Postmenopausal Women with Breast Cancer

Words: 1659
Topic: Health & Medicine


Quantitative research entails objectivity as well as generalization of results (Moballeghi & Moghaddam, 2008). This research critique is a review of the article, Experience of adjuvant treatment among postmenopausal women with breast cancer: health-related quality of life, symptom experience, stressful events and coping strategies, by Maria Browall. The critique will use questions prepared in advance to assess the article.

Approval and participants

This research was funded using federal money, and thus the researcher obtained consent from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) (Browall, 2008). The participants were required to provide a written consent on their acceptance to participate in the research. Participants were guaranteed confidentiality throughout the process.

The researcher emphasized that the information was to be used for the research only, and thus it would remain confidential. The researcher based her research on persons vulnerable to the condition and the participants were thus required to have attained the age of 55 years. Participants participated freely in the program and no coercion or duress was used to compel anyone to participate in the study. In addition, participants were at liberty to withdrawal from the process at any stage.

The participants were provided with the information regarding the research coupled with the opportunity to seek more information on the same. Registered nurses in the selected hospitals acted as a venue through which the participants would acquire such information. Evidently, the benefits accruing from participation were more than the risks involved since the information provided was only used under the watch of the researcher, thus avoiding leakages of such confidential information. However, the study did not allow the participants to access the results.

Research question and study variables

The research question is well defined in the thesis statement. The author indicates that the research was meant to investigate the experience of adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) amongst females who have attained menopause on top of having breast cancer (Browall, 2008). The author describes the problem of the study by providing an opening statement on the research objectives. The research comprised a population of 150 women whereby 75 received CT treatments, while the rest received RT treatments.

However, the number reduced as the study advanced due to dropouts and withdrawals for various reasons. Empirical data was obtained from the participants using questionnaires. The study was ethical as it observed the requirements of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (Browall, 2008). The feasibility of the research is evident as the methods used are practical coupled with embracing controls.

The study is significant to the nursing practice since it investigates breast cancer in older groups, which has become a life-threatening medical condition all over the world. The findings of the research, if well implemented in the nursing practice, can go a long way in bettering health provision to cancer patients. The study is quantitative since it involved objectivity and controls and the results were to be generalized (Bryman, 2007).

Literature review and sources

The literature review is brief, but comprehensive. It covers the objectives of the research coupled with reviewing the sources used in the study. The literature review is concise and it flows logically by observing the purpose and objectives of the research. The author was selective in choosing the sources to incorporate in the study and only the relevant sources were used to support the research. The author analyzed the sources critically before referencing. The author skillfully used both the classic and current sources to illustrate her source of ideas.

The author used paraphrasing in most instances. However, the author also used some few direct quotes in the essay. The author utilized both supporting and opposing theories throughout the essay. The sources used in the research were mainly primary. The sources used fit the research since they only give firsthand information, and thus they cannot lead to an automatic conclusion before the research is finalized. The referencing and in text citations were done in APA style and thus they are free from errors.


The author points out and explains the framework on which the research is based. The research framework is borrowed from the available literature in the nursing field. It seeks to confirm the existing literature on the same topic (Sousa, Driessnack, & Mendes, 2007). The framework is based on literatures and certain theories on nursing. The framework best suits the research since it forms the basis through which the researcher is entitled to investigate and it lays the challenges that the author is to expect in the course of the research. The concepts of the literature that the research is based on are laid down and explained in the paper. The author thoughtfully evaluates the different concepts and analyses their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the author analyses the concepts, depicts their relationships, and clearly explains the relationships. The author skillfully analyses and presents the concepts in the paper. The author presents a propositional statement that she uses as a guideline to tackling the research question. The researcher compares the results of her findings with the study framework laid at the beginning of the study. The study findings are consistent with the study framework set at the beginning of the research. Definition of the key theoretical terms and variables that the research is investigating is given to facilitate follow up. A systematic guide to the process of the research is given and the study follows the outlined guidelines.


The study is based on the hypothesis that adjuvant treatment in postmenopausal women produces some side effects. The other hypothesis is to investigate the effect of age on treatment of breast cancer. The hypotheses are clearly stated and they are consistent with the aim of the study. The first hypothesis is stated clearly in the declarative statement.

The hypotheses are well tied with the research question. A population supports each hypothesis and each has at least two variables. The hypotheses are not directional, but the reader can easily determine the type of each hypothesis from the paper outline. The study has a well-established framework and the hypotheses are drawn from the framework. The hypotheses can be tested empirically through quantitative methods. Each hypothesis contains only one prediction.

Study design

The study used experimental design whereby the sample was divided into two. One group received radioactive treatment while the other received chemotherapy. The design is appropriate since it would answer the research question appropriately by giving room for controls. The two treatments were administered to the two groups simultaneously.

In a bid to control threats to internal validity, the participants were assured of confidentiality of the information given in order to avoid dropouts and maintain the sample size for ease of generalization of results (Babbie, 2010). Participants were also consecutively included in the research in order to maintain internal validity.

The homogeneity of questionnaires and the diagnosis are among the controls used to maintain external validity. The study divided the sample into two. The essay explains well how the groups were divided with 75 participants in the experimental group while 75 others were assigned to the control group. The research design allows for determination of cause-and-effect relationship. The division of the sample into two, experimental, and control enabled the researcher to draw a cause-and-effect relationship.

Study approach

This research was conducted using quantitative method. The nature of the research facilitated the use of this method. Qualitative method would not be effective for this research, but it would be integrated with the quantitative method to provide results that are more reliable. The study was based on the subjects’ needs and it investigated the effectiveness of cancer treatments in the older groups.

It was based on real human experiences since it invoked the elder women suffering from cancer and it evaluated the results out of treatment by either adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) or radioactivity treatments (RT). The findings of the research if implemented in the medical practice will help in improving treatment of cancer in old women. From the research, it is evident that nausea and vomiting are common during treatment and measures aimed at preventing the two side effects should be adopted.

The participants of the study were recruited under the watch of registered nurses from different hospitals. In a bid to qualify for inclusion, one had to be a woman aged above 55 years and suffering from breast cancer. The sample included all who were eligible for inclusion though the number reduced due to dropouts. The findings of the research are outlined clearly, discussed individually, and recommendations made accordingly. The limitations to the study are also outlined in the paper. The study outlines issues such as small sample size and dropouts as the major limitations to the study since small sample size is a hindrance to generalization of the results.

The researcher acknowledge that a research gap still exists and she recommends that more research should be carried out using both quantitative and qualitative methods and larger sample sizes in order to come up with a more solid findings on which generalization can be based on. More research based on aggressive adjuvant treatment is recommended.

However, the research acts as the basis through which more studies can be conducted. The research found that age did not have effect on overall quality of life in the targeted group. More research to verify this concept is required. Data collection was done through questionnaires prepared in advance and each participant was required to fill in the relevant information.

In addition to questionnaires, interviews were also used to collect data. The article analyses deeply the process of data collection and recording. The researchers adopted measures to reduce or eliminate bias in the collection and recording of data by using questionnaires, which the participants would individually fill in their information. Each participant was given equal time to participate in the interviews. The author adopted statistical methods to analyze the data, which is a suitable method consistent with the quantitative method of data collection and the purpose of the research.


Babbie, E. (2010). The Practice of Social Research. Belmont, CA: Cengage.

Browall, M. (2008). Experience of adjuvant treatment among postmenopausal women with breast cancer: health-related quality of life, symptom experience, stressful events and coping strategies.

Bryman, A. (2007). Barriers to Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 8-22.

Moballeghi, M., & Moghaddam, G. (2008). How do we measure use of scientific journals? A note on research methodologies. Scientometrics, 76(1), 125–133.

Sousa, V., Driessnack, M., & Mendes, I. (2007). An overview of research designs relevant to nursing: part 1: quantitative research designs. Rev Latino-am Enfermage, 15(3), 502-507.