Scott (2011) identifies various characteristics such as credibility, reliability, the deployment of rigorous methods and verification, clarity, and coherence, which any research needs to uphold. Research can be designed as either qualitative or quantitative. It can also deploy mixed methods (pragmatic research design) or take the form of participatory or advocacy research framework. The current research takes a pragmatic approach. This paper describes the way the study will be conducted. It offers a discussion of EBP’s project research design, describes the research population, mechanisms for protecting the participants, methodology deployed in data analysis, and the timeline for the research.
The research will be conducted in three elderly homes in California, which include the California Home for Seniors, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), and Prestige Senior Living at Manteca. This research uses a pragmatic research design. Freshwater, Sherwood, and Drury (2006) posit, “Pragmatic researchers grant themselves the freedom to use any of the methods, techniques, and procedures that are typically associated with quantitative or qualitative research” (p.295). The selected methods depend on a researchers’ perception and evaluation of methods that best suit the particular type of study. In the research on elderly falls, the best design should comprise methods that can complement each other. This assertion underlines the logic for designing the research as a pragmatic study, which uses aspects of qualitative and quantitative research.
The effectiveness of qualitative study requires the demonstration of various features of excellence. Qualitative research has some drawbacks such as the lack of validity since it is important to add rigor, subjectivity, and creativity in a scientific process. Rigor is incredibly important in all systematic qualitative researches (Finlay, 2006). In such researches, the deployed data only needs to follow a certain criterion in establishing differences or relationships.
The current research determines the prevalence of falls experiences among elderly people living in the three homes. It establishes the mechanisms, which the homes have adopted to prevent and/or manage falls among elderly people. In determining the prevalence levels, the quantification of falls experiences is important. This goal can only be realized if quantitative data is also collected.
The instrument deployed in the data collection is the interview. Elderly people will provide quantitative and qualitative information about their experiences with falls. The method includes a survey, which will be vital in interpreting the study. The interview will involve structured questions, which are known to be best for quantitative interviews since they do not need extra information from a respondent (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). The research will use the face-to-face interview, which will help in establishing a good rapport with the participants to win their cooperation. In addition, besides clarifying ambiguity in answers, the interview approach can provide information for follow-up.
Participants, Sample and sampling
The students to be interviewed will be sampled randomly from the three elderly homes. The focus will be on the extent to which people think their lifestyles dictate their consumption behaviors. Quantitative research begins with the selection of a sample size or the number of research subjects. The sample size varies according to the expected statistical confidence levels. The proposed research emphasizes defining the role that the change of the physical environment of elderly patients plays in performing effective fall prevention. A reasonable sample will be selected to obtain reliable information. Therefore, selecting a sample size that can yield powerful qualitative and quantitative information will be pivotal in making appropriate recommendations on the necessary changes in elderly people’s physical environments to reduce falls. While selecting the subjects of the study, certain parameters of the sample must be known. Saunders, Thornhill, and Lewis (2009) identify them as confidence interval or error margin, the size of the studied population, the expected confidence level, and the Standard Deviation (SD).
In this research, the total number of over 65-year-old people in the three elderly homes may be important. Although this number may be obtained from the respective elderly homes’ administration, the research may still be conducted without it. In most studies, the population is commonly unknown (Saunders et al., 2009). The only important thing is to determine the most appropriate demographic group of the study. The demographic group for this research comprises elderly people of 65-year-old or beyond. Only people in this category will be included in the research. Elderly people below this age limit are excluded. No support is expected from the setting in which the research will be conducted.
After determining the target group, establishing research confidence interval follows. Samples are never perfect. This claim underlines the importance of setting limits for the permissible error or the confidence level. Scott (2011) reckons, “Confidence level determines how much higher or lower (than the population) researchers are willing to let their sample mean to fall in” (p.89). The current research uses a standard value of +/-5. This range means that the research will use 95%confidence interval.
Standard deviation refers to the degree to which the interviewee responses should vary. This research uses a SD value of 0.5, which is the most convenient figure that gives the chosen population portion a recommendable size. Different confidence levels correspond to the different Z-score values. A 95% confidence level corresponds to a Z-score value of 1.96. This value makes it possible to compute the sample size.
Substituting the chosen values in the equation yields 385 as the sample size or the required number of subjects.
At the beginning of the interview, the researchers will explain to the respondents the research purpose and its significance to the management of health challenge associated with falls. A respondent will be interviewed for a maximum of 10 minutes. The interview will begin by capturing a respondent’s demographic information such as his or her educational background, age, and gender. Questions will also be administered to collect information on the respondents’ experiences with falls, admission rates due to injuries associated with falls, and their perceptions on the necessary remedies for dealing with the problem. No control groups will be deployed. The research will be conducted according to the following procedure.
- The established 385 copies of interview questions will be distributed without selecting the target audience in the elderly home.
- The respondents will indicate their gender in the questionnaires.
- After collecting the filled interview questions, the next step would involve analysis.
- After the analysis, the results will be presented followed by a discussion of the findings.
Although face-to-face interviews are administered to help in collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, it is necessary to keep the identity of the research participants protected. Where the qualitative data for a specific interview with a participant is referred in the interviews, pseudonyms will be employed. The participants will also be assured that the information provided will be treated with utmost confidentiality and anonymity. This plan will avoid the shifting of blame and liabilities concerning falls experienced by elderly people within their homes to the designers or owners of the facilities. Hence, the research fulfills its goals from a neutral position.
Data Analysis Methods
The analysis of the data generated will yield numerical data that will need to be analyzed to draw inferences. For example, correlation and relationships will have to be determined. This process requires data processing and analysis skills, which the researcher does not currently possess. Therefore, the services of a qualified statistician will come in handy.
- Week 1: Review and submit proposal to the IRB and get approval from the setting in which I will be conducting the EBP research.
- Week 2: Review data analysis software programs and consult with the instructor to determine the one that is appropriate for use.
- Week 3: Consult with the elderly homes to secure an interview opportunity.
- Week 4: Recruit the data analyst.
- Week 5: Collect data assuming the proposal has been approved by the IRB.
- Week 6-7: Analyze data and submit findings.
Research methodology describes the processes through which researchers acquire data on a given topic. It also shows the tools used in the analysis of the results in addition to the mechanisms of interpreting the results. Research methods have diverse characteristics. The selection of an appropriate methodology depends on the available resources, objectives, and goals of the research. The selected methods need to fulfill certain requirements to arrive at valid results and recommendations that can lead to solutions of the problem under scrutiny.
Finlay, L. (2006). Rigor, Ethical Integrity or Artistry” Reflexively Reviewing Criteria For Evaluating Qualitative Research. British Journal of occupational Therapy, 69(7), 319-326.
Freshwater, D., Sherwood, G., & Drury, V. (2006). International research collaboration: Issues, benefits and challenges of the global network. Journal of Research in marketing, 11(4), 295-303.
Leedy, P., & Ormrod, J. (2005). Practical Research: Planning and design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Saunders, M., Thornhill, A., & Lewis, P. (2009). Research methods for business students. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.
Scott, S. (2011). Research methodology: Sampling techniques. Journal of Scientific Research, 2(1), 87-92.