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MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals UCC Assignment Sample Ireland

MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals course! This course is designed to provide healthcare professionals with a comprehensive understanding of advanced research methods and their application in healthcare settings. Throughout this course, you will learn how to critically evaluate healthcare research and develop your own research projects using appropriate methods and tools.

This course will cover various topics, including study design, sampling techniques, data collection and analysis, and ethical considerations in healthcare research. You will also have the opportunity to explore advanced statistical methods, such as regression analysis and meta-analysis, and learn how to use software programs like SPSS and SAS for data analysis.

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In this segment, we will describe some assignment activities. These are:

Assignment Activity 1: Distinguish the philosophical underpinnings and theoretical frameworks/perspectives of healthcare enquiry and analyse how these influence the subsequent conduct of research and enquiry.

Healthcare enquiry is a broad and interdisciplinary field that draws upon various philosophical and theoretical frameworks to investigate issues related to healthcare. The philosophical underpinnings of healthcare enquiry can be divided into two main categories: positivism and post-positivism.

Positivism is a philosophical approach that emphasizes empirical observation and scientific method as the only way to acquire knowledge about the world. Positivists believe that objective reality exists independently of human perception and that it can be measured and observed through the use of quantitative methods. In healthcare enquiry, positivism is often associated with biomedical research that aims to identify cause-and-effect relationships between specific medical interventions and health outcomes. Positivist researchers typically employ experimental designs and statistical analysis to test hypotheses and quantify results.

Post-positivism, on the other hand, acknowledges the limitations of objective observation and emphasizes the role of human interpretation and subjective experience in shaping knowledge. Post-positivists argue that scientific inquiry is not value-free and that scientific knowledge is always contextualized within a particular social, cultural, and historical framework. In healthcare enquiry, post-positivism is often associated with qualitative research methods that seek to explore the complexity and diversity of human experience in healthcare settings. Post-positivist researchers typically employ methods such as interviews, focus groups, and ethnography to generate data and analyze the meanings and interpretations of research participants.

In addition to these philosophical underpinnings, healthcare enquiry is also guided by a variety of theoretical frameworks and perspectives that shape the way researchers approach their investigations. Some of the key theoretical perspectives in healthcare enquiry include:

  • Biopsychosocial model: This model posits that health and illness are the result of complex interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors. Research guided by the biopsychosocial model often takes a holistic approach to healthcare, looking at the interplay between these different factors and their impact on health outcomes.
  • Social determinants of health: This perspective emphasizes the importance of social and economic factors in shaping health outcomes. Research guided by the social determinants of health framework often examines how factors such as income, education, and access to healthcare influence health disparities and outcomes.
  • Patient-centered care: This perspective emphasizes the importance of involving patients in the decision-making process and tailoring healthcare to meet their individual needs and preferences. Research guided by the patient-centered care framework often focuses on understanding patient experiences and perspectives and developing interventions that prioritize patient autonomy and involvement.
  • Evidence-based practice: This perspective emphasizes the use of the best available evidence to guide clinical decision-making and healthcare interventions. Research guided by the evidence-based practice framework often focuses on identifying and synthesizing high-quality research to inform healthcare practice and policy.

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Assignment Activity 2: Critically review, analyse and synthesise pertinent literature, including interpretation of findings.

Assuming you have a specific topic in mind, here are some general steps that can help to conduct a critical review, analysis, and synthesis of pertinent literature:

  1. Define the scope and purpose of the review: Identify the research question or problem that you are trying to address and define the scope of your review. Determine the key concepts, search terms, and databases that you will use to find relevant literature.
  2. Search for relevant literature: Conduct a thorough search of relevant databases and other sources of literature, using your search terms and other criteria. Be systematic in your approach to selecting and evaluating articles, and use a citation management tool to organize your references.
  3. Evaluate the quality of the literature: Evaluate the quality of the literature by assessing the relevance, credibility, and validity of the studies. Consider factors such as the research design, sample size, data collection and analysis methods, and the quality of reporting.
  4. Analyze and synthesize the literature: Analyze the key findings, themes, and trends in the literature, and synthesize them into a coherent narrative. Identify any gaps or inconsistencies in the literature, and consider how your review contributes to the current state of knowledge.
  5. Critically evaluate the review: Critically evaluate your review by considering the limitations of the literature and your review methods. Identify any implications for future research, and consider how your review might inform policy or practice.

Assignment Activity 3: Formulate appropriate research/review questions or hypotheses relating to a defined healthcare problem.

When formulating research questions or hypotheses, it is important to consider the healthcare problem that you are investigating. This will help to ensure that your questions or hypotheses are relevant and specific to the problem at hand.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when formulating research questions or hypotheses:

  • What is the main healthcare problem that you are investigating?
  • What are the specific goals of your research?
  • What are the key variables that you need to measure in order to answer your research questions or test your hypotheses?
  • What are the potential confounding factors that could impact your results?

Once you have considered these factors, you can then start to formulate appropriate research questions or hypotheses relating to the healthcare problem. It is important to remember that your research questions or hypotheses should be specific, measurable, and testable. Additionally, make sure to clearly state the expected direction of the relationship between the variables under investigation.

Assignment Activity 4: Explore a variety of enquiry methodologies, data analytical processes and procedures so as to address identified research/review question(s).

When conducting research or a review, it is important to choose appropriate methodologies, data analytical processes, and procedures in order to effectively address the identified research/review question(s). Here are some examples of different methods and procedures that could be used:

  1. Qualitative research methods: This type of research involves gathering non-numerical data through methods such as interviews, focus groups, and observations. Qualitative research is useful when trying to gain a deep understanding of a specific phenomenon or experience.
  2. Quantitative research methods: This type of research involves gathering numerical data through methods such as surveys or experiments. Quantitative research is useful when trying to generalize findings to a larger population.
  3. Mixed methods research: This type of research combines both qualitative and quantitative methods to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon or experience.
  4. Content analysis: This is a data analytical process that involves systematically analyzing text or media to identify patterns or themes.
  5. Statistical analysis: This involves using statistical tests and models to analyze numerical data and test hypotheses.
  6. Meta-analysis: This involves pooling data from multiple studies to draw more robust conclusions about a particular phenomenon or effect.
  7. Case study research: This involves in-depth analysis of a specific case or example to understand a particular phenomenon or experience.
  8. Grounded theory: This is a research methodology that involves developing theories based on observations and data rather than starting with preconceived theories or hypotheses.
  9. Systematic review: This is a process for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing all relevant research on a particular topic to answer a specific research question.
  10. Ethnographic research: This involves studying a particular culture or group of people to gain an in-depth understanding of their behaviors, beliefs, and values.

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Assignment Activity 5: Justify the choice of a research design that addresses the identified research question(s).

In order to choose a research design that addresses the identified research question(s), it is important to consider several factors such as the nature of the research question, the type of data needed to answer the research question, and the resources available to conduct the research.

There are several research designs to choose from, including experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, survey, and case study designs. Each design has its own strengths and weaknesses and is appropriate for answering different types of research questions.

For example, if the research question involves testing the effectiveness of an intervention or treatment, an experimental design may be the most appropriate choice. This design allows researchers to manipulate the independent variable (the intervention) and measure its effect on the dependent variable (the outcome).

If the research question involves examining the relationship between two or more variables, a correlational design may be more appropriate. This design allows researchers to examine the strength and direction of the relationship between variables, but does not allow for causal conclusions to be drawn.

If the research question involves exploring a complex phenomenon in-depth, a case study design may be the most appropriate choice. This design allows researchers to gather rich and detailed data about a specific case or cases, but may not be generalizable to other contexts.

Ultimately, the choice of research design should be based on the research question(s) and the goals of the study, and should be justified in terms of its ability to address the research question(s) effectively and efficiently.

Assignment Activity 6: Outline principles of research integrity including ethical guideline.

Research integrity is a set of principles and values that guide the conduct of research, ensuring that it is carried out in a responsible, honest, and ethical manner. The following are some of the principles of research integrity:

  1. Honesty: Researchers should be truthful and transparent in their work, ensuring that they provide accurate and reliable information to their colleagues and the public.
  2. Objectivity: Researchers should be impartial and unbiased in their work, avoiding any conflicts of interest that could compromise their findings or the integrity of their research.
  3. Responsibility: Researchers should take responsibility for their work, ensuring that they adhere to high ethical and professional standards, and that their research is conducted in a safe and ethical manner.
  4. Respect: Researchers should treat others with respect and dignity, respecting the rights, privacy, and confidentiality of their research participants, colleagues, and the wider community.
  5. Fairness: Researchers should be fair and just in their work, ensuring that their findings are not influenced by personal biases, prejudices, or other external factors.
  6. Accountability: Researchers should be accountable for their work, ensuring that they are willing to take responsibility for their actions and decisions, and that they are willing to accept the consequences of any mistakes or errors that may occur.

Ethical guidelines are an essential component of research integrity, and they provide researchers with clear standards and principles to follow when conducting research. The following are some of the ethical guidelines that researchers should adhere to:

  1. Informed consent: Researchers should obtain informed consent from research participants, ensuring that they are fully informed about the nature of the research, its purpose, and any potential risks or benefits.
  2. Confidentiality: Researchers should maintain the confidentiality and privacy of research participants, ensuring that their personal information is not shared or disclosed without their consent.
  3. Institutional review: Researchers should obtain approval from an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee, ensuring that their research is conducted in compliance with local, national, and international ethical standards.
  4. Data management: Researchers should ensure that their data is stored and managed in a secure and ethical manner, protecting it from unauthorized access or disclosure.
  5. Reporting: Researchers should report their findings in a clear and transparent manner, ensuring that they provide accurate and honest information about their research, including any limitations or potential biases that may exist.

By following these principles of research integrity and ethical guidelines, researchers can ensure that their work is conducted in a responsible, honest, and ethical manner, and that it contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the betterment of society.

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