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Critique of Research Report

Critique of Research Report

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1 Introduction

1.1 Statement of the problem

This study is clear about the problem that research seeks to identify and find the possible solutions to. The statement of the problem lies in the fact that most patients who are in critical health conditions and using life –supporting equipment in the ICU are not in a position to make their own health related decisions. This calls for the intervention of the close family members who are allowed to make decisions on their own. The study thus is out to analyze various factors in relation to the idea of family members making critical decisions on behalf of their sick relatives.

1.2 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is clearly outlined as seeking to find out the experiences that family members of the patients have while they make decisions that are critical to the health of the patients and provide the most appropriate approach on way forward in regards to their health.


1.3 Specific objecties

  • Analyze factors that either promote or hinder decision making of the patients’ signatories/relatives
  • Understand the effects of the decisions made by the relatives.
  • Determine the factors that guide the family members in knowing what to rely on when making decisions.

2 Substantive and Theoretical Dimensions

2.1 Relevance of research problem and significance

This research is relevant and quite important especially at this time when the number of patients across the globe on life supporting machines has almost doubled due to the development of both communicable and non communicable disease that result into extreme medical conditions that eventually endanger the lives of patients. This makes them unable to properly function as the brain and thinking patterns may be malfunctioned thus members of the family have to constantly step in to provide the necessary assistance.

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2.2 Congruence between research questions and methods used

The research questions in this case are derived from the specific objectives which included;

  • What factors affect your decision making process?
  • How do you know that the decisions you made were the right ones?
  • What challenges do you experience in making the decisions on behalf of your family members?
  • Are there any decisions you have made before that you regret?

These questions are very well in line with the qualitative method that is used. This is because as shall be discussed in the next section, qualitative research seeks to follow a narrative approach in order to gauge not just the statistics but also the emotions and the patients’ relatives’ experiences. Feelings will be analysed and evaluated in this method.

2.3 Literature Review

The researcher began by conducting a desk research and literature review on the already existing documents regarding patients and their family members decision making processes. Examples are given on what previous qualitative examples have found out and suggested (p.31). This is important to enable the researcher have some background information on what has already been done and also to identify the existing research gaps.

3 Methodological Dimensions

3.1 Research Design

This research will adapt a qualitative approach design to come up with the findings. This has been preferred over quantitative research for various reasons. To begin with, quantitative research involves the analysis of concept through numerical data while qualitative research focuses on narrative data to gain insight into the study. Quantitative research approach will not be the most appropriate for this study as it involves collecting numeric data by using instruments that are fully closed ended and use scales for rating. This will not perfectly fit the requirements of this study that includes using semi structured questionnaires for data collection that are either unstructured or semi structured like interviews, case studies and observations. Quantitative research method also focuses on various behaviour that are controlled by artificial conditions unlike the qualitative research method required in this study that focuses on studying behaviour of the patients’ relatives involved in decision making as directly related to the contextual framework and environment. Qualitative research offers the team with findings that are particular to the study and which gives in-depth analysis of the viewpoints given by all the respondents involved in interviews, meaning that the results are oriented to the respondents. On the contrary, quantitative research will only provide findings that are generalized which give an overall perspective of the responses from correspondents and present the viewpoint of the researchers involved (Johnston & Christen, 2004).

3.2 Population and Sample

A population sample of 17 people was selected for the study. This was not done randomly but in a purposive manner to specifically target those who have taken part in decision making on behalf of their relatives before.


3.3 Collection of Data

This study employed the use of semi structured interviews and surveys to gather qualitative data. This collection method was the best in this case. The World Health organization defines interviews as methodical and organized ways of interacting with people through careful listening to their responses of the asked questions. This enables data collection by from the respondents, who in this case were the patients’ relatives that the researchers involved. In this type of data collection, the reaction and perception of the one being interviewed is more important than those of the interviewer. This is what makes an interview be viewed as a process of interchanging views and opinions among people on a common topic of discussion. The researcher in this study has asked valid questions that have generated appropriate responses from the participants and have contributed towards the development of this research findings. The questions seem to have been designed in a way to motivate the respondents to feel free and give maximum details without any forms of biases. Interviews are the most preferred methods because of the demand to have data that is highly personalized. They also provide interviewers with opportunities to probe more the respondents and seek clarifications in case of doubt. This research also provided a good rate of return and may also provide assistance to respondents who had difficulties in understanding and responding to certain questions. The key informants were medical experts and the relatives of the patients who were directly involved in making decisions on patients’ behalf. The experts were people considered to have unique skills or professional backgrounds related to the topic making family decisions for life supported patients whose health conditions have seriously deteriorated. In depth interviews work best for the experts working independently since gathering them into a central location would be a daunting task, given their busy schedules.

3.4 Validity internal and external

The researcher had prolonged sessions with the respondents, sent out some copies of the questionnaires for counterchecking that information was accurate and credible. Brief sessions were also held with peers and experts to evaluate the researcher’s progress and eliminate any biasness that were identified. These are effective measures of quality assurance in the study. Nonetheless, the researchers could also have used other methods of quality assurance such as back-checking a certain percentage of all interviews conducted by the research assistants (Kawulich,2005). This could have involved the selection of a sample of questions in the questionnaire and calling back respondents in order to re-interview and verify key points of the questionnaire.

3.5 Limitation of the study

The researcher also declares the limitations of the study as the unconscious biasness in the event of conducting the study. Another factor is the extreme emotional feelings that were displayed by some of the informants during interviews. A scientific researcher noted that it is always important to mention the limitations of a study so that they can be used to explain the manner in which the current work of research may be made better in the near future study analysis (Ioannidis 324-329).

4 Ethical Dimensions

4.1 Confidentiality or anonymity

The researcher has not revealed information throughout the analysis by mentioning names or extreme descriptions that may lead to hints of the respondents like their names, specific ages, and area of residence among others. Even in describing the characteristics of the respondents in table 2 (p. 32), the researcher is keen to only use codes of name, race and relationship to patient for the participants to label information rather than the direct use of names. A different should be kept by the researcher to later determine the matchup between the codes and names (Unite for Sight, 2013).

4.2 Informed Consent

The researcher made a crucial initiative by obtaining written consent from all participants who were involved in the study (p. 32). The World Health Organization recommends that in a research study, all participants must be provided with the informed consent forms (ICF), to portray acceptance and the free will to participate by participants. It further recommends that researches involving separate groups of people must have different consent forms designed to meet the needs of these group that are tailor made to suit them. This process enables participants take part in active decision making process (World Health Organization, 2011). The researcher fails to mention the structure of the consent forms ought to have designed the consent forms in two sections. Part one with a detailed description on the study nature to be conducted and part two containing the actual consent section for participants to sign as authorization to their willingness to take part in the study (Unite for Sight, 2013).

4.3 Vulnerability of Study participants

The qualities of data produced in research have over the years been issues of concern to most analysts. Most people are of the belief that unless certain research parameters are reached, then the entire research process is null and void. This thus calls for various measure controls such as both internal and external validities. Internal validity occurs when the results obtained can be directly associated with the treatment of the entire research process while external validity refers to the level at which the research findings can be generalized. The study participants are vulnerable to having their data shared without their consent. The researcher however has minimized the possibilities by providing the consent forms.

5 Interpretive Dimensions

5.1 Discussion section

The discussion section mainly highlights the key findings from the study. It nonetheless looks very short and should have been more engaging with the readers.

5.2 Conclusion

The research has helped the process to draw up certain conclusions in regards to family members being involved in the critical decision making process of their sick patient. It is evident that the process of involving family members in the process enables physicians be able to put into consideration the needs and concerns of the patient through the relatives. The implication of this study is that it may be used to inform the patient-centered approach in medical procedures. The researcher concludes by highlighting the various consequences discovered and how the decision making process affects most stakeholders.

6 Presentation and Stylistic Dimensions

6.1 Missing information

The researcher fails to mention how the research findings are going to be availed to other relevant stakeholders. The dissemination process is not clear.

6.2 Grammar

There are no grammatical errors in the paper, a sign that thorough proof reading and editing took believe. This could be attributed to the fact that it is a high level academic work that has featured in a renowned and reputable journal.


6.3 Organization

The researcher has organized the study information in a systematic manner. Looking at the very beginning of the document, the content is highlighted in a very clear summary and a reader can almost get the catch on what it is about thus very easy to follow through. The body of the study is also well organized to follow, almost in a narrative manner.


6.4 Detailed information and less jargon

The researcher has made careful choices of words and terminologies so as to make it simple for participants to understand. The research finally answers all the study questions and objectives that it had set out to work on.

7 References

Ioannidis, J. "Limitations are not properly acknowledged in the scientific literature." Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. (2007): 324-329. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <http://druginfo.creighton.edu/ebmcertificate/limitations.pdf>.

Johnston, A., & Christen, B. (2004). Comparison of quantitative, mixed, and qualitative approaches to educational research. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/assessment/iar/research/plan/types- compare.pdf

Kawulich, B. B. (2005). Participant observation as a data collection method. Qualitative Social Research, 6(2), Retrieved from http://www.qualitative- research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/466/996

Unite for Sight. (2013). Module 4: Consent, privacy, and confidentiality. Retrieved from http://www.uniteforsight.org/research-course/module4 World Health Organization. (2011). The process of obtaining informed consent. Research Ethics Review Committee, Retrieved from http://www.who.int/rpc/research_ethics/Process_seeking_IF_printing.pdf


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