Discuss about the Qualitative Research for Rationale and Standards.
The following assignment will aim to critically appraise the work by Smith et al. (2014) in relation to the brimming issue of obesity by virtue of acknowledging definite criteria as laid out in the article by Popay et al. (1998). The proposed framework will help in recognizing the contribution of the qualitative study under consideration in the health service research. The vital themes associated with subjective meaning, the context of research, selection of study participants, interpretation with respect to participants’ accounts, the active consideration of the ‘lay’ knowledge, flexibility as exhibited by the researcher within the research procedure in addition to the generalizability of the findings as expressed through the study discourse will be discussed in due course within the assignment. Emphasis will be laid on scrutinizing the distinctive features pertinent to the qualitative research and derive meaningful observations and interpretations through evaluation of the rigor and the robustness satisfactorily.
Criteria for evaluation of qualitative research after Popay et al. (1998)
The proceedings of the study indicated that the research was carried out with respect to the focus group comprising of subjects as overweight adolescents and their parents. It has been mentioned that the inclusion criteria for the subjects were that they have underwent a healthy lifestyle program as intervention. The focus group was questioned about their experiences and opinions pertaining to the use of text messages as support during the maintenance period following the intensive intervention. The style and content of the text messages were questioned to them to get their valuable response. All the subsequent assessments were carried out by virtue of referring to the content and thematic analysis as procured from the study participants. Thus, it is more than evident that the resources and subjective interpretations of the participants were utilized to frame the subsequent analysis that in turn based on a strong foundation adding to the authenticity.
The theoretical underpinnings and objectives of the research conducted were thoughtfully used in the study to obtain suitable information regarding their experiences and opinions specific to the maintenance phase following the intervention that supported healthy lifestyle program. Reflection of the experiences as expressed by the adolescent focus group of 12 adolescents was videotaped after receiving formal approval from the participants’ ends. Answers were received from the adolescents considering that they would reflect on their thoughts and opinions as applicable through the chosen six text messages retrieved from the databases that were previously used during the high intensity maintenance phase. However, the researchers speculated that the obese adolescents would not always resort to voicing their true opinion regarding the chosen theme and instead express a more socially acceptable view, Therefore, in order to allay such apprehension and confounding factor, secondary view from 13 parents were utilized for the sake of validation of the information provided by the adolescents. Thus, confirmation from the parents that further corroborated with the adolescents opinions added to the relevancy of the data that has been derived.
Description of Context
The circumstances as suitable with the focus group have been succinctly described in the article that hold potential for future implications. The vulnerable group of adolescents falling within the age bracket of 12-16 years has been selected as the focus group and the issue of text messaging as a support during post healthy lifestyle intervention program has been introduced and explored. Considering that good health promotion in the adolescents is a challenging task, the improvisation and implementation of novel approaches to facilitate health and wellbeing has been identified crucial and an effective way to combat the situation. However, dearth of information with regards to the obese and overweight adolescents where text messaging through technological intervention might act as a potential way of supporting engagement or behavior change in the maintenance phase following an intervention was identified as the area of investigation. Therefore, the necessity to fathom the perceptions of the adolescents was recognized to be important so that the dropout rates in case of pediatric weight management programs may be curtailed by recognizing their beliefs, perceptions about the given issue.
The pivotal emphasis for the study was laid upon retrieving the perceptions of the adolescents under two broad themes such as what they liked or though they wanted in a text message for the purpose of supporting behavior change as well as how they experienced responded to text messages. The sub themes with respect to the like/want theme comprised of the overall tone of the text, timing, frequency, mention about long term goals in addition to inclusion of practical tips. Further lack of motivation, feeling of shame, barriers to change, lack of motivation and unfavorable comparison with other adolescents were recognized as sub themes to response to text theme. Therefore recording of all these accounts in relation to the participants certainly added to the given volume of data in the study and offered a deeper insight into the topic. Moreover, the results obtained following this trail hold promise in healthcare sector as the policymakers may took serious consideration of the identified themes to result in introduction of suitable policy meant for holistic development and in this case, policy with respect to management of obesity in the identified population of adolescents.
The variability in the research design as observed within the focus group of participants added to the quality of the study undertaken rather than simply following a standardized approach for conducting the research. It has been demonstrated in the article that four focus groups comprising of overweight and obese adolescents were conducted in the study so as to encompass the three waves of participants who undertook the programs at different times. Similar four focus groups were meant for the parents of these adolescents as well consisting of few, 3 to 4 members to facilitate rich discussion with the text messages.
The article clearly offers an insight about the demographic of the study participants. In order to successfully address the issue relevant to the topic of investigation, a small sample size that fit into the study design was incorporated. 12 adolescents and 13 parents were involved with the study as they clearly suited the purpose of research. Most of the subjects for the study were found to belong to the middle to low socio-economic areas and were of white Australians origin. Thus, it may be said that the sampling procedure in the study though appears to be purposive, conforms to the study protocol.
Situational representativeness of the study findings is harbored in course of the study whereby it is said that the overweight and obese adolescents are not competent enough to voice their opinion about the effectiveness of the text messages during healthy lifestyle intervention program include maintenance phase. Selection of the subjects through theoretical sampling may be attributed as a causative factor for the lack of generalizability due to lack of accuracy in population representation. Thus, the fact depicted through the qualitative study that simultaneous engagement and behavior change in adolescents through text messaging may not be a feasible option, calls for greater insight and probe to establish the possible relation between the two variables.
Careful interpretation of the findings and other aspects of the research article under consideration have brought to the forefront the vital understanding about the applicability and resourcefulness of the article that has been critically appraised. The utility of the findings and implications for future research is clearly evident through appraisal of the article subjected to fulfillment of the established criteria as indicated by work of Popay et al. (1998). The robustness of the article and its findings are indicative of the potential that may be perceived in relation to the study results for future reference, deeper probe by clinical researchers.
Popay, J., Rogers, A. and Williams, G., 1998. Rationale and standards for the systematic review of qualitative literature in health services research. Qualitative health research, 8(3), pp.341-351.
Smith, K.L., Kerr, D.A., Fenner, A.A. and Straker, L.M., 2014. Adolescents just do not know what they want: a qualitative study to describe obese adolescents’ experiences of text messaging to support behavior change maintenance post intervention. Journal of medical Internet research, 16(4).