PD2 research process to professional practice. The

PD2 – CRITIQUING G1 RESEARCH

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

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The purpose of this assignment is to critique and evaluate the chosen article in terms of strengths and weaknesses to demonstrate an understanding of the research process to professional practice.

The chosen article is “Moderating the stereotypical views of health and care students: The role of interprofessional education” using the Cormack’s critiquing framework. I chose this piece of research, as it was easy to read and understand. The article was also of some similarity to social work practice hence I was able to understand the context. This piece of research also complemented the critiquing framework, as I was able to annotate clearly and in depth.G2 

The article is an example of how evidence-based practice is shown and evaluated.G3 

Evidence-basG4 ed practice (EBP) is defined as the use of current and valid evidence in making decisions (Webber, 2014). A process in which the practitioner supports the service user with well-researched interventions alongside the practitioner use of their expertise, ethics and service users preferences and culture into consideration when supporting decision making process and delivery of services (Bilson, 2005). I chose Cormack’s critiquing framework as most of the questions being asked are applicable to this article and the framework is simple to follow and expand on.G5  G6 G7 

 

The aim of the study

 

The aim of the study is to assess whether interprofessional education (IPE) has an influence on the views perceived by health and social care students. In addition, whether stereotypical views of different professions can change, from the first year to their final year of their undergraduate education whilst undertaking the Common Learning (CL) programme in an IPE module.  As well as assessing whether there is a clear variation from the students that studied this module and the students that did not as well as looking at the views of other interprofessional undergraduates.

Researchers identified two theories within the article. Contact Hypothesis G8 (Allport, 1954) and social identity theory (Tajerfel, 1981) are identified specifically in the article. These theories provided a framework to whether there is a possibility that interprofessional programs can change or even reduce prejudice and negative stereotyping. Though there is no concrete evidence to support that IPE can change people’s beliefs and views.G9 

The theory can be linked to social work practice; social identity is a key in practice, as social workers believe that individualism is what makes each type of support different (Maclean and Harrison, 2015). Social identity is a sense of group belonging whether it is within their own family or in a wider context, the socG10 iety and social groups they feel they fit in. This is vital to a social worker as it gives a full picture of how the person views themselves within society and also how societal views can impact an individual (Trevithick, 2011).

Social learning theory (Banduara, 1960) is the understanding that people learn through observing others. Social learning theory also explains how people can learn new behaviours, attitudes as well as change their views and values  (Maclean and Harrison, 2015). Social learning theory can be useful for social work practice as practitioners can use this framework to support an individual with negative behaviour or views. The research did not mention this theory though it does use concepts the students learning a new view in order to change their current views and beliefs of other professionals.

 

Design/ methodology

 

The article was a quantitative piece of research, which generated an easy to read numerical data that was simple to analyse the results.

There are two types of research methods; quantitative and qualitative these are used to measure particular data gathered in research (Orme and Shemmings, 2010).

Quantitative research methods are used to quantify the question by producing numerical and measurable data that can be used to quantify opinions and behaviours (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). Quantitative methods include questionnaires, telephone interviews, and online pollsG11 . In comparison, qG12 ualitative research methods are primary research tasks that are used to gain an understanding of opinions and behaviours (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). Qualitative methods include focus groups, interviews, and observations.G13  Triangulation is another method that can be used in research. Triangulation means using more than one method to collect data on the same research topic, this ensures the validity of the data, through cross verification G14 from two or more sources. Though there was no sign of triangulation method used in this research article, though had it been used, it would have strengthened the validity results of the research (Shaw, 2013).

 

The research used a quaG15 si-experimental research design. A quasi-experiment is a study that assesses the impact of an intervention on a particular chosen group. Most quasi-experiments designs have a comparison group pre-test/ post-test. It focuses on an element that the researcher can control the experimentG16  (Shaw, 2013). Though this might be a benefit, it can hinder the research, as there is a lack of validity.  The use of a pre-test and post-test meant they had evidence for comparison. Pre-test and pro-test research designs G17 G18 G19 G20 are suitable for this research as it measuring the stereotypical views of G21 health and social care students over the course of their undergraduate degree. The comparison group consisted of students did not take part in the Common Learning (CL) and the intervention group that did take part. Though the intervention group had an addition of audiology students, which the comparison group did not, this could have affected the results.G22 G23 G24 

 

The design of the research does support social work practice, as social workers are familiar wiG25 th working with other professionalsG26  to support or gain additional information about individualsG27 G28 . It is also essential in social work practice, that our beliefs and views of professionals are not stereotypical (Whittaker, 2012). Furthermore ensuring social workers and other professionals’ work collaborative with each other to guarantee that there is shared knowledge that can help support individuals (Crawford, 2012). Additionally having the awareness that as humans we naturally pre-judged and conceive stereotypes due to society or personal beliefs (British Association of Social Workers, 2012). As social workers being aware of this can help in acknowledging that our personal beliefs may obstruct G29 G30 and impact on our practitioner’s views and beliefs, however, we need to ensure that we are putting our social work viewsG31 G32  and beliefs first.G33 G34 G35 G36 

The research design hoped to achieve an understanding of whether there is a difference in two different styles of learningG37 . In addition, the designG38  hoped to gain evidence as to whether learned behaviour could G39 change views throughout years of studying.G40 G41 G42 

 

Sample

 

The sampling technique that was used convenience sampling probability and statistical sampling. Convenience sampling is a non-probability G43 sampling; the participants are selected because of their accessibility to the researcher (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). Advantages of this technique are that allows the researcher to conduct the study without complications they may receive if conducting a random sampling. Disadvantages of this technique can be a biased sampling G44 and are not representative of the population. G45 Statistical sampling is when the researcher aims to draw conclusions for the whole population after conducting the study taken from the same population (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). Advantages of this technique are that it allows the researchers to estimate the potential number of participants that can be included in the sample as well as decide the duration of the study. Disadvantages of this technique are the risk of incorrect rejection, the results they receive from the study may not hold the same perception as the population. G46 G47 G48 G49 G50 

           

There was a particular selection of participants; these were students studying health and social care in 2003, who took part in the CL programme that was incorporated into their learning. The comparison group was alsoG51  health and social care students who started their studies in 2002, but they did not take part of the CL programme. It was selected, as the aim of the research was to gain an understanding if there are pre-conceived stereotypical beliefs about certain health and social care professions (Crawford, 2012).G52 G53 

The number of the participants was not exclusively selected they used participants that fit into that category.

 

Overall the study could be generalised to other student studying the same undergraduate degreeG54 s. Generalisability is research findings that can be applied another setting than the one it was tested in. The sample can be generalised as it can be used in any interprofessional career such as nurses, occupational therapists, and social workG55 ers. Though the sample may have been more applicable, if other professional groups also took part in the research such as the police. G56 G57 

There are some limitations to the sample groups. The first limitation is that healtG58 h and social care students’ chosen in the comparison group, did not have audiologists students, this then reduces the chance of generalisation and validity. Secondly, students were chosen from particular universitiesG59 , this might have affected the data results. The geographical placement of those universities may have changed the results found.  G60 

 

Data collection methods

 

The data for the research was collected through self- completed questionnaires, which the participants were asked to score answers using, a five-point Likert scale:  5 rating of very high to 1 being very low.  G61 

Questionnaires can be designed in three ways, structured, semi-structured and unstructured. A structured questionnaire is rigid, with G62 G63 responses, which you either tick such as yes or no, or select from a list of options. Structured questionnaires data are quantitative. Semi-structured questionnaires include a combination of rigid questions, as well as a range of open-ended options giving the participant a chance for further explanation.G64  Un-structured questionnaires include G65 open-ended questions, which gives the participant more freedom to give responses in as much depth as they wish. G66 G67 G68 G69 

The research used structured questionnaires; the Likert scale that had a pre- categorised options for the participants to choose from.

The advantages of self-completed questionnaires are that they are cheap and easy to produce; the only cost may be printing or the postage. In addition, it reduces biasing errors that G70 might be caused in face-to-face interviews, due to the preference of the interviewer.

The disadvantages of self-completed questionnaires are the questions to ask have to be simple and short so there is no chance for a misunderstanding.  Another disadvantage is that there is no opportunity to probe for further explanations on answers.

Other methods that can be used for data collection are interviews and focus groups. Though there are limitations with both methods. A limitation for interviews is, it limits the sample size, as there would need to be enough staff to interview the participants. In addition, the quality of the data may change and vary from different interviewers. A limitation for focus groups they can be hard to analyse and generate data from. Furthermore, there can be disagreements and G71 G72 irrelevant discussions that can lead to distracting of the study or question being asked.G73 

 

Data analysis and results

 

The results of G74 the study showed that there was a notion of pre-conceived stereotyping within health and social care students, as there was a change in results from the first study and the final study. The results are reliable as there is evidence shown in the graphs generated from the study. However, there is always an unreliability result due to researcher being biased about their study. As G75 G76 well as answers from the questionnaire not being recorded into the database correctly. G77 G78 

The results show that the students that took part in the CL programme; through to their final year maintained a generally positive view of other professions. G79 The results establish that the beliefs of these professions have become less amplified. This meaning that the beliefs are not as extreme as thought to have been suggested at the beginning of the study.

 

The research paper was reported in its entirety. If the research had not been reported entirely there could be crucial information that could change the perspective of the reader.

The article does not state the software packages used. SPSS is a general statistical package that is used in academic research used to analyse and generate numerical data; Excel and Word packages are compatible with this package. Word would have been used to construct the questionnaire.

 

Ethical considerations

 

The researchers confirmed that the study was ethically conducted, they also ensured someone independent was appointed, that had no involvement in the study, was there if students had any issues relating to the study. This gave G80 the research more validity, as there was no unfairness (British Association of Social Workers, 2012). The health and social care students from both universities were invited to participate in the questionnaire. The research does state that the participants who took part in the study gave written informed consent. The participants were given a vague outline about the study from the questions on the questionnaire. The article also does not state whether the participants knew what was being measured by their answers.  G81 G82 G83 G84 

The participants may not have been able to weigh up the benefits of the study at the beginning of their first year, however, some participants may have been able to weigh up the benefits in their fiG85 nal year. Though students’ attitudes towards other healthcare professions may have changed in their final year, due to becoming aware of the stereotyping that can occur as a result of the CL programme seeing how their views can change over years of learning.

 

The research was peer-reviewed G86 and there is a clear indication of this in the article as it shows the dates in which the article was received and revise and also when it was published.

The researchers for this piece of research are qualified to conduct this research article, as both are members of staff within health and social care subject at a university.

 

Conclusion

 

To summarise this research articles aim was clear and simple for the reader to understand. The results are an indication that though the hypothesis was suggested and theorised, evidence can sometimes not favour the hypothesis. Though ensuring that there is evidence gives the study more validity. Also guaranteeing that ethical procedures are followed through, allows for the study is fair and impartial (Jasper, 2013). The range of participants in the study was drawn from similar G87 universities and also drawn from particular undergraduate courses. The data collection method was well thought about and used this to their advantage as they had a large sample size. G88 

I have gained a wider understanding as to why research is done and how research is conducted. I have also learned that social work practice relies on research to G89 coincide with practice (Bilson, 2005). Relying solely on theoretical approaches and knowledge can reduce strength in the practitioner’s practice. G90 It can also lead to social workers not believing in the way they practice which in turn can lead to the support for the individual not being accurate or the individual having no confidence in the social worker (Trevithick, 2011).G91 

Research is able to show how intervention can support individuals due to the evidence gained from it. When there is evidence it makes supporting the individuals easier as it has been tested and reviewed by professionals (Webber, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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