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N3340 Ways of Knowing: Data Analysis

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Research Appraisal

N3340 Ways of Knowing: Data Analysis

Halla Al-Hjowj, Hong Khat, Christina Siemon & Yaoming Kuang

Western-Fanshawe Collaborative BScN Program

November 30, 2015

The subsequent questions are built on the article by Birkeland & Natvig (2009, p257-264)

Brief article summary

Through the use of qualitative approach, this article explores how elderly people, age >70 cope with their dysfunctions while living alone receiving some help from the nursing home care. The number Elderly people are increasing gradually, estimated to be 1.1 million in 2045 (Birkeland & Natvig, 2009). Coping in this article is referred to the “changing in cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage internal or external demands that are appraised as exceeding the resources of the person”(Bireland & Natvig, p.258, 2009).  This study looks at two types of coping: problem coping and emotionally focused coping. Problem coping is changing the environment or oneself.  While, emotional coping is changing a stressful relationship with the environment.  The individuals were randomly selected from home care nursing over a 12-month period. They were videotaped and interviewed using semi-structured research method. A hermeneutic approach was used for understanding the core elements. Results show that the elderly learned to accept their situation, perform tasks that are able to do, and create new rhythms.  However, there was a sense of frustration, desperation and resignation (Birkeland & Natvig, 2009).


The purpose of the study is to identify how elderly cope with sickness while living alone in their own home with minimum help from community nurses. There are many studies about how elderly experience their social situation but a lack of studies about how elderly cope with living alone in addition to their unhealthy. The researcher conducts the study by using phenomenological method and hermeneutic approach. This method is used to understand and find the meaning of human experience (LoBiondo-Wood, Haber, Cameron & Singh, 2013). In regards to the article, the primary outcome of the research is to understand the experience of elderly population living alone at home. Therefore, understanding the experience is a subjective measurement, and phenomenological is part of qualitative research. Qualitative research methods measure data using subjective standpoint. As a result, the purpose of this study is appropriate.


        In order for the research to conduct is study, they got approval from the Norwegian Ethical Committee for Medical Research and Norwegian Social Science Data services. Elderly is a vulnerable group who has limited authority and limited capacity to act independently (Houghton, Casey, Shaw & Murphy, 2013). Therefore, the participants were asked for consent and the recruitment must be done by community nurses who are familiar to their clients. By informing consent the researcher can inform the participants about the risks and benefits of the study, responsibility and their rights to withdraw any time of the study period, and enable them to make decision about participating. Respecting a participant’s autonomy in decision making means that an individual is considered as an autonomous person and taking actions based on their personal values and beliefs (LoBiondo-Wood, Haber, Cameron & Singh, 2013). . Ethical consideration were not specified, but were indeed present. Respect for person persons, beneficence and justice are the three principles that needed to determine whether ethical concerns were appropriately consider.

Sampling method and Recruitment method

The sampling strategy used in this study was snowballing. The researcher contacted informants to use their social networks to refer the researcher to people could be potential to participate or contribute to the study. The research used this method to reach out to populations that are not easily to contact and to expand the character of the sample in order to make representation of the general population among whom these hidden populations reside (Sadler, Lee, Seung-Hwan Lim, & Fullerton, 2010). The sampling method is appropriate due to elderly population is a vulnerable group that is hard to get contact with. Also, the research had mentioned about the difficulty recruiting participants due to lack of interest of the study. So, by using snowballing method will help the researcher recruiting participants more easily and it saves a lot of time. The researcher randomly selected three home nursing cared districts in two municipalities over a 12 months period. First, they gave information to the home nursing care services and afterwards to the clients. The participants were selected by community nurses because community nurses are more familiar to the patients and understand more about their health. So, if the participants are not healthy enough then the nurses would not recommend them to participate in the study. Also, inclusion criteria were used to determine if participants are appropriate to participate in the study or not. It is important for researcher make these criteria clear to the reader and the participants. Proper selection of the inclusion criteria will increase the external and internal validity of the study (Salkind, 2010).

Data collection and data analysis

        The primary source of data was audio recorded of the semi-structured interview. The research did one long interview with each participants by using semi-structured interview. The semi-structured interview allows the research bring new ideas to be brought during the interview as a result of what the participant says (Ibrahim, & Edgley, 2015). Also, it allows participants the freedom to express their view and opinion. Therefore, data collection was appropriate in this study because the primary purpose of the study is to understand how the elderly cope with their sickness inaddition to living alone. The research indicates that analyzed the data for themes. The data analysis of this study consists of several stages. Those stages consisted of analyzing and interpreting the interview that lead to the themes. Data analysis is appropriate because the goal of data analysis are to make sense out of each data collection, to look for patterns and relationship, and to make general discussion about the phenomena researcher is researching (Glaser & Laudel, 2013).


The measure of rigor in qualitative research is trustworthiness. Rigor includes the concepts of credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability. Credibility is member checking and verifying the accuracy of participants’ responses. The researcher seeks to ensure that their study measures what is actually intended (LoBiondo-Wood, Haber, Cameron & Singh, 2013). Therefore, the study is not credible because the findings were not presented to the participants after interview to ensure the information is accurate. Transferability is an external validity that concerned with the extent to which the findings of the study can be applied to other (LoBiondo-Wood, Haber, Cameron & Singh, 2013).Transferability was seen because the findings are applicable to other groups of population who have sickness and live alone, they can make a connection between elements of the study and their own experiences. Dependability ensures that the findings are consistent and can be repeated, and confirmability is how the research findings are supported by the data collected and unbiased (Houghton, Casey, Shaw & Murphy, 2013). These two are presented because researchers were able to explain the steps they followed in order to collect information from the participants, and how they viewed the data.



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