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An observational study of the techniques used by health professionals when breaking bad news to pregnant women regarding the viability of their fetus. Question 1. (498 words) Which research methodology would be most suited to this research question? Justify your response…
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Quantitative research is based on estimating quantities as it is a deductive process which is used to test pre-specified concepts [Oak Ridge Associated Universities, ORAU(a)]. It is applicable to phenomena that are expressed as numbers or values. On the other hand, qualitative research primarily is an inductive process that is used to formulate a theory. In other words, quantitative data enumerates, therefore, involves numbers, while qualitative data explains and, therefore, involves words (Barnes et al., 2005). Qualitative methods can explain the reasons for human behaviour e.g., what people feel, how they think or do certain things but they do not indicate how many feel or think that way [ORAU(b)]. Since the results of qualitative research are considered as themes, they are not reported as percentages, or subjected to statistical analysis. To conduct a study of the techniques used by health professionals when breaking bad news to pregnant women regarding the viability of their fetus, qualitative methods are appropriate. As the topic is one that is difficult to convey quantitatively, qualitative methods would help gain adequate description or information. Also, qualitative methodology will help produce a meaningful report rich with detail and insights into participant health professionals’ experiences. Communicating bad news to patients is an inevitable task that all physicians face often in their clinical practice. Medical schools seldom provide them formal training in that area (Vandekieft, 2001). Informing patients about an unfavourable prenatal diagnosis is a growing challenge to health professionals given the increasing number of tests that are performed to determine the condition of the fetus (Guerra et al., 2011). In such cases as when a pregnant woman's ultrasound verifies some fetal abnormality or even fetal death, how the patient responds to the information would be influenced by her psychosocial context, such as how desperately she and/or her partner wanted the baby. Therefore, a common concern of the physician which makes breaking the news difficult is how the news will affect the patient. How the patients receive and deal with the news also depend on how the news is communicated to them (Guerra et al., 2011). If the task is to inform a pregnant woman about a fetal abnormality, some patients may desire full disclosure while some may not. Hence, the physician will have to individualise the manner of breaking the bad news as well as the information delivered, suited to the patient's desires or needs (Vandekieft, 2001). A qualitative research on the topic will help gain in-depth knowledge of aspects such as the physicians’ preferred settings for conveying the bad news, would better communication skills help, and how to offer hope and encouragement about what options are available etc. The underlying motives that ultimately direct the health professional’s way of communicating bad news are better understood by qualitative research. Question 2 (1108 words - excluding references) Provide an annotated bibliography of five published journal articles that you could use in a literature review for this project. Include the full references for each paper using APA Style. 1. Guerra FAR, Mirlesse V. & Baiao AER., 2011. Breaking bad news during prenatal care: a challenge to be tackled. Ciencia & SaudeColetiva, 16(5): 2361- 2367. The paper discusses how the now routine practice of ultrasound examination during prenatal stage has led to an increasing number
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