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Quantitative studies are one of the major methods used to study various issues that are of interest to an individual or a group of people. These studies provide one with data concerning a certain issue and allow the person or group, of people studying that issue with appropriate information that can be used in future decision making and policy formulation. The information pertaining to how these studies were carried is usually documented in a report that usually contains the title of the report, an abstract, a literature review, a conceptual or theoretical framework, a hypothesis or research questions that guide the study, the method used for data collection, the population used in the study, data collection and measurement techniques, the procedures used in analyzing the data, the results obtained, the findings established, a discussion of these findings, and any implications or recommendations made. Due to the increased use of these studies, it is necessary for a report to be analyzed so as to determine whether the correct steps were followed while undertaking the study. Below is such analysis of such a report entitled “Family Care giving in Heart Failure”.
The title of the report is a good one as it provides the reader with a clue on the research problem that is being tackled in the report. It also provides the reader with the study population that has been used in the research hence one is able to anticipate the kind of information to be contained in this report.
The report has a clear and concise abstract that summarizes the main features of the report enabling the reader to know what is in the report. It provides the reader with a quick understanding of the report that is helpful in enabling the reader make a mental impression of the report before actually reading the report.
The report has an introduction that provides the reader with a better understanding of the issue under study. The problem under study is clearly stated and is easy to identify at the end of the introduction. It is also easy to identify the population under study as well as the research model that will be used in the study.
The Literature Review
The study contains a thorough literature review that is up-to-date and based on both primary and secondary sources. The literature review offers the reader with an adequate summary of the knowledge concerning the independent and dependent variables as well as the relationship between them.
The Conceptual Framework
The study contains a conceptual framework that is appropriate. The framework clearly shows the conceptual model to be used in this study and explains the various relationships between the various variables that are to be measured in this study. This enables the reader of the study to better understand what the researchers want to learn about care giving in heart failure. It also brings out the aims of the study which are to be achieved through the use of the conceptual model which are: (a) examine relationships among age, perceived control over managing heart problems, perceived difficulty with tasks, perceived outcomes, and perceived mental and general health in caregivers of persons with heart failure; (b) describe caregivers’ perceptions of control over managing heart problems; and (c) describe which tasks and outcomes caregivers perceived as being most difficult and negative.
The hypothesis of the study are: (a) examine relationships among age, perceived control over managing heart problems, perceived difficulty with tasks, perceived outcomes, and perceived mental and general health in caregivers of persons with heart failure; describe caregivers’ perceptions of control over managing heart problems; and describe which tasks and outcomes caregivers perceived as being most difficult and negative.
The study contains a comprehensible methods section that includes a well defined design and sample to be used in carrying out the research. The design used in the study was non-experimental, descriptive, exploratory, and cross-sectional. The sample comprised of male patients with heart failure and female caregivers who were family members. By using this design, the researchers were able to minimize the threats to the internal and external validity of the study.
The sample used in this study was well identified and described. It was comprised of heart failure patients and their caregivers. There were 21 caregivers who were defined as family members offering unpaid care for veterans diagnosed with heart failure. These caregivers were identified by patients enrolled in a larger randomized clinical trial conducted to evaluate the effects of a computerized intervention to reduce hospitalization and improve quality of life. These caregivers were female with 20 being married and 18 being white. Conversely, the study patients were male and recruited from primary care medicine outpatient clinics affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in southern United States.
The researchers have outlined the procedure used in collecting data. This was done through specified scales that were used to obtain the needed data to carry out the study based on four main instruments. The caregivers consented to this exercise before they undertook to complete the provided questionnaires during scheduled patient clinical visits.
Data Collection and Measurement
The data used in this study was collected through the use of clearly identified instruments that were appropriate for this study. These instruments were grouped into four main categories of measurement; the caregiver perceived control, the caregiver perceived difficulty with tasks, the caregiver perceived outcomes, and the caregiver perceived mental and general health. The reader is able to acknowledge the validity and reliability of the data collection methods used in the study as the data obtained is appropriate.
Statistical analysis was undertaken with the data being checked for any errors first through double entry. The descriptive statistics were computed using several statistical methods so as to obtain the needed results. These statistical methods used by the researchers were suitable given the study variables used, the level of measurement of the variables, the data collection methods used and the number of groups being compared.
The findings were adequately summarized with good use of figures and tables. The tables are well explained at the bottom for better understanding by the reader. All the identified study aims in the conceptual framework were achieved with the researchers providing the reader with easy to understand findings that answer the study aims since these findings supported most of the relationships depicted in the conceptual framework. These findings provide strong evidence of an appropriate use of suitable procedures, data collection and measurement and statistical methods that enabled the researchers obtain consistent results with the study aims identified in the conceptual framework.
The paper contains a discussion of the findings established where they are interpreted and explained in detail. The researchers provide a rationale for using the identified conceptual framework and provide suggestions for the use of a simpler model to be used with a large and more heterogeneous sample for future studies. The researchers provide explanations of the findings on four main areas which are the caregiver perceived control over managing heart problems, the caregiver perceived difficulty with tasks, the caregiver perceived outcomes, and the caregiver perceived mental and general health. This is done through analyzing the study findings as well as providing supporting evidence from secondary sources that help to expound on these findings.
The interpretations provided are consistent with the results and therefore are valid and reliable. They are also consistent with the earlier identified limitations of the conceptual framework used by the researchers providing an explanation for some of the findings that did not support some of the relationships depicted in the conceptual framework. The researchers address the issue of generalizability by comparing the findings obtained from the study results and expected results as well as by using information from secondary sources to interpret the findings obtained. This is important as it helps the reader to better understand the intended relationships between various variables that the researchers wish to establish through this study.
Implications and Recommendations
The researchers discuss the implications of these findings especially with respect to the negative aspects affecting the caregivers that the study findings established. The wellbeing of the heart patients is dependent on both medication and the care provided by these caregivers and therefore there is need for these negative aspects that the caregivers are experiencing are addressed for better clinical practice. As such, the researchers recommend further study in this area so as appropriate interventions are identified that will help the caregivers to better cope with their challenges and improve their perceptions of general health. The discussed implications and recommendations are reasonable given the role that the caregivers play in the management of heart failure in these patients.
The researchers have prepared a well written, organized and sufficiently organized report that one can undertake a critical analysis. It follows the required layout of a journal report within the nursing discipline and is written using correct grammatical English. It is important for the researchers to use easy to understand language avoiding any ambiguity which is important for the reader to easily understand the information contained in a report. In addition, the report was written in a manner that makes the findings easily accessible to practicing nurses ensuring these findings are used in future decision making for better caregiver perceived outcomes assessment.
The study findings are valid and provide the actual situation pertaining to the challenges that caregivers to heart failure patients experience in the course of their duty. I am confident in the truth value of these findings since they depict genuine experiences that the caregivers go through in the course of assisting elderly heart failure patients. This study contributes meaningful evidence that can be used within the nursing practice given the important role that caregivers play in the management of heart failure. With the information contained in this report, better interventions will be developed to assist caregivers to better adjust to the challenges that they face in their work.
This report; “Family Care giving in Heart Failure”, provides the reader with adequate information on the area of family care giving to elderly patients with heart failure. It has been written following the correct format of a study report and contains the required sections needed in such a report which are the title of the report, an abstract, a literature review, a conceptual or theoretical framework, a hypothesis or research questions that guide the study, the method used for data collection, the population used in the study, data collection and measurement techniques, the procedures used in analyzing the data, the results obtained, the findings established, a discussion of these findings, and any implications or recommendations made. All these sections are well written and therefore the report is appropriate for critical analysis.
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