategies for relapse prevention that address both mental health and substance use triggers is vital. This may involve coping skills, stress management techniques, and the identification of high-risk situations. The collaboration of a multidisciplinary team and ongoing support are crucial components in promoting sustained recovery.


Bergly, T. H., Gråwe, R. W., & Hagen, R. (2014). Domains and perceived benefits of treatment among patients with and without co-occurring disorders in inpatient substance use treatment. Retrieved from, 26db3c73-df29-42f1-9268-2505ec2cb9af%40redis

Zhu, Y., Mooney, L. J., Yoo, C., Evans, E. A., Kelleghan, A., Saxon, A. J., Curtis, M. E., & Hser, Y.-I. (2021). Psychiatric comorbidity and treatment outcomes in patients with opioid use disorder: Results from a multisite trial of buprenorphine-naloxone and methadone. Retrieved from,

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The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.

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Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.

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Important information for writing discussion questions and participation

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Hello class and welcome to the class and I will be your instructor for this course. This is a -week course and requires a lot of time commitment, organization, and a high level of dedication. Please use the class syllabus to guide you through all the assignments required for the course. I have also attached the classroom policies to this announcement to know your expectations for this course. Please review this document carefully and ask me any questions if you do. You could email me at any time or send me a message via the “message” icon in halo if you need to contact me. I check my email regularly, so you should get a response within 24 hours. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours and need to contact me urgently, please send a follow up text to

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Your initial discussion post should be a minimum of 200 words and response posts should be a minimum of 150 words. Be advised that I grade based on quality and not necessarily the number of words you post. A minimum of TWO references should be used for your initial post. For your response post, you do not need references as personal experiences would count as response posts. If you however cite anything from the literature for your response post, it is required that you cite your reference. You should include a minimum of THREE references for papers in this course. Please note that references should be no more than 5 years old except recommended as a resource for the class. Furthermore, for each discussion board question, you need ONE initial substantive response and TWO substantive responses to either your classmates or your instructor for a total of THREE responses. There are TWO discussion questions each week, hence, you need a total minimum of SIX discussion posts for each week. I usually post a discussion question each week. You could also respond to these as it would count towards your required SIX discussion posts for the week.

I understand this is a lot of information to cover in 5 weeks, however, the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Even in times like this, we are encouraged by God’s word that we have that ability in us to succeed with His strength. I pray that each and every one of you receives strength for this course and life generally as we navigate through this pandemic that is shaking our world today. Relax and enjoy the course!

Hi Class,

Please read through the following information on writing a Discussion question response and participation posts.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Important information on Writing a Discussion Question

  • Your response needs to be a minimum of 150 words (not including your list of references)
  • There needs to be at least TWO references with ONE being a peer reviewed professional journal article.
  • Include in-text citations in your response
  • Do not include quotes—instead summarize and paraphrase the information
  • Follow APA-7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed

Participation –replies to your classmates or instructor

  • A minimum of 6 responses per week, on at least 3 days of the week.
  • Each response needs at least ONE reference with citations—best if it is a peer reviewed journal article
  • Each response needs to be at least 75 words in length (does not include your list of references)
  • Responses need to be substantive by bringing information to the discussion or further enhance the discussion. Responses of “I agree” or “great post” does not count for the word count.
  • Follow APA 7th edition
  • Points will be deducted if the above is not followed
  • Remember to use and follow APA-7th edition for all weekly assignments, discussion questions, and participation points.
  • Here are some helpful links
  • Student paper example
  • Citing Sources
  • The Writing Center is a great resource