Quantitative Research Critique
This is a quantitative study research critique of the research study conducted by Lisa M Black PhD,RN,CNE, Tragedy into Policy: A Quantitative Study of Nurses Attitudes Toward Patient Advocacy Activities. The findings from this research study was used in the state of Nevada to protect nurses when reporting unsafe conditions in patient care practices, thus providing a safer work environment where nurses can feel safe when speaking out where patient safety is in jeopardy from unsafe care practices. Protection of Human Participants
The benefits of this study were the creation of legal protection for whistleblowers in the state of Nevada. There were no risks to any participants’ safety for this study. Informed consent was not needed as retuning the completed survey was viewed as consent to be included. All participation in the study was viewed as voluntary. Approval of the survey tool was obtained from the University of Nevada, Reno prior to beginning data collection. (Black, 2011, p. 29) Data Collection
The dependent variables in this study are the registered nurses licensed to practice in the state of Nevada; the independent variable was the Registered Nurses’ Workplace Support for Patient Advocacy Activities Study Questionnaire.(Black, 2011, p. 29) Data was collected through the developed questionnaire that was sent to 1725 registered nurses with active, current licensure and residing in the state of Nevada at the time of the survey.(Black, 2011, p. 29) The author provided no rationale for using the chosen data collection method, I would assume that this was the most cost effective and best way to maintain privacy for all respondents. The surveys were sent out using the United States Postal Service on September 8, 2008.
(Black, 2011, p. 30) The respondents were asked to complete the survey by one of two methods, filling out, and returning the paper survey via US postal service or by completing it online. All responses were accepted through October 31, 2008. (Black, 2011, p. 30) After distribution of the questionnaire respondents were given the time period listed September 8, 2008 through October 31, 2008 to respond to the survey either written or online. (Black, 2011, p. 30) Data Management and Analysis
A priori power analysis was performed and established that a minimum sample of “405 respondents would be required to detect a medium effect size.”(Black, 2011, p. 29) In order to determine if the study sample was “demographically representative” of nurses in Nevada, the demographic data was compared to the data from the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses from Nevada. (Black, 2011, p. 29) Reliability testing of the survey tool “demonstrated a high degree of internal consistency.” (Black, 2011, p. 30) No statistical software was mentioned in this study.
Other than the reliability testing performed, the survey results were calculated with a total of 564 valid responses collected this represented 33% response rate. (Black, 2011, p. 30) Response number varied from item to item as most participants left one or more items blank. (Black, 2011, p. 30) I felt this study was a reliable source of information concerning legislation protecting whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. According to the priori power analysis the minimum sample necessary of 405 respondents was required; with 564 valid responses received the minimum sample size was met. (Black, 2011, p. 29)
The limitations that are identified in this study were, the sample size was considered to be small, even with the randomly chosen sample there was a potential response bias, and due to the nurses who have negative work environments may be more likely to complete the questionnaire than those with a more positive one. (Black, 2011, p. 33) This created the potential for inflated representation of the frequency and severity of these experiences. (Black, 2011, p. 33) This is the reason for caution when applying the findings to nurses outside of this study. (Black, 2011, p. 33) The survey tool did not allow for differentiation of different types of unsafe situations or different levels of retaliation. (Black, 2011, p. 34) Interpretation of survey questions may vary from one respondent to another.
(Black, 2011, p. 34) This research study was presented in a logical easily understood manner with explanation and definition of findings and limitations. The findings of this study to were used in the creation of a law protecting nurses reporting unsafe patient care practices in acute care facilities and free standing offices and clinics in Nevada. The creation of this legislation helps create an environment for nurses to carry out” their moral imperative to prevent harm to patients whenever possible and to report potential or actual causes of harm” to protect patients.(Black, 2011, p. 35) There were no suggestions for future research. There was suggestion for changes in workplace environments encouraging openness in communication and especially in cases where patient safety is a concern. (Black, 2011, p. 35)