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The aim of this assignment is to discuss the methods of data analysis and presentation of the findings in the research chosen. Data analyses are a very important aspect in a research paper, and the researchers must show that the measurements are stable and consistent besides that no errors and biases are present from both the respondents and the researchers (Dawson, 2002). Moreover, the discussion shall highlight the important strategies which enhance the quality of the whole research study.
Chosen Research Paper
The paper chosen is a quantitative research conducted by (Nilsson, Rawal, & Unosson, 2003) regarding the effect that music has on post operative pain. The authors sought to establish the best timing when to play music by comparing three different groups.
Descriptive statistics are defined by Polit and Beck (2006) as the tool for the researcher to be able “to synthesize and describe data” (p.352). For clarity the authors used arithmetic means and standard deviation for their descriptive statistics. Achieving valid results can be biased by studying an insufficient sample. The calculations performed by the authors identified that a sample of forty in each group was adequate, hence the authors decided to increase the sample number to fifty, which is a positive point in this research.
The authors mentioned a questionnaire and a diary but the explanation if they were the same thing is not well explained. Ordinal scale with numeral rating scale was used for the questionnaire which enriches the responses obtained from the sample being studied, rather than a yes or no answer. Moreover, a positive aspect is that the scales used were tested before on the Swedish population for validity and reliability. A negative point is that the type of sound that the control group listened is not congruent throughout the research.
Measuring the differences between the three groups, the authors used several statistical tools, which enabled acquiring reliable results. These included the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA followed by Mann-Whitney U-test. Both these tests are widely used as non parametric tests. Using more than one tool for testing indicates the validity and reliability of results obtained. Furthermore (Rumsey, 2009) sustains that Mann-Whitney U test is mostly used after the Kruskal-Wallis test when the first test concluded that the different median is obtained from more than one population, in order to identify which one is dissimilar. Moreover, Bonferroni correction was used to test the diversity between groups. Besides, Rumsey (2009) stated that it's main strength is to obtain a result without over-analysing data.
Presentation Of Results
Results obtained are discussed under the “results” heading in the research paper. The detailed evaluations of the results are accompanied with the use of tables. Table format was ideal for this type of study since the authors succeeded to incorporate an array of results in each table without compromising the understanding and accuracy of each table. The heading of both tables gave an elaborate description of the data presented and ease their comprehension. Uncommon abbreviations are clearly described under each table.
Strategies to Enhance Overall Quality
Quality in a research article can be attributed to several factors, including the type of research, sample chosen, researchers and the correct use of variables. Moreover, Polit & Beck (2006) sustains that the major criterion for assessing the quality of a quantitative research is the reliability of the measure being used. Furthermore, identifying the accuracy of the measurements used enriches the validity of the research.
The correct sample selection is of utmost importance as to achieve reliable findings. The authors used very strict criteria as to avoid bias and hence avoiding unrealistic results. To eliminate any bias, which might exist since patients were selected consecutively, the authors used a computer generated randomisation list to allocate the patients between the two intervention groups and the control group. Having a control group makes the quality of the results more realistic. Moreover, variables were identified to eliminate any distorted results, which included; the same surgeon performing the two different types of procedures and standardised perioperative drugs. To avoid any misleading responses, premedication was not administered. An important aspect is that all research events were supervised by the same researcher which is one of the authors. All these contribute in achieving similar results if repeated.
The authors utilised p-values rather than confidence intervals. Although a debate exists on the strengths of these tools (Cumming, 2008, Goodman, 2001 and Gardner & Altman, 1986), the p-values results mentioned in this article are all below 0.05. This emphasises that results obtained, did not happen by chance and comparable results would be achieved if the research is repaeated.
Reliability in research is used for consistency and hence if another sample is measured will give the same results (Adams, Khan, Raeside, & White, 2007). It includes the stability, internal consistency and equivalence of the instruments used (Polit & Beck, 2006). In the research paper chosen the authors did not specify exactly about these criteria which at first might limit the reliability of the study. On the other hand, this paper is based on two other studies performed, which produced positive results regarding the reduction of pain with music.
One of the studies was a double-blind randomised controlled trial (Nilsson, Rawal, Unestahl, Zetterberg, & Unosson, 2001) and another randomised control trial (Nilsson, Rawal, Enqvist, & Unosson, 2003). Hence, since part of the research was a duplication of the previous ones it can be said that it succeeded to achieve the same results of better pain control with music, although no difference was found if music was played only during surgery or in the recovery room. Conversely, the control group consumed more analgesics in the recovery and higher pain scores than the other groups. The authors themselves believe that the research is well designed and controlled, hence there was no need for a double blind trial.
A measuring device can only be valid if it is reliable (Polit & Beck, 2006). The face validity of the assessment approaches in this research are positive since the authors identified that there is no difference in time when music is played but when compared to the control group, there was. The question asked, seemed adequate for the topic being studied, which proves its content validity (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2002) and was discussed sufficiently.
To conclude, the chosen research study was very well presented and executed, with very minimal negatives found. The presentation was clearly explained and complemented with elaborate tables. Moreover, strategies which enhanced the quality of the whole research article were also evaluated. This research produced adequate results for the question being asked.