Research Critique Qualitative study
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Living With Atrial Fibrillation: A Qualitative Study
Patients living with atrial fibrillation suffer daily from the side effects of their condition and the treatments pertaining to it, yet not much consideration is taken to help understand and alleviate this burden. As healthcare workers, it is our duty to research and develop innovative ways to ease suffering and provide the best care possible for those in our care. The study that is being critiqued attempts to gain insight on patient experiences of living with atrial fibrillation. This research critique will examine the study and identify its problem statement, purpose and research question, literature review, and the conceptual/ theoretical framework utilized. Problem Statement
The increased risk for stroke, diminished quality of life, and cardiomyopathy makes atrial fibrillation a public health burden. As of 2011, there were 3 million people affected by atrial fibrillation with that number expected to increase by 2.5 fold by 2050. The cost of atrial fibrillation is more than $6 billion per year. With numbers like these, it is surprising that there is not a greater amount of research concerning this topic. The study addresses the problem of limited information concerning first-hand information from patients living with atrial fibrillation as demonstrated in the review of literature within the article. The point is made that though conditions such as myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, and heart failure fall within the same rhelm as atrial fibrillation, this problem is unique to those living with it and deserves to be studied further (McCabe, Schumacher, & Barnason, 2011). Purpose and Research Questions
What is it like to live with the symptoms of atrial fibrillation? How can we manage care for our atrial fibrillation patients more effectively? What interventions can we implement to ease their suffering? These are the research questions that are asked in this study. The purpose of the study was to gain further knowledge and answer the aforementioned questions in order to improve the quality of life of patients with atrial fibrillation. Both the purpose and research questions are relevant to the topic problem, and the qualitative method of data collection is appropriate as the researchers were seeking dialogue and personal experiences of patients (McCabe, Schumacher, & Barnason, 2011). Literature Review
Part of the need for this study was due to the fact that there is very little research specifically to patients living with atrial fibrillation. The author cites only one other study that specifically pertains to the topic, however; there are numerous references to studies of similar ailments such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, and myocardial infarction. Several of the references utilized date as far back as the year 2000. It is my deduction that this was necessary due to the nature of the studies and the limited amount of information available. The author indicates the lack of studies on atrial fibrillation and the fact that the one study that they were able to find had a limited sample size and took place in only one area. Another weakness was the fact that the treatment options in some of the studies are no longer widely utilized. The use of literature review demonstrates the need for further study and supports the researchers claims (McCabe, Schumacher, & Barnason, 2011). Conceptual/ Theoretical Framework
The author did not identify a specific perspective from which the study was developed. Though there were tables listing demographic and study data, the researcher did not develop an identifiable framework or diagram as part of the findings of the study. These are topics that this author would have like to have seen included in the study as this information would provide a more complete view of the approach and mindset of the researcher. A framework or diagram of proposed interventions would have been helped to easier identify findings and suggestions for improvement in the treatment of patients living with atrial fibrillation. Conclusion
This study was able to effectively identify a need in the medical community and provide relevant and interesting feedback on its results. As with the typical qualitative study, there was little to no measurable data available to add substance for those inclined to quantitative study. This author would certainly like to see the study carried out in a mixed method manner utilizing qualitative and quantitative techniques. This author found the information presented to engaging and thought provoking and left one to seek more information on the topic.
McCabe, P. J., Schumacher, K., & Barnason, S. A. (2011). Living With Atrial Fibrillation: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 26(4), 336-344.