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Research Methods in Health Science A - Essay Example

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Research Methods in Health Science Research and development have been part and parcel of every aspect of human life since the dawn of civilization. It is by research that mankind has progressed to the modern era. As in other fields, any research in health sciences involves identification of a specific problem during the course of delivery of health services, or when an inquisitive researcher attempts to identify reasons behind a phenomenon that can be modified or manipulated towards a positive outcome by adopting novel means or practices emerging from deliberate and intensive research conducted on an aspect…
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Download file to see previous pages However, when the area of research is more abstract i.e. involves looking at trends or measuring human perceptions and beliefs on a particular aspect that might be vital for health issues, a qualitative approach is the only method available which can lead to any conclusive inference. Statistical tools have been developed which allow classification, tabulation and grouping of even qualitative data into comprehensible forms which can lead to entirely valid inferences. Qualitative research involves comprehension of complex factors contributing to a particular phenomenon and numerous factors have to be identified, standardized and transformed into some measurable form before they can be evaluated to gain insight into the particular aspect being researched. Although considered unscientific by skeptics, as it lacks the experimental and observational approach followed in quantitative research which believes in the evidence generated by repeatable experiments yielding consistent data in biomedical sciences, it has gained belief in scientific circles during the last few decades due to the complex human, social, cultural and other factors influencing health in its entirety (Pope & Mays, 2006). Normal health or success of a particular medical procedure cannot be ruthlessly related to the success of a particular mode or procedure of therapy by its proven 100% success rate suggested by quantitative experimental data. Myriad factors, such as the psychological state of the patient, the manner in which the healthcare providers interact with the patient, family, economic and social standing of the patient and multiple other factors might be contributing in a significant manner. Such factors can only and only be evaluated by qualitative research. In order to evaluate the influence of such abstract factors, the right question has to be framed before any research strategy can be developed. It has to be assured that the research is conducted employing a design which can generate results which can be generalized within and without the applicable population. A prime example of a phenomenological qualitative study is the one recently conducted in Sweden, wherein the authors’ have tried to role of prenatal education from the perspective of the male parent regarding their role as primary caregivers immediately following birth (Erlandsson & Haggstrom-Nordin, 2010). Either parent’s opinion, irrespective of the sex is a complex collection of cultural background, personal education, experience and aptitude, which are difficult to evaluate using quantitative methodology as such things are not measurable. As the study has been conducted in an exclusive country i.e. Sweden, it can be assumed that the cultural background is free of any particular bias. The authors’ have sought to identify the concepts within the fathers’ minds about the topics covered in prenatal education especially after firsthand experience after childbirth and the difficulties encountered thereafter. The framing of the research question by the authors’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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