Data Collection - Essay Example

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In the subsequent discussions we will use the example of a clinical study into the technique of double contrast barium enema. In 2000, Winawer and colleagues published the results of a randomized controlled trial on the relative roles of colonoscopy and double contrast barium enema in detecting recurrent polyps in the post-operative follow-up of patients with colonic polyps.
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Data Collection
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Download file to see previous pages Data Collection using the phenomenological approach can take many forms. The most commonly used is dialogue with open interviews. Methods of data collection could be written notes, video and audio recordings. Non verbal communication is body language which can be taken into account. These techniques are somewhat subjective; this is because the principal aim here is to explore the problem and get a deeper understanding so that some hypothesis can be formulated. In an RCT, the interview has to be highly structured, because quantitative data has to be generated. In a structured interview, the questions have set answers, such as in multiple-choice questions, so that a limited choice is provided to the responder, and one question leads to another; for example, if the answer to above question was 'Yes' then please answer the next 3 questions. Unstructured questions are more open-ended, allowing the responder a lot more leeway in terms of answers that he can provide in his/her own language. Further, as RCTs usually entail some form of intervention/procedure/treatment, there are many more potent means of data collection.
In the example cited above, there can be two phases of data collection; in the first phase, qualitative data can be obtained through unstructured interview of endoscopists to find out details about the two procedures (colonoscopy and double contrast barium enema) which can establish the controversy that exists. However, the essential question as to which of the two modalities is most sensitive and specific, and therefore more reliable, requires quantitative data of the type obtained through RCTs. This depends on blinded observations by the endoscopists who initially perform colonscopy without knowing the results of the Barium studies; if no polyp was found during colonoscopy, then the barium enema result was revealed to them, and if a polyp had been found in the latter, they re-examined the segment. Data collection here depends on highly structured and rigid enquiry of the endoscopists, and numerical data is generated. Compared to this the phenomenological approach to the interview is unstructured, flexible and open-ended, using audio tapes and verbatim reports so that more detailed and in-depth, though descriptive information can be obtained.

DATA ANALYSIS
Data analysis is different in both methods. Among the many different means of analysing data available in phenomenological research, the method propounded by Glaser and Strauss (1967) is the one most utilised, namely the Grounded theory approach. Data from RCT is analysed statistically, whereas data from phenomenology is analysed for codes, themes and patterns; for example in the study on double contrast enema, the initial phenomenological research data will be analysed to establish whether there is any pattern, or if a theory can be generated which can then be studied in the RCT phase. In RCT, data is analysed using tables and graphs, whereas in Phenomenology, data is analysed more subjectively. The theory generated in phenomenological research depends on, emerges from and is grounded in data, which is why it tends to be a cyclical process, as collection and analysis can go hand-in-hand, unlike in RCTs where data collection is based on decisions taken during the design stage, and analysis ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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