Descriptive research design, mixed methods, and meta-analysis

Descriptive research design, mixed methods, and meta-analysis highlighted in Chapter 6. Also, we will review Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies covered in Chapter 7.

Take a moment to review the listed publications and videos below to help bring clarity and supplement your course readings as you progress through our course.

Descriptive Research

Descriptive research is a study designed to depict the participants in an accurate way. More simply put, descriptive analysis is all about describing people who take part in the survey.

There are three ways a researcher can go about doing a descriptive research project, and they are:

  • Observational, defined as a method of viewing and recording the participants
  • Case study, defined as an in-depth study of an individual or group of individuals
  • Survey, defined as a brief interview or discussion with an individual about a specific topic

Descriptive Blog: The 3 Basic Types of Descriptive Research Methods

https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-3-basic-types-of-descriptive-research-methods/

Video: Descriptive Research Design

Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research (Extracted from the article below) is the use of quantitative and qualitative methods in a single study or series of studies. It is a new methodology that is increasingly used by health researchers, especially within health services research. There is a growing literature on the theory, design, and critical appraisal of mixed methods research. However, few papers summarize this methodological approach for health practitioners who wish to conduct or critically engage with mixed methods studies.

Article: Using Mixed Methods in Health Research

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697857/

Mixed Methods

Meta-Analysis

Metaanalysis is a statistical technique for combining data from multiple studies on a particular topic. A Meta-analysis is an analytical tool for estimating the mean and variance of underlying population effects from a collection of empirical studies addressing ostensibly the same research question. Meta‐analysis has become an increasingly popular and valuable tool in psychological research, and significant review articles typically employ these methods.

Article: Meta-Analysis in Medical Research

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3049418/

Video Meta-Analysis (An Introduction)

Epidemiology

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Epidemiology is the method used to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations. In epidemiology, the patient is the community and individuals are viewed collectively. By definition, epidemiology is the study (scientific, systematic, and data-driven) of the distribution (frequency, pattern) and determinants (causes, risk factors) of health-related states and events (not just diseases) in specified populations (neighborhood, school, city, state, country, global).

Article: Epidemiology is a Science of High Importance

Click to access s41467-018-04243-3.pdf

Video: Epidemiology

Longitudinal Studies

Longitudinal Study, an epidemiologic study that follows a population forward over time, evaluating the effects of one or more variables on a process. If individuals are followed, it is termed a longitudinal cohort study. If classes—e.g., age classes—are studied, it is a longitudinal cross-sectional study. Longitudinal studies are the converse (opposite) of horizontal (parallel) studies.

Article Longitudinal Studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4669300/

Video (A Lecture Recording): Longitudinal Studies

This week we will have a discussion question that is due. Remember, your initiation post is due by Wednesday and two follow up responses are due by Saturday night. Please refer to your course syllabus for the grading rubric that is required.

Discussion Question – Week Five

Based on your course reading assignments and your pending research problem, what type of study do you believe you are conducting, and please explain why?

Expert Solution Preview

Introduction:
As a medical professor, it is important to understand and teach students about research designs and methods that are commonly used in medical studies. In this response, I will discuss the different types of research designs highlighted in Chapter 6, as well as the epidemiology and longitudinal studies covered in Chapter 7.

Descriptive Research Design:
Descriptive research design is a study that is designed to accurately depict participants in a study. In my opinion, if I were conducting a study on a new drug that was recently introduced to the market, I would choose the survey method as my descriptive research design. This is because I want to know more about how patients feel about the new drug and its side effects. A survey would allow me to gather information from a large number of patients, quickly and easily. This information could help me make conclusions about the drug’s effectiveness and any concerns that patients may have.

Mixed Methods Research:
Mixed methods research involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods in a single study or series of studies. If I were conducting a study on healthcare workers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, I would choose mixed methods research. This is because the pandemic has affected many aspects of healthcare, and I would want to use both quantitative data (such as the number of infections and deaths among healthcare workers) as well as qualitative data (such as interviews with healthcare workers) to get a better understanding of the situation.

Meta-Analysis:
Meta-analysis is a statistical method for combining data from multiple studies on a particular topic. If I were conducting a study on the effectiveness of different treatments for a specific disease, I would use meta-analysis. This is because I want to gather data from multiple studies to determine which treatment is the most effective. By combining data from multiple studies, I can obtain a more accurate estimate of the treatment’s effectiveness.

Epidemiology and Longitudinal Studies:
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events in populations, while longitudinal studies follow a population forward over time to evaluate the effects of one or more variables on a process. If I were conducting a study on the prevalence of a particular disease in a specific population, I would use epidemiology. This is because I want to understand the frequency and distribution of the disease in that population. If I were conducting a study on the long-term effects of a drug on patients, I would use a longitudinal study. This is because I want to evaluate the effects of the drug over a long period of time and understand how it affects patients in the long run.

Conclusion:
As a medical professor, it is important to understand different research designs and methods that are commonly used in medical studies. By understanding these methods, students can conduct research that is accurate and informative, and can contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge.

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