Assessing a Research Study


Researchstudies are conducted to achieve certain objectives or answer someresearch questions on a given topic (University of Bolton, 2016).This paper will analyze a research study entitled “Closing theQuality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies(Vol. 6: Prevention of Healthcare–Associated Infections)” thatwas authored by Ranji,S., Posley K., Lewis, R, Shetty, K, Galvin C., Sundaram, V., andWinston, L. The article was published in 2007 by Agencyfor Healthcare Research and Quality Reviewthe study components in the left-side column of the form below. Referto the study you chose, and complete the data in the right-sidecolumn with the key components in that study.

Research Question:

The authors intended to answer three major research questions, including

1. Do quality improvement strategies increase the adherence to the evidence-based preventive intervention for healthcare-associated infections?

2. What are the critical components of effective quality improvement strategies?

3. What are the limitations of the current research in the field, and areas requiring further studies?

How did the research question emerge from the review of literature in the article?

The first question was derived from the literature review showing that hospital related infections cause about 88,000 deaths each year, which has motivated the stakeholders in the health care sector to invest in measures that seek to improve the quality in the process of delivering health care. This increased the need to investigate whether quality improvement can actually result in adoption of evidence-based practices and reduce the healthcare-associated infection.

The second question was derived from the literature showing that health care-associated health infections affect close to 80 % of the hospitalized patients, in spite the strategies taken to contain these infections. This created the need to investigate the specific components of the quality enhancement strategies that can lead to successful reduction of hospital-related infections.

The last question was not derived from literature review, but it was formulated to help the researchers indentify the limitations of their studies.

Independent Variables


Independent variables considered in the article include perioperative antibiotics, perioperative glycemic control, hand hygiene, and avoidance of preoperative shaving.

Dependent Variables


The dependent variable considered in the article is quality improvement, which is associated with a decline in the rate of healthcare associated infections.

Identify and Define the Study Design Elements:

1. Quantitative vs. Qualitative:

2. Sample Size

3. Method of sample selection: Explanation.

4. Identify and define the experimental and control groups?

5. Reliable and valid data instruments? Explain.

The authors used a qualitative study design to conduct a systematic analysis of the research articles used on the study.

Since the article was systematic review of literature, the study sample included articles of the previous studies in the field of quality improvement as a strategy to reduce healthcare-associated infections. The authors considered a total of 4,847 articles, but only 64 of them passed through the inclusion criterion.

The samples were obtained through convenient sampling because they had to be articles within the field of health-care-associated infections.

However, the authors did not have to use control groups since their study was not experimental, but a systematic review of literature. In addition, the authors did not measure the validity of the data collection instruments, but focused on determining internal as well as external validity of each of the articles reviewed in the study in order to ensure that the instruments used to collect data for each respective research was valid. An article that met predetermined criterion was considered to be reliable.

Describe analysis.

What statistics were used?

Instead of using complicated quantitative or statistical data analysis techniques, the authors chose to perform a qualitative data analysis where the study quality criteria were used as the framework for analyzing the data.

Did the researchers’ conclusions make sense, did they answer the research question, and did they appear to flow from the review of the literature?

Did they explore control of extraneous variables?

The authors concluded that their study had numerous limitations that reduced their capacity to recommend on any single intervention that can be used to control healthcare-associated infections. Therefore, the study failed to answer the first two questions, but unanswered the third question, which required the identification of limitations of the research. From literature review, hospital-based infections affect about 80 % of all hospitalized patients, and there is a call to identify strategies that can be used to control this trend. A failure to recommend any singe effective strategy for reducing these infections is an indication that the study did not flow from literature review since it did not fill the gaps in the existing body of knowledge. In addition, there is no evidence that the authors explored control of the extraneous variables.

Thearticle “Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of QualityImprovement Strategies (Vol. 6: Prevention of Healthcare–AssociatedInfections)” was directly references in the article “Evaluatingthe State of Quality-Improvement Science through Evidence Synthesis:Insights from the Closing the Quality Gap Series”. The articlesconfirmed the results of the first article by showing that qualityimprovement interventions can reduce hospital-based infections, butnot all interventions are effective. Therefore, QI interventionsshould be adopted selectively. References

McDonald, M., Schultz, M., &amp Chang, C. (2013). Evaluating thestate of quality-improvement science through evidence synthesis:Insight from the closing the quality gap series. The PermanenteJournal, 17 (4), 52-61.

Ranji, S., Posley K., Lewis, R, Shetty, K, Galvin C., Sundaram, V.,and Winston, L. (2007). Closing the Quality Gap: A CriticalAnalysis of Quality Improvement Strategies (Vol. 6: Prevention ofHealthcare–Associated Infections). Rockville, MD: Agency forHealthcare Research and Quality.

University of Bolton (2016). Topics, aims, and objectives.Bolton, BL: University of Bolton.

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