Data Collection: Ulcerative Colitis

PICOT Question

What are the improvements observed in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis after six weeks under the care of nurses as primary caregivers compared to when they manage the condition alone?

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Research Method

The research question that the paper will adopt is qualitative. The qualitative design enables researchers to identify people’s attitudes, opinions, and ideas concerning various matters (Holloway & Galvin, 2016). This study aims at examining patients’ views on the efficacy of treatment. It is essential to identify patients’ concerns and needs, the challenges they face, as well as views on the positive and negative sides of the provided care. In doing so, the patients who do not utilize nurses as their primary caregivers will receive questionnaires with structured questions that aim at determining the outcome of their care. Additionally, the patients who receive nursing care will also receive the questionnaires at the end of the six weeks to assess their response to the medication and quality of their health. The participants’ answers will be interpreted to examine their needs, fears, views, and so on. It is noteworthy that interpretation, which is central to the qualitative design, is often regarded as ambiguous data analysis method, but it helps to identify major themes that can later be studied in more detail (Bernard, 2017). The results of the two surveys will then be compared to determine the most effective way to care for such patients. Moreover, the differences in the results will reveal the factors that influence the recovery of patients and the improvement of their health other than the quality of care offered by professionals. It is critical to analyze patients’ views on the provided treatment as their willingness or reluctance to follow the prescribed regimen has a significant impact on the process of recovery.

Data Collection

The research intends to utilize surveys as a means to collect data. This data collection method has the advantage of being convenient. First, the implementation of surveys enables researchers to cover a larger population and collect more data (Flick, 2014). Interviews are time-consuming and need a lot of preparation as both researchers and interviewees should have time and be able to participate. As for surveys, patients can complete the questionnaires at the most convenient time. They can also do this in a place that is most convenient for them. Moreover, some people are shy and feel uncomfortable during interviews, but they can share their views freely when completing questionnaires (Green & Thorogood, 2013).

As far as the benefits for the researcher are concerned, surveys can be conducted quite easily. Apparently, one can conduct a survey through different media (Polit & Beck, 2018). Questionnaires can be sent through email, or print copies can be handed. It is also possible to use such methods as SurveyMonkey and similar online tools. Print and online questionnaires can be combined as it can be more difficult for people in hospitals or people of a certain age to use online tools. The questionnaires will not be very long and will contain only 20 questions. Such a limited number of questions will ensure the participants’ willingness to answer all of them in detail.

Strength and Weakness

The major strength of the chosen data collection method is its convenience and comprehensiveness. Researchers can elicit views of dozens (or even hundreds if necessary) of people, which can be very difficult when using interviewing as a data collection tool. However, using surveys as a means of data collection has the weakness of collecting misleading information in case the interviewees offer inaccurate answers (Maxwell, 2012). To address this shortcoming, it is essential to develop proper questions. The questions should be quite short and clear; there can be no ambiguity (Davies & Hughes, 2014). The questions cannot contain any bias or insulting points.

The research plans to adopt various measures to ensure that it collects high-quality data. It will first assure the respondents of their anonymity and privacy as a means to encourage them to answer the questions honestly as Creswell (2013) suggests. Additionally, the research will utilize both open-ended questions and closed questions as suggested by Fowler (2013) to capture different attributes of the responses of the interviewees. The use of the two types of questions will help the researcher unveil participants’ attempts to provide inaccurate information or simply lie. Bernard, Wutich, and Ryan (2016) note that the so-called social desirability effect can come into play as people often want to behave in the way accepted in society. The open-ended questions will prevail, but they will be supported by scale questions to identify any bias or inconsistencies.

The participants will be encouraged to provide full and detailed answers. The questions will be constructed in a way to achieve this goal. However, there are still chances that some participants will provide quite short answers due to the scarcity of time or other reasons (Bernard et al., 2016). However, even short answers will help in unveiling major themes regarded patients’ views on the efficacy of the provided treatment. Therefore, the chosen data collection method is relevant since it can help the researcher to obtain valid and credible data for analysis.

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Bernard, H. R. (2017). Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (6th ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Bernard, H. R., Wutich, A., & Ryan, G. W. (2016). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Davies, M., & Hughes, N. (2014). Doing a successful research project: Using qualitative or quantitative methods. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). Ames, IA: SAGE.

Fowler Jr, F. J. (2013). Survey research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2013). Qualitative methods for health research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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Holloway, I., & Galvin, K. (2016). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. Ames, IA: John Wiley & Sons.

Maxwell, J. A. (2012). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Polit, D., & Beck, C. (2018). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

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