This paper includes an evaluation of the research method and validity of the research concerning the efficacy of the training on the use of female condoms. It is stated that the design method is selected effectively, but there are some threats to internal and external validity.
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Experimental design is often used in medical settings. Creswell (2009) notes that the excessive use of this method raised many questions concerning the validity of the research in the first part of the 20th century. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the right design has been chosen, and the validity has been ensured. Drost (2011) stresses that the validity and reliability of the research should be a priority of researchers. Two types of validity, internal and external, have been seen as the most relevant (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2008). The article in question will be assessed in terms of these two types of validity.
The article under consideration deals with the efficiency of the training on the use of female condoms. Choi et al. (2008) chose a randomized controlled trial, and this design is consistent with the major goals of the study, to assess the efficacy of the training program. It is possible to note that the study in question is the static group comparison, which is effective in measuring people’s behavior in clinical as well as other settings (Gravetter & Forzano, 2015). It is possible to note that the randomization of the participants does not include any bias.
Validity of the Research
As far as the validity of the study in question is concerned, some issues can be identified. McBurney and White (2009) single out the following threats to the internal validity: history, maturation, testing, instrumentation, statistical regression, selection of subjects, experimental mortality, selection-maturation interaction, and John Henry effect. The study under consideration can be characterized by such threats as history and the John Henry effect. Thus, many changes could happen in the samples’ lives. For instance, they could start living with a partner, while others could reconsider their behavior and focus on study with no sexual contact. As for the John Henry effect, samples could try to use the female condom more often to have a positive image during the sessions. To mitigate these threats, the researchers had to make the samples complete a brief questionnaire at the beginning of each session. The samples had to be informed about the importance of truthful data.
As far as external validity is concerned, researchers identify such threats as selection bias, methods, and confounding, history and maturation as well as the difference between the real and experimental settings (McBurney & White, 2009). The research in question can be associated with the selection bias based on the volunteer bias. Admittedly, people who agree to participate in the research can have their reasons for that. It is impossible to mitigate completely this threat as the research presupposes the participation of people in a particular program. History is also a threat to the external validity of this research as the results can hardly be generalized since the researchers cannot be sure that other people’s backgrounds and events in life will not affect the outcomes of the training.
On balance, it is possible to note that this research is based on the design method that effectively addresses the goals of the research. However, there are certain threats to internal (history and Henry Ford effect) and external (volunteer bias and history) validity.
Choi, K.H., Hoff, C., Gregorich, S.E., Grinstead, O., Gomez, C., & Hussey, W. (2008). The efficacy of female condom skills training in HIV risk reduction among women: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Public Health, 98(10), 1841-1848.
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Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Drost, E.A. (2011).Validity and reliability in social science research. Education Research and Perspectives, 38(1), 105-123.
Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (2008). Research methods in the social sciences. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Gravetter, F., & Forzano, L.A. (2015). Research methods for the behavioral sciences. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
McBurney, D., & White, T. (2009). Research Methods. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.