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Research Background

Choose a case and write a report on the ethics issues that may happen. You need to consider both pros and cons of certain type of research. Together with the ethics issues you will consider in the chosen case, you also need to provide the response plan to solve the problems according to the ethics policies, principles, rules in VU, VIC state and Australia.

Quality of sleep is extremely important for maintaining a healthy life. A good night’s sleep can bring benefits to hearth, mind, weight and many more things (Curcio et al., 2013). Health benefit experts have found that better sleep quality contributes in improving memory, enhancing longevity, reducing inflammation, spurring creativity, enhancing cognitive performances, improving attention and concentration, controlling weight and staying away from anxiety and depression. Sleep is the restorative state and the normal sleep is inadequate or disturbed due to some temporary or chronic issues. This results in increased tension, fatigue, irritability and vigilance. Emotional or physical trauma, metabolic or any other medical problems can initiate the sleep disturbances (Pow et al., 2017). Thus, from a very long time, the health benefit researchers have been researching on this topic to find out the patterns of sleep, quality of sleep, impact of disturbed sleep quality on various segments of people etc. According to National Sleep Foundation (NSF), there are many indicators that define good quality sleep. For example, sleeping at least 85% of the total time spent in bed, falling asleep within 30 minutes or less of going to bed, waking up not more than once a night and staying awake for 20 minutes or less after the initial sleep are the key indicators of good quality sleep (Sleepfoundation.org., 2014). As per other numerous researches, good quality sleep is an indicator of good health. However, quality sleep can also mean excess sleep for some people and excess sleep is not always good for health. Therefore, quality sleep is mostly defined as the undisturbed adequate sleep. This research report focuses on the study on sleep quality.  It will address various aspects of the sleep quality of human beings and how the sleep quality affects the mental and physical health of people.

Figure 1: Quality of sleep among the Americans

(Source: Sleepfoundation.org., 2014)

Figure 2: Sleep issues among American men and women

                                                                                       (Source: Sleepfoundation.org., 2014)

As discussed above, sleep quality is a very important factor that enables a person to have a healthy life. Sleep quality is associated with many things. It has been found that in various studies, that good quality sleep can enhance the memory. It helps in better academic performances, better health and increases productivity. On the other hand, lack of quality sleep can bring many problems such as, lack of focus and concentration, health issues, deterioration in performances etc. At the same time, it is found that, many factors influence the overall sleep quality. For example, physical activity can impact the sleep quality of a person. The usage of technology, use of light, surrounding noises, work pressure, tiredness from travelling, mental and/or physical illness etc. contribute in worsening the quality of sleep (Boubekri et al., 2014).

Pros and Cons of Research

The researcher will try to find out different aspects of sleep quality through this research. The earlier researches have focused on good and bad quality sleep, its impacts on human beings, belonging to different societies and categories, sleeping patterns, habits, problems etc. In this research study, the researcher will focus on the study on sleep quality. Various methods that are used to measure sleep quality will be explored by the researcher. Along with that, several benchmarks or thresholds that categorize different levels of sleep quality will be explored too. For this subject, the researcher will be conducting a cross sectional study between the groups of insomniac and good sleeper. This type of study is on kind of observational study and chosen so that a series of observation can be made over a period of time and can be analyzed to have an idea about the population (Lajoie et al., 2015). In this study, the researcher aims to find out what are levels of sleep quality, factors affecting sleep quality and impact of sleep quality on different category of people. Hence, the expected outcome of this research is different levels of sleep quality and the ways to measure them.

As discussed above, the researcher will be using cross sectional research for this research. It is one type of observational research. In this type of research, the researcher gets the chance to see what the participants of a population or sample are doing when they are faced with multiple choices. To be precise, a cross sectional study measures different variables within the population or sample at a single or specific point in time (Bryman & Bell, 2015). It is a process of simultaneous data gathering. This is the most commonly used method of research in the case of health related issues. There are some pros and cons in this type of research. Those are as follows.

  • Ease of access to information: This type of study offers an easy and quick way for a researcher to gather the data for research. In majority of the cases, routinely collected data is sufficient. Even for a large target population, cross sectional study provides the scope for easy and quick data collection. Hence, the outcomes are also quite precise.
  • Cost effectiveness: This type of research provides the opportunity for cost effectiveness. This helps the health care and research institutions to access the data easily and hence, saves both time and money. The lower cost of this study makes it possible to conduct further thorough investigations on the overall condition of the population (Hair, 2015).
  • Use of multiple variables: using multiple variables at a single point of time helps the researcher to assess various aspects of the population at the same time. Thus, it helps in saving the time for conducting different studies on a particular population.
  • Causality problems: Although the cross sectional studies provide a good snapshot of the data, it does not provide a strong basis to establish the causality. While two different variables a single point of time, the cross sectional study can only tell if the variables are related or not, but it cannot determine if one causes the other.
  • Neyman Bias: It is generated from the tools used for data collection by the researcher or by the health institutes. The tools, such as, scales, sphygmomanometers and pedometers are quite accurate but, questionnaires are the most commonly used tool in cross sectional studies and they give rise a prevalence-incidence bias, called Neyman Bias (Kremers & Çakir, 2014). A person may not be able to answer every thing accurately, hence, even if the questionnaire is set perfectly objective, the imperfect answers either minimizes or magnifies the impacts of any particular variable and this affects the results of the cross sectional study.
  • Specific of time: This type of study cannot be used to study and analyze the behavior of the population over a period of time. It can be used only for a single point of time (Lou et al., 2015).
  • Flaw in findings: In cross sectional study, if there is a conflict of interest between the researcher and the funding source, the findings can be skewed or flawed.

Ethical issues, integrity, safety issues and risks are big concerns for any researcher. Dignity of the subjects, protection of the collected information and publication of the analysis should be protected with a high priority. In any type of survey, the researcher must understand the importance of protection of the privacy of the personal information of the respondents. During a research survey, the respondents may face challenges to meet the moral principles or ethics. This may lead to a conflict with the values of the subjects, societies, communities, and that may create dilemma for the researcher to include the results of the survey in the research paper. Marianna and Fouka (2014), says that the ethical issues in cross sectional research include voluntary participation of the respondents, informed consent by them, risk of harm in case of publication of personal information, leading to confidentiality, and anonymity of the participants. In this sleep quality study, the researcher must take measures to avoid these issues.  

The researcher also faces integrity issues regarding research misconduct, authorship and publication, conflicts of interest, data management and protection of intellectual property. It is extremely important for any researcher to maintain the uniqueness of the research paper. In this case also, the researcher must maintain the integrity of the sleep quality research by managing the response data efficiently so that the information does not get stolen. He must also maintain the originality of his research. He must consult previous literatures on sleep and quality of sleep and proceed with the research accordingly (Bowman, 2013).  

Ethical Issues, Integrity and Safety Issues and Risks

In the cross sectional study, there are some safety issues regarding the personal information of the respondents and the researcher must maintain confidentiality of them. Since, the topic of the research is a generic health issue, it is expected that, divulging personal information might not put the respondents in any kind of risks. Yet, the researcher must keep the data confidential to fulfill the ethical considerations of the research.

The researcher may not be able to follow the standard risk response plan that is usually followed in the project management. Under risk response plan, there are four categories, namely, avoidance, transfer, mitigation and acceptance. Avoidance refers to making the probability of the risk to zero by making some adjustments in the plan. Transfer represents shifting of the responsibility of dealing the risk to someone else. Mitigation is the reduction of the impact of the risk and acceptance is the event of dealing with the consequences of the risk (Bromiley et al., 2015).

Under the cross sectional study for researching on the quality of sleep and its various aspects, the researcher faces the risk of anonymity, confidentiality of the personal information and originality of the study. In this context, the researcher must take the measures to maintain the uniqueness of his paper. He must take help from the various scholarly articles to write his own paper, but the writing and the concept should be of his own. Any unauthorized similarity of the paper with any other author’s work can bring severe legal consequences for the researcher (Ferguson et al., 2015). Hence, the researcher must be aware of this and must act responsibly. Along with that, he must also maintain the anonymity and confidentiality of the private information of the respondents. This not only reflects the respect towards the respondents, but also ensures that the risk of harm is minimized. Lastly, the researcher must not publish the collected data much earlier of the final publication. These are all risk avoidance measures. By taking these measures, the researcher can avoid the risks that can arise while doing the study.

Conclusion

From the above report it can be found that, sleep quality study is a new topic in this field that focuses on variations in the quality of sleep and how it affects the performance and health across different sections of the people. The researcher will be performing a cross sectional study on the insomniacs and the good sleepers to find out the impact of quality sleep on them. This will help the researcher to get an idea on the impact of sleep on various sections of the population at a single point of time. This type of study has both advantages and disadvantages, however, to conduct a study on a very large population with several variables, the cross sectional study is the most suitable method. There will be some ethical, integrity and safety issues and risks, and the researcher must have to take risk avoidance measures to make the paper unique, authentic and free from any moral and legal issues. Lastly, it can be said that, the researcher should perform the sleep quality study to highlight the types of sleep quality and its impacts on the people by conducting a cross sectional study on a large population to get a vivid idea on the subject.

References

Boubekri, M., Cheung, I. N., Reid, K. J., Wang, C. H., & Zee, P. C. (2014). Impact of windows and daylight exposure on overall health and sleep quality of office workers: a case-control pilot study. Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 10(6), 603.

Bowman, S. (2013). Impact of electronic health record systems on information integrity: quality and safety implications. Perspectives in Health Information Management, 10(Fall).

Bromiley, P., McShane, M., Nair, A., & Rustambekov, E. (2015). Enterprise risk management: Review, critique, and research directions. Long range planning, 48(4), 265-276.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.

Curcio, G., Tempesta, D., Scarlata, S., Marzano, C., Moroni, F., Rossini, P. M., ... & De Gennaro, L. (2013). Validity of the Italian version of the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI). Neurological Sciences, 34(4), 511-519.

Ferguson, T., Rowlands, A. V., Olds, T., & Maher, C. (2015). The validity of consumer-level, activity monitors in healthy adults worn in free-living conditions: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(1), 42.

Hair, J. F. (2015). Essentials of business research methods. ME Sharpe.

Kremers, H. M., & Çakir, B. (2014). Issues in Setting Up a Study and Data Collection. In Understanding Evidence-Based Rheumatology (pp. 141-157). Springer International Publishing.

Lajoie, P., Aronson, K. J., Day, A., & Tranmer, J. (2015). A cross-sectional study of shift work, sleep quality and cardiometabolic risk in female hospital employees. BMJ open, 5(3), e007327.

Leger, D., Bayon, V., Ohayon, M. M., Philip, P., Ement, P., Metlaine, A., ... & Faraut, B. (2014). Insomnia and accidents: cross?sectional study (EQUINOX) on sleep?related home, work and car accidents in 5293 subjects with insomnia from 10 countries. Journal of sleep research, 23(2), 143-152.

Lou, P., Qin, Y., Zhang, P., Chen, P., Zhang, L., Chang, G., ... & Zhang, N. (2015). Association of sleep quality and quality of life in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study in China. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 107(1), 69-76.

Marianna, M., & Fouka, G. (2014). What are the major ethical issues in conducting research? is there a conflict between the research ethics and the nature of nursing?. Hsj.gr. Retrieved 9 December 2017, from https://www.hsj.gr/medicine/what-are-the-major-ethical-issues-in-conducting-research-is-there-a-conflict-between-the-research-ethics-and-the-nature-of-nursing.php?aid=3485

Pow, J., King, D. B., Stephenson, E., & DeLongis, A. (2017). Does social support buffer the effects of occupational stress on sleep quality among paramedics? A daily diary study. Journal of occupational health psychology, 22(1), 71.

Sleepfoundation.org. (2014). Lack of Sleep is Affecting Americans, Finds the National Sleep Foundation. Sleepfoundation.org. Retrieved 9 December 2017, from https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation     

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