The proposed research project is focused on the following PICOT statement:
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- (P) – new mothers after a vaginal delivery;
- (I) – lactation support phone calls after discharge;
- (C) – patients receiving no intervention;
- (O) – the increased chances of breastfeeding success;
- (T) – six weeks after delivery.
Since the project involves the implementation of a telephone-based educational intervention, it would be appropriate to conduct a range of data collection procedures with its help as well.
The process of data collection will involve a range of steps for each participant. To begin with, all women willing to participate in the RCT will be sent informed consent forms along with short demographic data surveys to be completed individually. The use of these surveys will help to analyze the characteristics of the sample, and it will include questions concerning age, education, ethnicity, first language, marital status, and current financial position.
After receiving the documents, it will be necessary to contact healthcare providers to collect the following personal medical data: whether a woman is a primipara, the presence of health concerns related to breastfeeding, the presence of chronic conditions, the health status of a mother, and a newborn baby, and a woman’s obesity status. Six weeks after labor, all participants (both intervention and comparison groups) will be contacted via phone and sent the link to a quantitative self-report questionnaire devoted to breastfeeding experiences and success.
This data collection method is widely used in various fields, including medicine and sociology (Brooks, Eley, & Zink, 2014). Its advantages are presented by the standardization of subjective experiences and the ease of use (Steenbergen, Sellaro, van Hemert, Bosch, & Colzato, 2015). Therefore, there will be two data collection points: baseline and post-intervention.
Given that recruiting women who have given birth to their babies on the same date is impossible, it will be pivotal to devote a substantial amount of time to data collection. For each of the abovementioned points, the period of time will be at least three weeks. To improve the quality of information from data sources (self-report questionnaires and demographic/patient data surveys), the research team will contact health providers to collect objective information about participants’ health situations. Also, to prevent participants from providing imprudent questionnaire responses, they will not be required to answer questions via telephone.
In order to make accurate and reliable conclusions concerning the effectiveness of telephone-based interventions for breastfeeding women, the collected data will be analyzed with the help of statistical methods. In terms of descriptive statistics, they will be used in order to generalize the characteristics of the studied sample. For instance, using such measures as mean, mode, and median, it will be possible to provide a thorough description of the sample in terms of participants’ age, educational stages, obesity status, and breastfeeding experiences (Jackson, 2016). The degree to which some social groups will be represented in the sample will enable the research team to make conclusions about the applicability of findings.
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Unlike descriptive statistics, inferential statistics are utilized to make conclusions about samples. In the proposed project, the type of inferential statistics to be used is a t-test for two independent samples, one of the most widely used parametric tests (Jackson, 2016; Rietveld & van Hout, 2015). The t-test will be conducted to test the hypothesis, according to which the implementation of telephone support interventions increases new mothers’ chances to achieve breastfeeding success. In case of differences in breastfeeding experiences between the two groups, the specified data analysis method will help to define if they are statistically significant.
The proposed project is inextricably connected with three important groups of stakeholders, and its implementation is expected to improve their experiences, effectiveness at work, and health outcomes. The first group is presented by new mothers, especially those women who have only one child. They can experience positive outcomes due to the growing access to information about the principles of successful breastfeeding.
The next group of stakeholders, newborn babies, will also benefit from the implementation of the research project. Their mothers’ growing awareness of newborns’ breastfeeding needs and proper practices is expected to ensure their successful physical and psychological development, improving the maternal bond in the meantime. Finally, in case of positive results, family nurse practitioners will be able to use the intervention in their professional practice. Implementing the intervention, will improve their personal effectiveness at work and contribute to the promotion of healthy breastfeeding practices.
In the context of my area of specialization, family nursing, the implementation of the project would cause two important changes at the micro-level presented by communications between particular clients and nurses. First, it would increase the number of widely used patient education methods and, therefore, make breastfeeding education more effective and supportive. More than that, new staff education programs would be required to ensure the quality of telephone-assisted interventions.
Dissemination of Results
The outcomes of the proposed project are expected to have practical significance for all stakeholders, and proper result dissemination methods need to be chosen to implement them into practice. All categories of stakeholders except for newborns can be informed about the results of the RCT with the help of some traditionally used methods such as presentations, brochures, and information letters disseminated via e-mail.
Considering knowledge-related differences between people with and without nursing degrees, specific materials will need to be prepared for each group of stakeholders. For instance, the handouts targeted at new mothers who seek professional nursing help will need to focus on the benefits of telephone-based interventions for women who lack the necessary skills. At the same time, to make the materials more effective for nursing specialists, it will be possible to compare the new intervention and traditional breastfeeding education in terms of costs, patient outcomes, and theoretical underpinnings.
The abovementioned methods of result dissemination will also be applicable to informing future colleagues at the facility and community levels. However, to attract the attention of wider audiences at the state and national levels, it will be vitally important to work on the creation of conference papers and academic publications in nursing journals. Therefore, the quality of the presentation will be the decisive factor in the nationwide dissemination of findings.
In the end, the proposed project is aimed at expanding knowledge about available options in patient education related to breastfeeding. In particular, it is planned to learn more about the peculiarities of telephone-based nursing interventions and their practical effectiveness for new mothers from different social and ethnic groups. As for other key points, it is worthy of note that the proposed RCT is to study the links between breastfeeding success and lactation counseling both in general and in the context of demographic differences.
Placing emphasis on factors that are potentially detrimental to the success of breastfeeding practices, it will be possible to identify sub-groups that need special attention when it comes to lactation education. As for the potential outcomes related to practice in family nursing and outpatient settings, they refer to improvements in post-discharge communication with patients. In addition to that, the project can contribute to the field and nursing practice since the proposed intervention promotes self-care, which is related to decreases in complication rates.
Brooks, K. D., Eley, D. S., & Zink, T. (2014). Profiles of rural longitudinal integrated clerkship students: A descriptive study of six consecutive student cohorts. Medical Teacher, 36(2), 148-154.
Jackson, S. L. (2016). Research methods and statistics: A critical thinking approach (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Rietveld, T., & van Hout, R. (2015). The t test and beyond: Recommendations for testing the central tendencies of two independent samples in research on speech, language and hearing pathology. Journal of Communication Disorders, 58, 158-168.
Steenbergen, L., Sellaro, R., van Hemert, S., Bosch, J. A., & Colzato, L. S. (2015). A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 48, 258-264.