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Research Methods in Nursing and Social Work

Essay Topic:

Research methods in Nursing and Social Work: Critical appraisal paper.The aim of this assignment is to look at two written research papers and carry out a critical assessment on them.I will present the assignment in two parts, Appendix 1 which is the first research paper called, “What professionals think about offenders with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system”.

This article conducts a research and its aim is to find out whether people with learning disabilities are being treated differently with the justice system, it focuses on the ideas of different professionals that work in the system and their view on the subject matter.

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Appendix 2 which is the second paper is called, “The prevalence of intellectual disability in a major UK prison”. This paper the first steps to undertake when critiquing a research paper is, to explain the piece by summarising its main aims and outcomes that have been gained through the research.

One of the first tasks of critiquing a research article is to try to explain the performance and tasks that have taken place. Critiquing research involves a careful examination of all aspects of a study in order to judge its strengths, limitations, meaning and significance” (Hek, 1996). Appendix 1: Participants: The study was structured in a interview in order to collect the data. The Participants that were used all came from different professional background this meant that there was a good multidisciplinary team of respondents. Title:

The title was very clear and to the point, it successfully reflects the purpose of the study and its findings. Abstract/Summary: This was written in a clear manner, which was very easy to understand and therefore was not complicated. The purpose, method and findings were comprehensibly outlined in a brief summary. Materials: The interview was Semi-structured, the advantages of using this method were that, the audience is specifically targeted it is also the best way to capture how a person thinks or feels on a particular topic, it can let the interviewee speak with more than just their words but with facial and bodily xpression too.

Also, it allows the interviewee to go into as much depth as they feel they want to, whereas other interview types wouldn’t allow this type of freedom. It can also be a good method as it can lead to further questions that haven’t been written down but might be appropriate, so as to get a better perspective. The method is really suitable to sensitive issues as this one. However, there are draw-backs to the method, the main being that it is so time-consuming.

Not just the collecting of the data, but the transcribing and analysis of the data. Also, it is very easy to digress and become sidetracked with anecdotes and generally inappropriate information. The preparation and time must be put into the organisation of this type of interview, to make sure that the questions that are asked are relevant to the subject matter and that they are neither confusing nor leading. Data collection: The data collection used Semi-structured interviews which were conducted in a face to face manner.

The timings on the collection of data varied so that they suited the respondents, this was good as it allowed the respondents to do the interview when they were available this showed that the researchers where flexible. The duration of the actual interview where between, 0. 5 hr and 2. 5 hr, which was approximately 1 hr each, this was a weakness because it was important that each respondent had the equal and same amount of duration within the interview, and that by varying the times allowed some respondents to produce more information or answer questions in more depth as others.

The interviews were recorded on tape this was good method of recording because sometimes when the information is written it can be translated different by the person who is recording the answers as they may interpret it differently. The other drawback that occurred in this study is that the exact design of the questions been asked to the respondents varied, this can affect the results as one person may elaborate more than someone else and therefore has the opportunity to be asked further questions. The exact format of each individual was determined by the participant, as the individual questions presented to each person varied according to earlier individual responses. ” (Appendix 1) Results: The results obtained where accurate and well organised into three themes. They where clear to understand and very straightforward. The themes that emerged allowed the aim of the study to be acknowledged through its results, this was the most important part of any study.

Discussion: The idea of training for the Medical teams and professionals within the justice system is an excellent way to improve the awareness of learning disabilities and so that within the justice system it van be recognised and therefore allows a better awareness of it. The resolution to not change laws but however to accommodate them so that they reflect the needs of people with learning disabilities is also a very positive result. The fact that all participants had an interest in the study of people with learning disabilities which is why they accepted to be a part of the study.

However the results varied in ethical values and opinions on that subject matter by the participants. Ethical: The research produced an ethical approval to proceed with the study from the research ethics committee at the University of Nottingham, this showed that the study was carefully thought of and recognised before it was conducted. The confidentiality of all the participants was kept, as all the respondents names were not identified anywhere in the study. Even though the details of the participants background and profession where mentioned this was carefully demonstrated as to not be able to identify any of the individuals.


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