Biological Markers in Nursing Research

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Introduction: Biobehavioral research requires the ability to objectively measure the presence and/or severity of disease, symptoms and their burden, or to determine the effect of treatment on outcomes. Biomarker research has advanced care for patients across the lifespan. There have been significant advancements in biological marker use for nursing research in recent years. The purposes of this article are to define the characteristics of a valid biomarker; review common biological sources of genetic, hormonal, and proteomic biomarkers with attention to practical strengths, weaknesses, and challenges for specimen selection and quality; and discuss potential use of biomarkers in clinical and research settings. Methods: Authors draw on the literature and research experiences to address the issues relevant to incorporating biomarkers into nursing research. Results and Discussion: An overview of the practical aspects of incorporating biomarkers into nursing research, and the resultant actual and potential clinical applications, are discussed.

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