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The aim of this essay is to compare and contrast the methodological approaches used within the studies selected in the literature review. In addition, the student aims is to develop understanding of the research methodology and process used. The meaning of the word 'research' is a 'search again' or 'carefully examine'. Research as noted by Burns & Grove (2001) careful and persevering in carrying out a systematic inquiry or study to validate and refine the knowledge and develop new knowledge skills. Polit & Beck (2004) the nursing research is a systematic inquiry designed to developed the knowledge about issues that are important to the nursing profession including, nursing practice and careers in profession, doctors, patient outcome, education, health care delivering system and all administration bodies. It is also important to develop and refine the knowledge that can improve the clinical practice (Burns & Grove 2001). Cormack (2000), emphasized that nursing practitioners at this stage, need to be able to read and understand a research report and able to identify effective intervention on practice and to implement these intervention to improve and promote positive outcome for patient and their families. The structure of the research implies organised steps to achieve a goal set by the researcher (see appendix 1 & 2). Cormack (1996) identified different stages of the research process as: identification of the research problem; preparing a search proposal; searching and reviewing the literature; data collection and analysis; formulating a research design; and presenting the research findings. The basis of this essay is the fact that critical to the way which nurses thinks and practice can be enhance through critical reading and understanding of the published research materials. It was also thought that clinical practice and decision-making should be helped by the best available evidence (evidence base practice). This is further supported by Neil (2002) argument that nurses are expected to engage in critical thinking in the day-to-day work activities to ensure that they take an analytical approach to clinical decision-making. However, in order to use research findings, nurses should be able to evaluate and quality of the published research report. This research process including different research designs, data collection and analysis method (Gerrish & Lacey, 2006).

Literature Search

The student has conducted a literature review in order to achieve the objective of the module. A research has been carryout to enable the student to research articles from nursing journals, British journals, electronic search, including Cinahl (international nursing and midwifery) and Athens. The research question was "does clients and healthcare professionals share the same opinion about management and prevention of type2 diabetes"? Gray (2001) suggests that reading abstracts is an excellent way to "identify junk" (cited in Baker, 2004). Having read the three research articles, the student selected two research articles as it was feet that these two articles addressed the research question adequately and were recent publications (between 2004 and 2008).

Title of the selected Article

The two research articles are qualitative studies which were selected for the purpose of critical review. All the two studies have clearly identified and discussed their title, one of the article states academic qualification of the authors, question, abstract, the aims of their studies and the numbers of participants. They also identified where the research was carried out and the important of these to the communities in the introduction. Polit et al (2001) suggests that an introduction should " set the scene and provide the necessary background information for the description of the study that follow". The initial stages in this research methodology are to identify the question (appendix 1 & 2). Here are the problems question(s) the research will answer is to identified and refined into a problems statement. The authors highlight the problem as 'preventing type2 diabetes'. The research questionnaire should be researchable and the answer should be unknown. This stage should include the background of the problem and a brief statement of what is being investigated (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008). After this stages, the researchers (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008). need to explore the problem area (appendix 1 & 2). To do that, the researchers need further identify and read the literature related to the problem. This literature review summaries existing knowledge in relation to the problem and helps the researcher (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008), to learn more about the problem (Cormack 1991). A considerable amount of literature and graph appears to have been reviewed in this article (appendix 1). A different methodological technique was used to investigate the research process


The abstract given in the report outline the procedure used in this study and also gives detail of the population that participated and sample used in the article (appendix 1). A report or article should give a clear introduction. The introduction should give general background by identifying the phenomenon investigated that will link it to nursing knowledge (Polit et al 1999). In the report, the general purpose of the study is too identified and indicates the used of methodology. The authors also give the objectives for the study, the introduction given by the authors; also include the significance of the study to practice, policy and the health potential contribution that the study will make nurses improve their knowledge skills.


The body of the research review the literatures that has been discussed before (appendix 1), there is also the used of methodology description of subjects study and technique of data collection, procedures, process and limitation (Crookes and Davies 2004). The researcher reserved the right to modify or change the plan which the research was set. However, the plan and design of the research must be consistent with the study aims or objectives which the authors (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008), also reveal their sample and selections that makes the criteria for inclusion or exclusion and the variables by which the individual subjects will be matched (Cormack 2000).


The next step is data collection and analysis (Gerrish and Lacey 2006) the methodology for data collection describes the way that pertinent information will be gathered to answer the research question or describe the phenomena related to the research problem. Included in these steps is a detailed discussion of the selection of subjects who will participate in the study, as well as a description of the procedures and techniques that will be used to collect the data (Seaman 1987). The first is to determine what has already been done that relate to the problem. Secondly, the literature review provides ideas about the kinds of studies that need to be done. The data were analysed using SPSS version 10 and PEN-3 multilevel theoretical framework was used to inform data analysis and synthesis. Descriptive analysis employed to describe the sample, and the Mann Whitney test was applied to determine whether scores differed between specialized and non-specialized clinicians as illustrated (appendix 1).


In this study, (appendix 1 & 2), a quantitative approach was used. However, it is important to define both qualitative and quantitative research, and identify their similarities and differences. According to Burns & Grove (2001), quantitative research is a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data are used to obtain information about the world. This research method is used to describe variables, examine relationships among the variables and determine cause and effect interactions between the variables and is currently the most commonly used in nursing (Burns & Grove 2001). This is because the researchers (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008) believes that qualitative research methodology is a systematic, interactive, and subjective approach use to described life experience and gives them meaning (Moonie, 2000). Although descriptive statistics are often use to analyze their data, they also test hypotheses and use more complex statistics (Dick, 1997).Much of the research that has been conducted in nursing has been non-experimental due in large measure to the ethical constraints incumbent on researchers who design experimental research involving human subjects. Descriptive research studies, such as surveys or case studies, can serve to discover new meaning and to provide new knowledge when there is very little knowledge about a topic of interest (Dick, 1997). This type of research is conducted to described and promote the understanding of human experience such as pain, comfort and caring. Because human emotions are difficult to qualify or to put in numerical value, qualitative research is ideal for investigating this emotional research. There are a numbers of qualitative research methodologist namely, grounded theory, phenomenological, historical, ethnographic, critical social theory and philosophical. Qualitative and quantitative research complements each other because they generate the different kinds of knowledge that is useful in nursing (Cormack 1991). The problem area to be studied determines the types of research conducted and the researcher's knowledge of both types of research promotes accurate selection of the methodology for the problem identified. Both research methodologies have some similarities, because both require a researcher expertise, involve physical or mental energy in implementation and result in the generation of scientific knowledge for nursing practice (Polit & Beck 2004). The next stage of this process, is writing a research proposal. This is a detailed summary of what will be examined, why a particular research focus is adopted and how the researchers will proceed (Cormack 2000)


The study design by William et al (2004) employed a three hours long focus groups sessions facilitated by three of the research team members during a two week period. According to Bowling (2002) focus groups have the advantage of making use of group dynamics to stimulate discussion, gain insights and generate ideas in order to pursue a topic in greater depth? In William et al (2004) samples were identified from local health board area in Wales. There were a total of 41 practices identified but only 21 practices participated. It has not been made clear by the researchers why the 20 practices participants did not participate. Polgar & Thomas (2002) state that small sample may be fine as long as it is representative and numbers will generally be smaller for qualitative studies. Williams et al (2004) collected their data by video recording the group during discussions, took notes of non-verbal information, such as body language and emotive elements. The recorded data from all three focus groups were transcribed, checked for queries and errors, and notations were made against written text regarding who was speaking at any given time. Doctors and nurses were identified by numbers. Analysis followed a content analysis framework. Content analysis as Bowling (2002) point out that when presenting qualitative data in a categorised manner, the investigator caries out a content analysis. "Content analysis is also a research technique for making replicable and valid inferences from data to their context".

The Grace Study

The study design by Grace et al (2008) was a focus and semi structured interviews. The session was conducted in 3 phase: (1) religious leaders and Islamic scholars (2) Bangladeshi people without diabetes (3) and health professionals. In Grace et al (2008) the samples were identified from Tower Hamlets, a socioeconomically deprived London Borough, United Kingdom. There was a total of 17 focus group were run using positive sample in three sequential phases. Grace et al (2008) collected their data by NVIVO, a software program for supporting qualitative data analysis. The recorded data from all three phase group were transcribed, checked for queries and errors. They also undertook analysis throughout the different phases so that emerging themes could be considered and incorporated into subsequent data collection. It was stated that, there was a strong desire to comply with cultural norms, particularly those relating to modesty religious leaders provided considerable support from Islamic teaching for messages about biabetes prevention


The content of the proposal varies with the reviewer, guidelines developed for the review and the type of study (quantitative or qualitative) proposed (Polit & Beck 2004). Ethical issues and consequences of conducting the research, if human subjects are involved there should be some evidence that the approval of an ethics committee has been obtained. Specific point that require to be considered relate to confidentiality and anonymity of subjects, as well as any difficulties that may arise from role conflict when a researcher is also a care provider (Nursing and Midwifery Council 2004) states that when obtaining consent, nurses should be sure that it is given by a legal competent person and that it is given voluntarily and it should be informed. According to Polit Hungler (1999), the role of the research ethics committee in assessing the aims, quality, risks and benefits of research is primarily to acknowledge that the study is a worth while one. Data collection techniques were involving conventional method like questionnaire, observation, interview and direct measurement, they may also invasive physical measures. If new technique is involved, the researcher should mention the method used to obtain the data and whether special conditions are required for their use (Cormack 1991).


Finally there is the reference material. The authors (Williams et al, 2004; Grace et al, 2008) clearly followed the others researchers procedure although there are a few discrepancies. However, it is fair to say this aspect of the process is satisfied. The essay has identify the stages of the research process in the article and both quantitative and qualitative methodologies have been discussed and appropriate terminology has been used. I now have a clear understanding of the research methodology. The research report has been critiqued to show areas that have not conformed to the research methodology. Although it was not just for the purpose of this assignment, I have educated myself on the importance of research to nursing professionals.

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