There is no doubt that practices applied by nurses have a significant influence on the quality of lives of patients. In his article, Stavrianopoulos (2016) evaluates the effectiveness of one of the methods utilized by nurses working with patients who suffer from heart failure – regular telephone conversations between patients and their healthcare specialists. The need for such research is connected with the mortality rates that are still high in people with heart failure. The purpose of the given paper is to identify strengths and weaknesses of the article to understand its implications to nursing practice.
As for research question that the author of the article was using, we wanted to define whether intervention involving telephone communication could have a positive impact on their life quality and general state. To me, it seems that the research question has been formulated with regard to the facts of modern life; it is possible that the author has chosen the topic due to the urgent need for implementation of popular means of communication to nursing practice. Therefore, the research question reflects the current trend to deliver services via digital devices, the tendency which is successfully implemented in different spheres.
In reference to the research design, the article presents the results of a quantitative study involving the use of a questionnaire. Speaking about the strengths of the design, it is important to state that it allows researchers to analyze the objective data reported by the participants. More than that, the use of statistic analysis helps to summarize the objective data and make credible conclusions. At the same time, such research design does not help to focus on subjective perceptions of patients which are also relevant to the issue (Choy, 2014). The author could prefer this research design to others as he wanted to give special consideration to measurable changes in patients’ lives.
The sample chosen by the author includes 50 patients older than 18 who suffer from heart failure. The patients were divided into two equal groups. As for the appropriateness of the sample size, I suppose that it is a point at issue. To me, it seems that the experience of 50 participants is enough to outline the main tendencies, but the results that can be implemented on a global level cannot be retrieved with the use of such sample. In connection to the intent of the study, the number of participants seems to be deficient, and the author recognizes this fact as well.
Data Collection Methods
To collect the data, the author of the study has developed a questionnaire which included the questions related to personal details, social position, and current health condition of the participants. Apart from that, the tools used by the author included the questions from MLHFQ and the software for conducting statistical analysis (Munyombwe et al., 2014). Therefore, the data was collected by the author whereas the conversations were conducted by four nursing specialists. Due to ethical considerations, the results of underage patients were excluded. The gaps related to methods have not been identified.
In general, the limitations that can be identified include a relatively small number of participants whose results were analyzed. Despite that, according to the author of the research, it was quite difficult to summarize the results. Apart from that, there are certain limitations related to the way that the participants were completing the questionnaire; in fact, certain results may lack credibility as the participants could change the answers and, therefore, misrepresent the real situation. To overcome the limitations, it may be necessary to conduct one more study in collaboration with other researchers to significantly increase the number of participants. Limitations need to be discussed within studies as they demonstrate the author’s unbiased approach and indicate that the results cannot be applied universally.
As for the findings, the author of the article states that the intervention involving the use of telephone conversations led by qualified specialists can be regarded as the measure that significantly improves the quality of life in adult patients suffering from health failure. As is clear, the given conclusion fully answers the research question identified by the author prior to the analysis. In general, the findings reported by the author can be regarded as credible as the methods that have been used for statistical analysis are transparent. At the same time, it cannot be said that all participants were sincere while completing the questionnaire; therefore, it cannot be excluded that some of them have overstated the effectiveness of the initiative just to give proper respect to specialists working with them.
In general, it can be stated that the author was using reliable methods and proper resources to conduct the research. The findings reported by the author and the conclusions answer the research question. Despite that, there are certain limitations that have a negative influence on credibility of the results: the sample is relatively small, and the participants could be subjective while completing the questionnaire. Despite that, I suppose that the results can be implemented into practice in certain settings, and they can be applied nationwide once confirmed by other researchers. In the end, the article can be regarded as significant for the field.
Choy, L. T. (2014). The strengths and weaknesses of research methodology: Comparison and complimentary between qualitative and quantitative approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(4), 99-104.
Munyombwe, T., Höfer, S., Fitzsimons, D., Thompson, D. R., Lane, D., Smith, K., & Astin, F. (2014). An evaluation of the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire using Rasch analysis. Quality of Life Research, 23(6), 1753-1765.
Stavrianopoulos, T. (2016). Impact of a nurses-led telephone intervention program on the quality of life in patients with heart failure in a district hospital of Greece. Health Science Journal, 10(4), 1-8.