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HLSC122 Evidence For Practice 5

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Question:

Scenario : Mindfulness and Stress Reduction  

Steve is a millennial student (born 2000) who has unique views on how a millennial student should be taught, and how they should learn at university. He also believes that mindfulness can reduce stress and should be promoted in a learning environment,  as a strategy to promote the health and wellbeing of university students. One of his peers, Debbie,  thinks mindfulness is a millennial thing that has little value in promoting wellbeing or reducing stress. Both Steve and Debbie want to find out if practising mindfulness does actually help with reducing stress.

Clinical Question

Does practising mindfulness help in reducing  stress among university students?

 

Answer:

Introduction

According to Braun et al, (2019), critical appraisal of a research involves analyzing a literature and its main components. Some of the key elements in critical appraisal is analyzing the research methods, research designs and the results of a research. Apart from that, there is also authorship. Authorship mainly entails the details of the authors such as the experiences in the field of the research.  The topic of mindfulness and stress among the university students is a topic that have generated controversial results from researchers according to McConville et al, (2019). However, the outcome of the research mainly depend on the research methods, research design and the analysis of the information from the research. In this assignment, the goal is to critically appraise literature on mindfulness and stress among campus students. The study will also involve relating the research to the scenario provided to check its enablers and barriers.  

Authorship

The authorship in the literature is related to the experience of the authors that have been cited in the research according to Wong et al, (2017). In the article given, one strength of the authors’ affiliation is that some of the authors have experience in the department of health and stress management. One of the researchers by the name Janet McConville teaches in Victoria University as a senior lecturer. Janet might have had the opportunity to interact with students from different backgrounds and understand their behaviors and anything that lead to their stress. The second author from the list is Deborah. Deborah is a senior counsellor on the issues of stress. It gives a strong backing to this research. One main challenge from the affiliation of the authors is that they are few, three in numbers. Secondly, they come from similar geographical area and might be having similar perception and strategies in approaching a research.

Research question and justification

The best research question for this research is as follows

Does practicing mindfulness among university students’ help in stress management?

The justification for this question is that it analyzes the university student’s on the issue of impact of mindfulness on stress reduction. However, from the journal provided, the aim of the study is to explore the life experience of the third year physiotherapy students. These students are among those who took part in the six week mindful stress reduction program.  After engaging in this program the students will have different views on the issues that relate to mindfulness and stress reduction. From there the researchers can pick the students randomly and get their views on the topic.

 

Research design

The research design evident in this study is thematic analysis. It false under qualitative analysis research design according to Colorafi & Evans, (2016). The thematic analysis used in this research involve identification of specific datasets then analyzing their patterns which define their behaviors. The reason why these authors have settled on thematic analysis is that it focuses on behavior. Mindfulness is related to behavior of the individual. If students have common behaviors, it will be easy to identify. Apart from that, the fact that it needs approval from the ethical authorities shows that it puts ethical consideration during analysis according to Hoffmann et al, (2017). To avoid some sort of bias, the researchers randomly picked students from different groups. Consequently, being that many of these participants are from close institutions, they can inhibit similar traits that may be a weakness to the outcome of the research.

Research methods

In this research, the students were sampled from the group who did their six week semester program. The method applied is interview.  The students could record themselves while responding to the interview questions. The recorded voice is then sent to the researchers for examination. Even though this method is good as students could respond the questions that they may find difficult to put down in writing, the weakness is that it is challenging to determine if the voice comes from the real student according to Schweizer et al, (2016).  In the process of sampling the students, the researchers identified 123 students to take part in the interview. Unfortunately, only 17 students took the interview to the completion. The number of the students that took the interview to completion is also another weakness of the research method. It looks like biased research according to Schneider et al, (2016).

Results and limitations

The result of the interview is that six students engaged the process. There are various things that came out from the interview. One of the outcomes is that on the topic of mindfulness, many students emphasized on communication and kindness. These are the two key issues that shows whether one is aware of what he or she is doing. For example, if one is able to communicate with others effectively, it shows one’s ability to regulate on stress.

The limitation of the research lied in the number of participants who agreed to take up the interview.  Even though the researchers had identified 123 participants, only six of them took the interview to the end. Such small number reduces the accuracy of the research according to Green & Thorogood, (2018). The second limitation of this research is on the process of analyzing the students’ voices. The researcher would use consensus to agree on various issues instead of analyzing what is there. It brings some sort of bias.

Enablers and barrier

The case scenario is an enabler of this research. Steve agrees that developing teaching methods that address the needs of the students will show a sense of mindfulness. Walliman, (2017) stated that mindfulness in a way of reducing stress deals with things such as communication.  The second enabler is that the research involve students who are in campus. The barrier is that, there are other issues that cause stress among students and stress management is the best way. Secondly, the research had focused on several issues of life during the interview hence they might have missed key points.

Conclusion

The research have tried to bring out the relation between stress and mindfulness. However, their research method was a bit complex hence making it difficult to meet the real issues. Secondly, the process of analysis involved consensus. However, the research had right participants. The scenario provided also supports various aspects of the research. Mindfulness is important in the latest teaching methods to avoid huge burden to the students which may result to stress.  In future, the researchers should use more participants and simple research design method.

 

References

Braun, V., Clarke, V., Hayfield, N., Terry, G., & Liamputtong, P. (2019). Handbook of research methods in health social sciences.

Colorafi, K. J., & Evans, B. (2016). Qualitative descriptive methods in health science research. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 9(4), 16-25.

Green, J., & Thorogood, N. (2018). Qualitative methods for health research. sage.

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Del Mar, C. (2017). Evidence-Based Practice Across the Health Professions-E-pub. Elsevier Health Sciences.

McConville, J., Lewis, D., Chamber, R., & Hassed, C. (2019). Physiotherapy student experience of a mindful movement and a mindful stress-reduction intervention: A qualitative study. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 47(3), 172-182. https://doi.org/10.15619/NZJP/47.3.05

Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D., LoBiondo-Wood, G., Faan, P. R., Haber, J., & Faan, P. R. (2016). Nursing and midwifery research: Methods and appraisal for evidence based practice. Elsevier.

Schweizer, M. L., Braun, B. I., & Milstone, A. M. (2016). Research methods in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship—quasi-experimental designs. Infection control & hospital epidemiology, 37(10), 1135-1140.

Walliman, N. (2017). Research methods: The basics. Routledge.

Wong, P., Liamputtong, P., & Rawson, H. (2017). Grounded theory in health research. In Research methods in health: Foundations for evidence-based practice (pp. 138-156). Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand.

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