A conceptual framework is meant to include systems of concept, assumptions, expectations and beliefs that are in support of a particular research study (Ariola, 2006). However, since a concept is a notion held in an individual’s mind it is difficult to measure.
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In instances where a diagrammatic representation of the research cannot be made a theoretical framework may be used (Ariola, 2006). This explanation focuses on determination of a cause-effect relationship. In the study on the role of massage therapy and its effects on pain management, such a theoretical framework exists. This is seen in the narrative that highlights similar tests in other locations e.g. Mayo Clinic, and the inference based on the results (Adams, White & Beckett, 2010).
The concepts to be studied in the research are identified given that a number of related factors such as anxiety and stress (Adams et al., 2010) can affect pain management in an acute setting. The study is thus focused on reducing pain and monitoring patients’ response in related areas such as relaxation, anxiety, etc. The areas that are being researched are measured using a 0-10 visual analog scale (Adams et al., 2010). These measures make it is easy to analyze the data produced to answer the question of whether massage therapy does in fact affect patients’ perception of pain management. For this reason it can be said that the research problem flows naturally from the conceptual framework.
Protection of Human Rights
Given that a study of this nature involves the potential to adversely affect the patient, it becomes essential to have the study reviewed by an independent review committee. Based on the need to avoid any future issues it was deemed necessary to submit the plan to carry out this study to the hospital’s institutional review board. The study was only undertaken following the approval by this board (Adams et al., 2010).
In addition to attaining the board’s consent before beginning the study, it was also deemed necessary to minimize the risk and maximize the benefits to all participants. Evidence of this is seen in the selection of the therapists who would carry out the massages and in selection of patients (Adams et al., 2006). In addition to this it was also noted that though participants were selected from various units, only those below a specific pain threshold level would be allowed to participate in the study (Adams et al., 2010).
The study also required the participants to sign voluntary consent forms prior to participation in the study. In addition to that it was also stipulated that patient data was to be kept confidential and participants could withdraw at any point if they felt the need to (Adams et al., 2010). For this reason it is not possible to identify the participants of the study.
The Research Problem
It has been noted that when writing an introduction it is wise to describe the problem situation with consideration to the global, national or local situation (Ariola, 2006). In the article it is observed that the problem is described in national context thus allowing us to conclude that the research problem has been promptly introduced. This position is further reiterated in the purpose statement specifies the reason behind the study (Adams et al., 2010).
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The problem that is being researched in this study is reported to be a significant problem in nursing. The significance of this report arises due to the fact that pain management is a significant issue to hospitals and as such has received much attention from hospital accreditation organizations (Adams et al., 2010). Based on this significance the article highlights the importance of carrying out the study and provides examples of similar studies and their findings (Adams et al., 2010).
Key variables refer to the specific experimental observations identified prior to carrying out a study (Katz, 2009). In the case of this study on the role of massage in acute pain management it was noted that some key variables that affect the study include; relaxation, emotional well being, overall pain level, ability to sleep, contribution to faster recovery and ability to move (Adams et al, 2010).
Based on the study and its ability to establish a relationship between the variables and pain management, it is possible that this study can provide useful insight into the clinical applicability of the solution. This is because the conclusions drawn from the study indicate that there is a significant reduction of pain levels after massage therapy (Adams et al. 2010). This suggests that though the study cannot be considered conclusive due to limitations such as the lack of a control group, it can serve as a basis for further research aimed at making massage therapy clinically applicable (Adams et al., 2010).
The research question is normally a declarative statement that something is true (Chodorow, 2011). Once this statement has been stated the rest of the paper serves as a defense and argument in favor of the question. In the report on the role of massage therapy in pain management the hypotheses is clearly stated as follows; “Does the use of massage therapy in an inpatient setting improve patient perception of pain management (Adams et al., 2010)”.This hypothesis is deemed suitable given the fact that the paper seeks to identify whether there is a need to introduce massage therapy into the clinically approved approaches for pain management (Adams et al., 2010).
The research hypothesis is clearly worded and thus provides a good basis for the report to provide data in support of the claim. The research question includes variables such as relaxation, ability to move, ability to sleep, overall wellbeing among others (Adams et al., 2010). The introductory material discussed allows us to predict the conclusion of the report.
Review of the Literature
In the review of literature the report provides comprehensive, logical and relevant information to the reader. This is seen in elements such as the summary of a similar study that was carried out in Mayo clinic in Minnesota (Adams et al., 2010). In addition to that the report also highlights relevant literature that discusses the role of massage therapy as an effective tool for pain management (Adams et al., 2010).
Through the provision of such literature on pain management one is able to deduce a relationship between the hypothesis and pain management. The literature review helps the reader to understand why the author believes massage therapy is a noteworthy approach (Adams et al., 2010). It appears that the review of literature contains recent research work based on the date of the Mayo study (Adams et al., 2010). However, it must be noted that the report also contains information that is more than ten years old. This suggests some material may be outdated (Oermann & Hays, 2010). However, even with this shortcoming the material offered is adequate to support this study.
The research was carried out using a mixed methods approach. This approach is considered suitable given that in the recent past there has been an increase in the number of studies carried out using this method (Wheeldon & Ahlberg, 2011). This approach focuses on the presentation of both quantitative and qualitative data in arguing out an issue. The mixed method approach provides greater insight into the problem being researched. In this case there are graphs drawn to represent the response of various patients to massage therapy. In addition to that, the report makes use of verbal feedback collected from various patients and nurses (Adams et al., 2010). Given that the sample size is almost same as the sample size used in Mayo, and the fact that the study lacked a control group, it is possible to suggest there is enough information to permit replication.
The sampling criterion used in the study was clearly defined. In the report it is mentioned that the criterion for inclusion was a written order by the patient’s physician. In addition to that the candidate was required to be able to complete the registration form on their own (Adams et al., 2010). This sampling method is considered suitable for the research design. In the report potential sample biases are described. For example it was noted that the sample consisted entirely of adults and thus the findings cannot be used for children with similar conditions (Adams et al., 2010). The sample size is assumed to be sufficiently large as it almost tallies with the group used in the study carried out in Minnesota (Adams et al., 2010).
For the qualitative data, the main source of information was a form completed by the patient. However, the nurse’s comments were also utilized in collection of qualitative data (Adams et al., 2010). Quantitative data was mainly recorded based on the visual analog scale used to record the patient’s pain levels (Adams et al., 2010). Though no rationale has been given for the selection of the instruments it is worth noting that the instruments were useful in supporting the study. It has been mentioned in the report that one shortcoming of the study is the lack of physiological measures such as pulse, heart rate etc., to support the findings (Adams et al., 2010). For this reason it is not possible to indicate the reliability and validity of the findings using the selected instruments.
According to Marvasti, quantitative research is the use of numbers to support a specific theory. For this reason the numerical data presented should use suitable graphical instruments to ascertain its veracity (Marvasti, 2004). Based on the design and the research question the use of graphs appears to be very well suited for the study (Adams et al., 2010). This measurement technique fits very well with the data used in the study. Due to the graphic nature of the findings a logical link is created between the findings and data analyzed. The graphics depict a clear situation both in text and numerical representation.
Conclusions and Recommendations
An assumption refers to an underlying idea upon which a research paper is based (Haisler, 2011). A limitation on the other hand is an underlying factor that prohibits the study from providing absolute proof in the findings. In this study, one assumption is that the recording of pain levels using a visual analog scale can be used as sufficient evidence in support of the findings. This assumption is wrong given that there is no physiological data to support this.
The lack of physiological data to support the study thus is also a limitation of the study (Adams et al., 2010). Another limitation of the study is the lack of a control group during analysis. In addition to that, another assumption is that the response in adults will be the same in children. These assumptions and limitations are clearly explained in the report. However, there is no generalization in relation to the findings of the study. The report contains recommendations for future studies, which are supported by data provided in the report.
Adams, R., White, B., & Beckett, C. (2010). The Effects of Massage Therapy on Pain Management in the Acute Care Setting. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage Bodywork. 3(1), 4-11.
Ariola, M. M. (2006). Principles and Methods of Research. Manila: Rex Book Store Inc.
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Chodorow, S. (2011). Writing a Successful Research paper: a Simple Approach. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Haisler, P. (2011). Write a Good Research Paper. Gylling: Narayana Press.
Katz, M. J. (2009). From Research to Manuscript: A Guide to Scientific Writing. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Marvasti, A. B. (2004). Qualitative Research in Sociology. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Oermann, M. H., & Hays, J. C. (2010). Writing for Publication in Nursing. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.
Wheeldon, J., & Ahlberg, M. K. (2011). Visualizing Social Science Research: Maps, Methods, & Meaning. California: SAGE Publications, Inc.