The research under analysis is aimed at the examination of the epidemiology of nosocomial infections in the framework of the Fiji region. The study was carried out by the local health care workers in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital that has the largest Intensive Care Units (ICU) adult ward in the area. According to the researchers, their primary concern was to elucidate the peculiarities of the relevant problem in Fiji as they are currently neglected by the world health care society (Naidu, Nabose, Ram, Viney, Graham, & Bissell, 2014).
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The paper at hand provides the analysis of the described research focusing on the aspects of the research design and methodology.
Research Design: Strengths and Weaknesses
The study represents a retrospective descriptive research with a quantitative design that bases on the data of 2011-2012. One needs to note that the initial goal set by researchers resides in describing the set of things that exists in the hospital. Specialists believe that the descriptive type of research is the most appropriate in cases when an analyst has no control over the variables but can only report on the ongoing processes (Kothari, 2004). Therefore, one might conclude that the type of the research addresses perfectly the issue under analysis and fits well the set targets.
The quantitative design is, in its turn, determined by the necessity to measure the amount of patients with nosocomial infections, gender and age correlations, as well as mortality rates. In the framework of the quantitative design, the researchers applied the inferential approach as they focused on a particular sample group and its characteristics. The selection of this type of approach seems to be reasonable as the researchers did not have any control over the environment to apply an experimental approach, nor they intended to construct an artificial environment required for a simulation approach.
The research might be referred to the exploratory type; thereby, it does not foreground an initial hypothesis but is aimed at generating it basing on the received findings. One assumes that the research design fits the initial goal of providing a general description of the epidemiology of nosocomial infections in the region.
In the meantime, many specialists tend to consider the retrospective character of a study to be a disadvantage. Thus, it is recommended that some current data is, likewise, collected so that one is able to carry out a comparative analysis (Creswell, 2013). As a result, one assumes that the implementation of current statistics is apt to assist the researchers in raising the general level of the study evidence.
The data collection was carried out in a structured proforma with the following variables indicated: the age of a patient, the data of admission to the hospital, the length of his or her stay in the ward, and the data of the specimen collection. One might suppose that a wide variety of employed variables enabled the researchers to perform a highly valid and reliable data sampling.
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One of the principal strengths of the research is the sampling methodology. Thus, the researchers applied the Probability-Proportional-to-Size Sampling. According to the specialists, the relevant method of sampling is particularly effective in providing a precise retrospective description as setting the selection probability of an element proportionally to its size measure is likely to increase the accuracy of the data (Creswell, 2013).
Therefore, the design of the analyzed research seems to be reasonably selected as it fits the researchers’ major aims. The data collection methodology is, likewise, rationally chosen, whereas the retrospective character of the study might be slightly disadvantageous from the standpoint of the level of the evidence of the study. In the meantime, one might suggest that the presented retrospective findings are valid enough to be integrated into further research on the relevant issue.
Sampling Methodology: Strengths and Weaknesses
First of all, one should note that the researchers set clear and strict sample frames for their study. Thus, their sample frames include only those patients that had clinical features of invasive sepsis (on condition that a bacterial pathogen was isolated on culture from minimum one specimen received from the patient more than 48 hours after admission to the ward). In case the sepsis did not develop within 48 hours after admission or had no clinical confirmation, the patients were considered to be unfit for the framework of the study (Naidu et al., 2014).
As it has been mentioned above, the data was collected in a structured proforma with a series of variables. One assumes that the employed data collection tool ensured a high level of data validity and relevance as it enabled the researchers to focus on the specific kind of data and exclude the unnecessary information.
Finally, the researchers applied an efficient data analyzing tool – the collected data was double entered into EpiData Association program that performed the essential calculations and generated the targeted results.
As a consequence, one might conclude that the sampling methodology applied to the relevant study guarantees the validity and the quality of the data presented.
One might conclude that the research design and the methodology of the relevant study were selected in accordance with the target-setting; thereby, they fit the initial aim of the researchers. The descriptive type of the research is appropriate for the finite goal of providing a general idea of the set of things in the region. The quantitative design fits the aim of collecting and analyzing statistics. The wide range of variables, as well as the Probability-Proportional-to-Size Sampling approach, increases the data’s validity.
Creswell, J.W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
Kothari, C.R. (2004). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. Thousand Oaks, California: New Age International.
Naidu, K., Nabose, I., Ram, S., Viney, K., Graham, S.M., & Bissell, K. (2014). A Descriptive Study of Nosocomial Infections in an Adult Intensive Care Unit in Fiji: 2011-12. Journal of Tropical Medicine, 2014(2014), 5.