Evaluating a Quantitative Research Study

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Examine the study- Harris, M. F., Chan, B. C., Laws, R. A., Williams, A. M., Davies, G. P., Jayasinghe, U. W., … Milat, A. (2013). The impact of a brief lifestyle intervention delivered by generalist community nurses (CN SNAP trial). BMC Public Health, 13(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-375

In this assessment, you will evaluate the study according to research design methods, procedures and study results, for example, see Evaluating a Quantitative Study (Houser, 2019, p. 345 & p. 377).

Solution

Evaluating a Quantitative Research Study

            The purpose of Harris et al. (2013) was to evaluate the impact of a short lifestyle intervention delivered by community health nurses as part of their routine practice on changes in clients’ smoking, poor nutrition, and hazardous alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and weight (SNAPW) risk factors. The study identifies avenues for preventive interventions in primary health care (PHC) and the role community nurses have to play in promoting preventive care. The research problem of the study the limited knowledge of the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in community nursing practice. The study provides evidence on the role of community nursing practice in PHC and the implementation of preventive interventions. The study fails to include a conceptual framework that could guide the implementation of the intervention. The quantitative study takes a quasi-experimental trial approach, with an early intervention group and a late intervention group. The comparison allowed the researchers to assess the impact of the intervention on client’s (SNAPW) risk factors and provide a guide to community nurse intensive long term interventions in PHC.

Research Design

            Houser (2018, p 464) notes that quantitative design offers the most persuasive evidence for evidence-based nursing practice. Harris et al. (2013) utilize a quasi-experimental trial approach, which allocated services to an early intervention (EI) group and late intervention (LI) group, the comparison group. The choice of study is made clear in the abstract and elaborated objectively. However, the protocol for the study was not clearly stated as well as the rationale for selecting the study. As stated in Hauser (2018 p 216), the rationale, variables, and procedures of the study should be clearly articulated and enough to allow an informed reader to replicate the study. Despite the authors’ extensive amplification of the procedures and aspects of the intervention, they fail to articulate the characteristics of the research design. Moreover, the characteristics of the design, as highlighted by Hauser (2018 p 216), have to align with the nature of the research question. While the quasi-experimental design is among the most suitable approaches to evidence-based interventions, Harris et al. (2013), fail to highlight the rationale for selection or correlation with the characteristics of the design.

Methods/Procedure

            Houser (2018 p 464) highlighted that a quantitative study has to have a specific procedure is described for the application of the treatment or intervention. Harris et al. (2013) comprehensively describe the intervention in the method’s section. In this, the authors define the intervention, highlighting the service-level intervention and the client-level intervention and the role of community nurses in the intervention. The description allows the reader to understand the procedure for implementing the intervention, the variables being measured, and the recommendations utilized in the project. Besides, the procedure outlines the role of community nurses as well as their interaction with the research team. The use of a one-day training program to the community nurses is used to ensure the nurses understand the lifestyle intervention, and an informed reader can effectively replicate the study per the checklist (Houser, 2018 p 464).

            Besides, Harris et al. (2013) use the 5As model to assess the client’s readiness to change. The conceptual model begins with Ask, then Assess, Advise, Assist, and finally arrange. The framework provides a systematic approach to determine the willingness and readiness of the participants to engage in the project. Given the study utilized a purposeful sample, the framework helped include participants who were ready to participate in the intervention, furthermore, by highlighting the selection criteria and how the final sample was attained, from a project population of 7,874. As highlighted by Houser (2018 p 255), defining the population has to cover the objective definition of the target population, clear articulation of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the procedure for selecting the sample, the identification of sampling bias, and power analysis in the quantitative study. Harris et al. (2013) visually represent the process of acquiring the sample and highlight the sampling procedure. The inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria are also explicitly stated. Discussions of bias are included in the limitations of the study with concerns of the self-report approach as well as the non-random selection method being addressed.

            The study collected its data through a 15-minute telephone-administered survey conducted with clients at baseline and 3 and 6 months. The data collection approach is associated with the concepts of engaging community nurses in the lifestyle intervention approaching suitable to the study design and participants. Harris et al. (2013) trained independent data collectors blinded to the group allocation (EI or LI) groups in the telephone survey. This checks Houser’s (2018 p 464) guide on using blinding to control researcher bias and the treatment effects. However, the authors do not provide a detailed protocol on the use of the instrument in data collection. The study also lacks information on the reliability and validity of the instruments used in the study. They are failing to include validity and reliability limits the informed reader to understand the consistency of the measure as well as the accuracy of the measure. These are essential additions, especially in quantitative research.

Results of the study

            In evaluating quantitative results, Houser (2018 p 506) notes that it is imperative to check the statistical tests, examine assumptions made, the role of error and objective, and accurate reporting of findings. Harris et al. (2013) use univariate comparisons within a group, and conduct a multilevel linear regression analysis, which is appropriate for the research question, and the level of measurements of the variables. The reporting also met the requirements as the tables and graphs were clear and labeled correctly besides being an accurate summary of the text. Harris et al. (2013) find that the project led to the referral of clients with risk factors. This was associated with some improvement in client readiness for physical activity. However, there were no changes in and lifestyle behaviors or weight. The results of the study were accurately, appropriately, and objectively reported and also in line with the checklist.

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Evaluating a Quantitative Research Study
Evaluating a Quantitative Research Study

Importance of research

            In nursing, research offers an avenue to examine different approaches and interventions to find evidence, insights, and address problems in care to improve quality and health outcomes. In particular, Houser (2018 p 465) notes that quantitative studies provide an approach to assessment, interventions, and evaluation of outcomes that can be controlled to understands correlations. With the adoption of EBP, nursing research has the mandate of providing avenues to extensively research and systematic appraisal to determine that the results can be used as evidence.

How the study contributes to EBP

            The study examines (SNAPW) risk factors, which are account for a significant number of all hospital admissions as well as the highly preventable lifestyle interventions. Secondly, the study examines the role of community nurses in practice and how to utilize the position to advocate for and administer preventive healthcare. The authors show the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions initiated by community nurses. The increased need for referral and advice shows that the problem affects the community, but the zero correlation with lifestyle changes or weight points out the limited efficiency of the intervention. The study helps guide EBP within community nursing practice, in particular on long term lifestyle interventions. Besides, the study provides insights on how to approach lifestyle interventions as well as measurements to adopt in the case of a large sample population in community nursing practice.

Applicability of the specific study to clinical practice

            The study underlines the need to shift to referral and more intensive interventions for clients with risk factors identified by community health nurses and for follow up by providers involved in long-term continuing care. The study underlines the limitations of implementing a brief lifestyle intervention to implement preventive interventions to (SNAPW) risk factors in PHC. However, the use of a relatively large population makes the study more generalizable in community nursing and evidence on the need to develop more intensive interventions for (SNAPW) risk factors.

References

Harris, M. F., Chan, B. C., Laws, R. A., Williams, A. M., Davies, G. P., Jayasinghe, U. W., Fanaian, M., Orr, N., Milat, A., & CN SNAP Project Team (2013). The impact of a brief lifestyle intervention delivered by generalist community nurses (CN SNAP trial). BMC public health13, 375. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-375

Houser, J. (2018). Nursing Research: Reading, Using and Creating Evidence (4th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Question

Evaluating a Quantitative Research Study 

Examine the study- Harris, M. F., Chan, B. C., Laws, R. A., Williams, A. M., Davies, G. P., Jayasinghe, U. W., … Milat, A. (2013). The impact of a brief lifestyle intervention delivered by generalist community nurses (CN SNAP trial). BMC Public Health, 13(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-375

In this assessment, you will evaluate the study according to research design methods, procedures and study results, for example, see Evaluating a Quantitative Study (Houser, 2019, p. 345 & p. 377).

Suggested Reading

Chapter 6 (pp. 131-153), Chapter 7 (pp. 157-185), Chapter 8 (pp. 189-226) Chapter 12 (pp.323-350) & Chapter 13 (pp. 351-380) InHouser, J. (2018).  Nursing research:  Readings, using & creating evidence (4th ed.).  Burlington, MA:  Jones & Bartlett Learning

Astroth, K. S., & Chung, S. Y. (2018). Focusing on the fundamentals: Reading quantitative research with a critical eye. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 45(3), 283-287. Retrieved from http://americansentinel.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.americansentinel.idm.oclc.org/docview/2063390700?accountid=169658

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