Review the information in the course texton quantitative research designs. Focus on the information in Box 9.1, “Guidelines for Critiquing Research Designs in Quantitative Studies” located on page 210 of the course text.
Select a topic from the list below and search the Walden Library to find two different quantitative research studies addressing that issue:
Anxiety in children
Depression in college freshmen
Rural health care issues
Post-traumatic stress syndrome
Traumatic brain injury in veterans
Health effects of environmental contaminants
End-of-life ethical issues
For each of the sources that you select, identify the type of quantitative research design used, and evaluate whether it is the most appropriate approach to the research.
Consider the ramifications of choosing an inappropriate design for a research study.
Critiquing Quantitative Studies on PTSD
The quality of a quantitative study is based on various elements including the writing style, title, literature, theoretical framework, and methodology. Notably, these aspects determine the believability and robustness of the research (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan, 2007). This paper critiques two quantitative studies on post-traumatic stress syndrome. Included aspects are the research design, its appropriateness and ramifications.
The article by Galatzer-Levy, Karstoft, Statnikov, and Shalev (2014) entitled Quantitative forecasting of PTSD from early trauma responses: A machine learning application, aimed at examining the effectiveness of using Machine Learning (ML) forecasting strategy in identifying and integrating predictive characteristics and establishing their profoundness in predicting non-remitting PTSD from data gathered from a traumatic event within ten days. The effectiveness of this study is reflected in its title and abstract which communicate all the relevant details of the study from the background to the results and conclusion. In addition, the literature analysis which is encompassed in the introduction provides insights on the research variables and their application in the study. These include the use of machine learning which has the ability to handle complex and vast heterogeneous data. The research design entailed a randomized control trial (RCT). The appropriateness of this design is centred on its ability to establish the outcome variable in the study population. Notably, the researchers used data from the Jerusalem Trauma Outreach and Prevention Study (J-TOPS) which integrated a systematic outreach and the RCT follow-up. The use of this design coupled with random sampling eliminated the risk of bias in selecting the population. In addition, RCT allowed for using effective statistical analysis tools including MATLAB and the study population was clearly identified as demonstrated in the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
The study by Khan, Charters, Graham, Nasriani, Ndlovu, and Mai (2018) entitled A case study of the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder on operational fire service personnel within the Lancashire fire and rescue service, purposed to investigate the PTSD prevalence among the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) personnel. The research significance was based on providing insights to organizations and the management on how employees can deal with life-threatening and traumatic events which are foundations of PTSD among other health risks. The epidemiological study also assessed the effects of the condition from those who suffered from it from either a single traumatic event and recurrent exposure over a given duration. It combined both primary and secondary information. The primary data was obtained from statistical analysis and clinical questionnaires. The research design was a case study from LFRS individuals and those with PTSD. The appropriateness of the design was the specific focus on the LFRS population and the main variable which was PTSD. Case studies are considered effective in conducting studies over a given period of time. In this study, the use of case study design and obtaining data through clinical questionnaires and statistical analysis allowed for comprehensively examining the study purpose. In addition, the use of case study approach provided sufficient detail for analysis and allowed the researchers to perform statistical evaluation which was done through SPSS.
The ramifications of selecting an inappropriate design include the inability to comprehensively meet the purpose of the study which affects the believability and robustness of the research. In addition, the reliability and validity of the findings are affected significantly which reduce the quality of the study. In every study, there is a relationship between the study background, theoretical framework, and literature review. According to Koo and Li (2016), the research design is informed by the study objective, variables, and background information. Selecting an inappropriate design impacts the findings of the research which also affects its conclusion. The consistency and disconnect between the different sections of the study are also influenced by its design.
In summary, the quality of a quantitative study is reflected in its reliability and robustness which are based on the design. The above analysis examines two studies which use randomized controlled trial and case study approaches. Essentially, the challenges of selecting an inappropriate design are based on the inability to meet the set objective and low reliability and validity.
Coughlan, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (2007). Step-by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 1: quantitative research. British journal of nursing, 16(11), 658-663.
Galatzer-Levy, I. R., Karstoft, K. I., Statnikov, A., & Shalev, A. Y. (2014). Quantitative forecasting of PTSD from early trauma responses: A machine learning application. Journal of psychiatric research, 59, 68-76.
Khan, K., Charters, J., Graham, T. L., Nasriani, H. R., Ndlovu, S., & Mai, J. (2018). A case study of the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder on operational fire service personnel within the Lancashire fire and rescue service. Safety and health at work, 9(3), 277-289.
Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability research. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 15(2), 155-163.