Critique of Research Design

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Critique of Research Design
The purpose of this critique is to analyze the design of a research study conducted by; Donna Kazemi, Maureen Levine, Jacek Dmochowski, Mary Nies, and Linman Sun called “Effects of Motivational Interviewing Intervention on Blackouts Amoung College Freshman”. It was accepted in January 21st, 2013 and was published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship.
This study was conducted on 188 volunteer freshmen at a southern university. Kazemi et al. (2013) state the goals of the study were to see if motivational interviewing (MI) worked as an effective intervention to reduce blackouts among freshman, who partook in high-risk drinking or drug use, during a sixth month period. Additionally the study sought to see if there was an association between blackouts among freshman based on race or gender. The research design was a longitudinal study in which students were given motivational interviewing (MI) as an intervention at baseline, two weeks, three months, and. six month time periods while enrolled in school. Assessments of participants drinking and blackouts were taken on baseline day and at six months. Researchers assessed for changes to participants number of blackouts, drinking or drug use (Kazemi et al., 2013).
Longitudinal design was used in this study to monitor the same participants over six months. A threat to the validity of this design can be drop out of participants. This can be attributed to the length of a longitudinal study. However in this study researchers were successful at maintaining all participants. The researchers asked all participants in advance if they could commit to all four sessions and if they could not then they were not used as part of the study. Therefore, all 188 participants selected completed the entire program (Kazemi et al., 2013).
Longitudinal design validity is also dependent upon using set time intervals that make sense with the research being performed. This study does not say explicitly express how intervals for MI instruction were chosen. Furthermore, the study does not explain why or how intervals for pre and post assessments were decided. This is important because past research may have told how long it takes for MI to be successful and at what intervals it needs to be performed in order to yield the best outcomes for participants. This data may have changed the length of the study or the time intervals and potentially changed results.
Furthermore, the time intervals for the design didn’t mention how students’ academic calendar and time off of school may have affected data gathered at certain intervals.

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For example, if a student traveled home right before their post assessment, at the sixth month interval, the participant may have different drinking habits. This change in routine may have made the students report different data than if the interval for post assessment had been at a different time.
Longitudinal design validity also depends on the professionals that are administering the motivational intervention and assessments to maintain consistency, knowledge, and be involved for the duration of the study. This study’s design included using six different MI instructors that did complete the entire program. The study does a good job of mentioning the professional’s qualifications, training, and background for consistency. However it is important to note that the study doesn’t say whether the same interventionist met with the same group of students each time. This is important because a trusted relationship during intervention therapy may have affected the results differently than if participants had a new interventionist each time.
Longitudinal design was chosen for this study and was well suited for this type of research due to the nature of the intervention. However this study’s design could have been strengthened if the longitudinal design was experiential. This could have been done by having a control group that either received no intervention or a different intervention. Additionally it would have strengthened validity to have an experimental design that allowed for a random selection of participants as this studies participants were self-enrolled volunteers.




Works Cited

Kazemi, D. M., Levine, M. J., Dmochowski, J., Nies, M. A., & Sun, L. (2013). Effects of Motivational Interviewing Intervention on Blackouts Among College Freshmen. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(3), 221-229. doi:10.1111/jnu.12022


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