This paper discusses the study by Donaho et al. (2015), which is entitled “Protocol‐Driven Allied Health Post‐Discharge Transition Clinic to Reduce Hospital Readmissions in Heart Failure.” An assessment of the methodology employed by the authors of the said study is proposed. The provided questions about the research article are answered.
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Is this a quantitative or qualitative research article?
The article by Donaho et al. (2015) is a quantitative research article.
What are the problem and purpose of the research article?
The problem of the study by Donaho et al. (2015) pertains to readmissions of patients with congestive heart failure who were previously discharged from hospitals. The purpose of the research is to assess the effectiveness of a post-discharge transition clinic in lowering the rates of hospital readmissions for such patients (Donaho et al., 2015).
What are the hypotheses or research questions/objectives of the study?
The study hypothesized that creating a post-discharge transition clinic that would utilize a protocol to improve the process of transition after discharge would lower the readmission rates to the hospital (the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Texas) during 30 days after patient discharge (Donaho et al., 2015, p. 2).
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What was the design of the study?
The study was quantitative. It might be possible to state that its design was quasi-experimental, for the researchers collected data from a non-random sample of participants for whom the intervention was carried out, and compared this data to the average 30-day readmission rates for the hospital from which the participants were discharged (Donaho et al., 2015). Thus, there was an experimental group (the participants) and a control group (for whom the average 30-day readmission rates for that hospital were calculated), but no random participant assignment to groups.
If the design was modeled from previous research or pilot studies, please describe it.
In the article by Donaho et al. (2015), a study by Hernandez et al. (2010) is mentioned; the authors of the latter analyzed an early (within a week) doctor follow-up was correlated to smaller rates of hospital readmissions during 30 days after discharge. However, Donaho et al. (2015) do not state directly that they modeled their study by Hernandez et al. (2010).
What instruments and/or other measurement strategies were used in data collection?
The authors did not use any specific instruments (such as surveys) for data collection, for they only needed to calculate 30-day readmission rates of patients; however, the reasons for readmissions were recorded (Donaho et al., 2015). The data for the control group was obtained from the hospital records for the period of the study (“Hospital Compare Data Archive,” n.d.).
Was the information provided regarding the reliability and validity of the measurement instruments? If so describe.
The information about the validity and reliability of the instruments was not provided, for no specific measurement instruments were used (Donaho et al., 2015).
What procedures were used for data collection?
To collect the data, the authors recorded the number of readmissions of participants from the experimental group, and the causes of such readmissions (Donaho et al., 2015). The data about the control group was obtained from the hospital’s records.
What methods of data analysis were used?
The authors utilized statistical methods to analyze the data. The SAS software, v. 9.3, was employed for this purpose. For continuous variables (e.g., heart failure characteristics such as ejection fraction), some descriptive statistics (namely, means and standard deviations) were calculated (Donaho et al., 2015). For categorical variables, the relationships were assessed utilizing the chi-square test, with α=.05 (Donaho et al., 2015).
Were they appropriate to the design and hypotheses?
The analyses were appropriate for the design and the hypothesis of the study by Donaho et al. (2015), for it was needed to compare the readmission rates for the experimental and the control groups, and the variable measuring the readmission was categorical (readmission or no readmission).
All in all, the study by Donaho et al. (2015) employed a quasi-experimental research design. The authors used no specific measurement instruments such as surveys but compared the readmission rates for the experimental and control groups. Statistical analyses were carried out to compare the two groups. It was found out that the proposed intervention considerably and statistically significantly lowered the readmission rates among the patients (Donaho et al., 2015).
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Donaho, E. K., Hall, A. C., Gass, J. A., Elayda, M. A., Lee, V. V., Paire, S., & Meyers, D. E. (2015). Protocol‐driven allied health post‐discharge transition clinic to reduce hospital readmissions in heart failure. Journal of the American Heart Association, 4(12), e002296. Web.
Hernandez, A. F., Greiner, M. A., Fonarow, G. C., Hammill, B. G., Heidenreich, P. A., Yancy, C. W.,…Curtis, L. H. (2010). Relationship between early physician follow-up and 30-day readmission among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for heart failure. JAMA, 303(17), 1716-1722. Web.
Hospital compare data archive. (n.d.). Web.