Critique Of Qualitative And Quantitative Researches On Public Health

Tool Selection

The aim of the qualitative paper is to provide an in-depth critique of both the qualitative and quantitative researches focusing on public health (Savic et al., 2013. p 383). This paper includes four sections namely tool selection, critical appraisal, ethical issues and summary of the appraised articles.

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Tool Selection

The selected appraisal tool comprises of 10 detailed sections covering three broad sections namely validity of the study, the findings, and the significance of the study in the local setting (CASP, n.d). The appraisal tool is the most appropriate for critiquing a qualitative research study because it addresses the main sections of the entire research paper. This is significant because it will ensure that all other sections are relevant and the inferences made are justified and reliable.

Section A: Validity of the results

Clarity in the statements of the aims of the research

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Yes, the research provides a clear statement of the objective of the study (Savic et al., 2013. p 383). The authors aimed at assessing the effect of separation from family members on the mental health and wellbeing of Sudanese refugees residing in Australia alongside the survival strategies. The study was vital due to the upsurge in the number of refugees and migrants across the world hence warranting the attention of social scientists (Morrell, 2008) who have majorly focussed on how they relate to their original societies. However, the subject of study has not received sufficient attention from the perspective of researchers in mental health.

Appropriateness of the qualitative methodology

Yes, the qualitative methodology is appropriate. The authors have sought to interpret the actual experiences of the research participants in various ways. All the participants were included in the study due to their familiarity with the matters of refugee mental health and the community of Sudan who were responsible for various issues from which they shared their experiences. A qualitative methodology was the right approach in addressing the research goal because a qualitative study aims at gaining an understanding the reasons, views, and impulses of a given phenomenon (Silverman, 2016).

Is it worth continuing?

Can’t tell whether the research design was appropriate to address goal of the study. The authors have adopted a qualitative research design but there is no justification for using this approach, thus making it difficult to ascertain its appropriateness to address the aims of the study.

Yes. The recruitment strategy was appropriate to the objective of the study. The study provides details on how the participants were selected and the reason for them being the most appropriate for the research. For instance, an in-depth description of all the informants is provided with regard to their multiple roles and responsibilities that are relevant to providing information on the experiences of Sudanese refugee migrants in Australia (Savic et al., 2013. p 384). However, the study doesn’t provide details of the recruitment of the informants with regard to whether there were some respondents who declined to be part of the study or not.

Validity of the results

Yes. The authors justified that although studies on the relation of the refuges and migrants to their original societies had received a lot of focus from the social scientists, the mental perspective of the issue had not been adequately explored. The study clearly provides how data was collected using in-depth interviews, and the use of constant comparison to ascertain the point of variation in new themes. As a result data saturation was achieved (Glaser and Strauss, 2017), in addition to the maintenance of an audit trail in the entire process of research (Lewis, 2015). The form of collected data was also clear as it was collected in the form of audio-recording.

No. the association between the researchers and respondents have not been adequately established since there is no justification for choice of location and no considerations of the implications on the variation in the study design

Consideration of ethical issues

No. The researchers do not provide any details of the process of explanation of the study to the informants prior to conducting the interview. Furthermore, the authors haven’t discussed on any issues that involve informed consent or whether confidentiality was really sought for, assured and maintained. However, the study was ratified by the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee.

Rigour of data analysis

Yes. The analysis of data was sufficiently rigorous. The researchers have provided a detailed description of the process of data analysis using thematic analysis (Srivastava and Thomson, 2009). The authors have also justified it as an appropriate approach for applied or policy relevant research (Gibbs, 2008). The researchers also devised a thematic framework in which all the themes were premised on those identified during analysis in addition to the use of triangulation (Leung, 2015) and an audit trail for reflexivity.

Yes. There is a clear statement of findings because there is adequate discussion in support of the findings and in contrast to previous studies. Additionally, credibility of the findings have been discussed and was achieved through analyst triangulation and use of audit trail for reflexivity.

Section C: Local application of the results

The study provides more information into the current knowledge on matters affecting mental health of the Sudanese refugees and migrants. Additional research is recommended on effects of separation on mental health alongside adaptive strategies in varying stages of the settlement of the refugees (Savic et al., 2013. p 386).

The study doesn’t directly address ethical issues involved in the study. However, the relevant ethical issues in research include:

Consideration of ethical issues

Informed consent. All participants are to be well-informed regarding the objective of the study by being requested to be involved in the research.

Confidentiality. This requires that the participants be assured at the onset of the study the purpose of the study and what the gathered information will be used for.

Anonymity. The identities of the respondents should remain anonymous throughout the study to avoid any risks that may result (Fouka and Mantzorou, 2011).  

The qualitative paper is significant as it addresses current issues pertaining to mental health of the Sudanese refugees and migrants by providing additional knowledge for the same. The findings of the study can be used by policy makers and healthcare service providers both in Australia and internationally to effectively handle the increasing population of Sudanese refugees and migrants. However, the study doesn’t address the mental health effects of separation in varying stages of resettling the refugees.

The purpose of this critique paper is to assess the different parts of the quantitative research article by Liang, Howard, and Wollersheim (2017) using a specified selected tool. This critique paper is divided into varying sections depending on the part of the article being critiqued. These sections include tool selection, critical appraisal, ethical issues, and summary of the critique.

The critical appraisal tool for the quantitative study has been developed by Professor Andrew Long of the University of Leeds. The researcher has selected this tool for critical appraisal of the quantitative study because of many reasons. The tool covers major sections of a quantitative study and provides review questions for each section thus making it easy to critique an article.

The quantitative study by Liang, Howard, and Wollersheim (2017, pg. 17) was aimed at examining the competence of evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) amongst health service managers. EIDM is a significant competency approach for health service managers (Peirson et al., 2012). The respondents (managers) were competent in the use of EIDM in their practice, however, there is need for guidance and improvements. The study is important as it demonstrates the specific areas in EIDM that require improvements, and thus proposes an integration of strategies to achieve system, individual, and organizational level. However, the study participants were not randomly selected but instead volunteered for the study. The sample size was small thus limiting generalizability.

This is a quantitative study. The intervention of the study are health service managers from two Victorian Hospitals that use EIDM in their practices. The study provides enough information with regard to the nature of the intervention. For instance, a case-study objective assessment tool and an online management competency assessment tool (MCAP Tool) was used to assess the competence level of the health service managers that use EIDM.

Rigour of data analysis

The study consisted of 25 mid-level managers employed in two Victorian hospitals. Only the managers that were applying EIDM in their roles were assessed. The researchers sent invitations for involvement in the study to level four managers in the two hospitals in Victoria. Those that accepted the invitation and met the inclusion criteria formed the study sample. A sample size of 25 is not an adequate representation of two public hospitals in Victoria. However, the sample size is appropriate for the study objective which is aimed at assessing the competence levels of health service managers. Furthermore, the sample size meets the inclusion criteria making it much more appropriate for the study.

The ethical approval of the study was obtained from the La Trobe University before the commencement of the research. Since the study comprised of participants who had been requested to volunteer for the study, it is therefore inferred that an informed consent was obtained for those who accepted to participate (Tam et al., 2015). Participants’ confidentiality of those who completed the assessments was achieved through generating a combined outcomes of the mean scores of their response.

The outcomes are presented in themes that are relevant to the research questions such as competency scores and the strengths and weaknesses of the participants. The outcomes were measured in the form of mean, maximum, median, minimum, and a 7 point Likert scale (Croasmun, and Ostrom, 2011). The measures used in the outcome are most appropriate because the objective of the study was to examine the competence of EIDM amongst health service managers.

The outcomes are generalizable to health service managers because they are an actual representation of the practices of health managers who are always faced with decision making. The outcomes of the study can also be applicable to any population of health managers outside Victoria and in any healthcare centre. The conclusion of the study is justifiable since it reviews the methodology approach and the findings based on each theme under discussion, thus ensuring that the major themes under discussion are addressed as well as the answers to the research questions.

The findings of the study have organizational policy implications. The findings disapprove the common belief that health service managers are not well equipped to use EIDM in their practice. Therefore the findings point out the specific factors that could enhance and foster the use of EIDM at the level of management based on a critical review of the findings of Liang Liang, Howard, and Wollersheim (2017, pg. 18). The study recommends strategies to ensure effective management, and policy makers can find these findings useful when reviewing or formulating administrative policies for their healthcare centres.

Local application of the results

Informed consent implies the awareness of the objective of a study by a potential respondent and the willingness and intelligent decision to accept to be involved in the study (Fouka and Mantzorou, 2011).  Informed consent aims at protecting the individual liberty and integrity through self-determination. In the study by Liang Liang, Howard, and Wollersheim informed consent is inferred since the participants voluntarily decided to be included in the study after an invitation was sent to them.

According to De Casterlé et al. (2008) anonymity is achieved when the identity of the subjects cannot be associated with individual feedbacks, whereas confidentiality is the management of private information with an objective of protecting the identity of the subjects (Parahoo, 2014). Confidentiality and anonymity of the participants was achieved in the study by combining the outcomes after calculating the mean scores of their responses.

The ethical approval for the study was given by the La Trobe University. This implies that various aspects of ethical considerations were reviewed such as confidentiality, anonymity among others not directly indicated in the study.


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