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Research has been defined as a “systematic, critical and self-critical enquiry which aims to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and wisdom” (as cited in Costello, 2005, p.3). This advancement of knowledge and wisdom helps us by providing a greater insight about the…
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Research Critique. Research has been defined as a “systematic, critical and self-critical enquiry which aims to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and wisdom” (as cited in Costello, 2005, p.3). This advancement of knowledge and wisdom helps us by providing a greater insight about the various aspects of life and makes us able to look at things in different perspectives. Research, therefore helps us do, as what Williams and Stevenson (1951, p.1) argue, “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge”.
Taking into considerations various knowledge that a research provides, in this essay two such works related to the field of nursing shall be critiqued and evaluated. The first chosen research for the critique is titled: “Caring for adults with intellectual disabilities: perceived challenges for nurses in accident and emergency units” and the other one is: “Parents experiences of general hospital admission for adults with learning disabilities”. Taking the research process steps as the systematic guidance for the critique, both of these researches shall be evaluated for their strengths and weakness in various aspects. The critique shall be based on the research question of “the perspective of both the parents and the staff in the experiences in hospitals with the adults suffering from intellectual disabilities”. And both the researches are chosen taking in mind this research question. The essay shall be concluded with some evaluation of its findings.
A title of any written piece must function as an overall informer of whatever findings and conclusions are going to unfold in the reading. Same applies to a research. And the two researches under our investigation do have their titles suggesting their actual findings. The first title mentions the ‘Caring for adults with intellectual disabilities’ first and then clarifies the precise purpose of the study by mentioning ‘challenges for nurses in accident and emergency units’. The title of the second research too confirms its aim by mentioning the exact findings. We understand that the research is going to investigate the experiences of the parents in hospitals while admitting their adult children with learning disabilities. Both the titles suggest clearly that the researches are going to be qualitative.
The information of the authors provided before the vary start of the paper do give the readers the knowledge that the researches are carried out by qualified and experienced authors. More often than not, the appropriate qualifications of the authors of any written piece intensify the credibility of the paper. This applies to the two papers under out critique. All of the four authors – two for each title – are well qualified and seemed to possess enough expertise and proficiency in the field of their investigations.
Both the research papers under our investigation have abstracts, albeit not in that very name, in the form of summaries of whatever is researched in the paper. Desmond Cormack (2000, p.112) argues particularly commenting about research in nursing that an abstract “clearly outlines the content of the article, identifying that the author intends to review the literature and the relationship between the provision of care and learning to nurse”. More than that, an abstract outlines the major discoveries that is going to be made in paper. The summaries of both the papers under our analysis equip the readers with enough guidance for all the findings that are going to unfold in the paper. In other words, the summaries of the paper elucidate in nutshell and plain words the aim, background, method and findings of the entire paper.
In the first paper, experiences of nurses while providing care to people with intellectual disabilities are investigated by creating five focus groups within the total of 27 nurses from five hospitals in Northern Ireland. It clearly states that the research concentrates on studies that are not carried out before although similar researches were done earlier.
The second paper attempts to find out the experience of parents while admitting their adult children with intellectual disabilities in hospitals. This research also focuses on finding out something that was not tried before. Parents of adult children with intellectual disabilities were interviewed and asked questions regarding their experience in hospitals.
Desmond Cormack (2000, p.1) argues that it is only with the help of the introduction of a research paper “will readers be able to optimize their understanding of research and their potential contribution to the development of a research-based profession”. It is precisely applied to the two papers under our observation. The introduction of the paper-1 mentions the various other researches conducted hitherto on similar topics and acknowledges the fact that the basic rights of the intellectually disabled people were already recognized in many countries. Yet, the truth about the extent to which services are ill-equipped and unprepared for this group of people is also specified. Lack of knowledge about people with intellectual disabilities adds to the problem. It is in this note that the introduction proceeds with the research plan of finding out the challenges of the nurses in this particular regard.
Paper-2 also introduces the research acknowledging the fact that the life expectancy of people with intellectual disability has increased lately due to the higher community services and medical care. Yet, it points out that not many of them can access these facilities and sometimes those services are denied due to the adverse attitudes that the health staffs possess. This becomes the focal point of the research’s aim in finding out the challenges of the parents of the adults with intellectual disabilities in hospitals.
A literature review plays important role “to find out what already exists in the area in which they propose to do research before doing the research itself” (Hart, 1998, p. 26). In both the papers there is no specific heading as ‘Literature review’, although its functions have been covered in the background for the topics. In the first paper, the heading “Background” evaluates all the recent researches conducted for the people with intellectual disabilities. This includes the fact about the increase in their life expectancy and the increase in their involvement with hospitals in recent years. It also points out the earlier findings that people with intellectual disabilities are more vulnerable to diseases more than other normal people.
The second paper has its literature review in its introduction in which it highlights the previous findings such as that of increase in the life expectancy and association of learning disability with medical conditions and the importance of main-stream health services. It also highlights the indifference of nurses in this regard. The literature reviews of both the papers, therefore justify their aims.
A research should have “the potential to create new knowledge” and the “power to elicit belief” (OLeary, 2004) . This credibility of a research is made possible mostly by the methods used for the research. As Bhattacharyya (2006, p.16) argues that “the scientific method (of research) should enable us to classify facts accurately and carefully, without any bias”, systematic plan is needed for applying a particular method for the research, for, the reliability of the study entirely depends on the methods applied.
Paper-1 uses small sample participants of 27 nurses divided into 5 groups to which appropriate questions were asked with the aim of finding out their experiences while taking care of people with intellectual disability. All the nurses were those working in the accident and emergency department for more than one year in hospitals of Northern Ireland. The strength of using a focus group such as this is that it “is useful for revealing through interaction the beliefs, attitudes, experiences and feelings of participants” (Lia Litosseliti, 2003, p.16). Yet, it is equally important to use the sample of a size large enough to be considered credible. This does not seem to be considered here. That is because we use the sample size as the sole resource through which we generalize the entire finding and until the size is large enough, the credibility is lost.
As for the second paper, the sample participants of 68 parents who had adult children with intellectual disability who agreed to be interviewed is considerably larger than the former and can safely be treated as credible. And the strength of the sample, like in Paper-1, is that it is based on the focus group, that is, parents of adult children with intellectual disability who had admitted their children to either of the two hospitals in Nottingham in the last 24 months were chosen to be interviewed.
As for the questions of the interview itself, in both the researches, the interviewees seemed to have been asked appropriate questions to get answers in order to meet the aim of the research. In other words they justify the meaning of an interview as Bill Gillham (2005, p.1) defines it: “a conversation where one person – the interviewer – is seeking responses for a particular purpose from the other person – interviewee”. The way in which these interviews were used in both the researches will be discussed in the next section.
Zina O’Leary (2004, p.57) argues that in a research, “objectivity implies distance between the researcher and the researched, and suggests that relationships are mediated by protocol, theory, and method”. This end can be met with the appropriate use of interviews or other methods and the suitable techniques of collecting data.
In the first paper a questionnaire for collecting the information of age, qualification, grade, gender and experience of the nurses with people with learning disabilities were created. One researcher collected the data dividing it into main questions such as the nurse’s previous opportunities to work with intellectually disabled people and their experience with them etc. In addition to written data collection, the task was done by assessing the behavioral aspects of the subjects such as their “lack of interruption when a participant was reporting”.
In the other paper too, data was collected mainly with the help of information gathered from interviews with the parents of the adults with intellectual disabilities. The information was segregated into different interpretations for analyzing challenges of the parents. The data was divided into the headings such as “placement” analyzing how placing the patients in different positions in hospitals during operations affected parents or “occupation” analyzing how making the adults occupied in games or works were challenging for parents. Other data collected evaluated whether the “basic nursing care” was assisted by the hospital staff.
Richard Andrews (2005, p.80) argues that “identifying the main research question...(can be done) arraying the various questions you have generated, and then selecting one as the main, overarching question you are hoping to answer”. This is precisely what is done in both the papers.
In order to uphold ethical consideration, the first paper under our investigation allowed the participants full access to the details of the research. They were given right to anonymity, confidentiality and withdrawal. Their consent for the participants was confirmed. This consideration of ethics is noteworthy for, the participants are informed “about the matter to which they are consenting” (Speziale & Carpenter, 2007, p.221).
In the second research, though, no particular mention is made about the ethical consideration although the highly meticulous and methodological analysis of the findings suggests that they have considered the ethical aspect of the research.
The findings presented in both the papers justify the aim of the papers. The first research under our analysis largely furnished the evidence that a major problem that hinders the services of the nurses towards people with intellectual disabilities is the nurses’ ‘lack of knowledge’. Similarly, the findings of the second research suggested that indifference in services on part of the hospital staffs exists and this intensifies the challenges of the parents.
Based on the findings aforementioned, the respective papers conclusively suggested that there is a need for improvement in general hospital services with regard to the treatment for people with intellectual disabilities. The first paper particularly suggested that nurses’ knowledge and competence must be improved with regard to people with intellectual disabilities while the second paper suggested that the general indifference must be curved with regard to the same. The conclusion based on the aim of the study was perfectly justified.
Works Cited
Andrews, R. (2005). Research Questions. London/ New York: Continuum.
Bhattacharyya, D. K. (2006). Research Methodology (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Excel Books.
Cormack, D. (Ed.). (2000). The research process in nursing (4th Edition ed.). UK: Blackwell Publishing Limited.
Costello, P. J. (2005). Action Research. London/ New York: Continuum.
Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review: releasing the social science research imagination. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Litosseliti, L. (2003). Using focus groups in research. London/New York: Continuum.
OLeary, Z. (2004). The Essential Guide to Doing Research. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications.
Speziale, H. S., & Carpenter, D. R. (2007). Qualitative research in nursing: advancing the humanistic imperative. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Williams, C. B., & Stevenson, A. (1951). A research manual for college studies and papers. New York: Harper. Read More
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