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Understanding the Research Process

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Title: Understanding the Research Process


1
Understanding the Research Process Research
Reports Knowing What To Look forand Why!
Glenn M. Hymel, EdD, LMT Department of
Psychology Loyola University New Orleans,
Massage Therapy Foundation AMTA Cincinnati,
OH 28 September 2007
2
PaPa Glenns Advisory Council Master Jason,
Master Andrew, Master Sean
3
Orientation to Sessions Materials Methods
  • Description, Content Outlines, Performance
    Objectives for the Session--Handout
  • Chapter 3/Unit 1 from Hymel (2006)--Handout
  • Chapter 4/Unit 2 from Hymel (2006)--Handout
  • PowerPoint Slides Overhead Transparencies
  • Didactic Presentation (with Attempts at Humor)
  • Analyses of Three Published Massage Therapy
    Research Studies
  • Ongoing Questions Discussions
  • Occasional Exercises in Accountability--Handouts
  • Planning for Session Follow-Ups

4
A Few Guiding Thoughts . . .
  • I never faced a problem which was more than the
    eternal problem of finding order (B. F. Skinner,
    in the context of discussing scientific
    practice).
  • Everything should be made as simple as possible,
    but not simpler (Albert Einstein).
  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow learn as if
    you were to live forever (Gandhi).
  • Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be
    bent out of shape (Michael McGriffy, MD)

5
Our Most Important Research Questions May Be
Hiding in Our Unchallenged Solutions
__________________________________________________
_________ From Harris, S. (1991). You want
proof? Ill give you proof! More cartoons from
Sidney Harris. New York W. H. Freeman and
Company.
6
Introduction OverviewResearch Universe
  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Integrative Research

7
Introduction OverviewResearch
Continuum(General to Specific)
  • Research Category (Most General)
  • Research Strategy
  • Research Method
  • Research Design
  • Research Procedure (Most Specific)

8
Introduction OverviewQuantitative Research
Category
  • Difference-Oriented Research Strategy
  • True Experimental or RCT Method
  • Quasi-Experimental Method
  • Single-Case Experimental Method
  • Nonexperimental Comparative Groups Method
  • Association-Oriented Research Strategy
  • Correlational Method
  • Predictive Method
  • Descriptive-Oriented Research Strategy
  • Single-Case Quantitative Analysis Method
  • Survey method
  • Naturalistic/Structured Observational Method
  • Case Report Method

9
Introduction OverviewChapter 3/Unit 1
An Overview of the
True Experimental/RCTResearch Method
  • Chang, M. Y., Wang, S. Y., Chen, C. H. (2002).
    Effects of massage on pain and anxiety during
    labor A randomized controlled trial. Journal of
    Advanced Nursing, 38(1), 68-73.

10
Clarification of Terms
  • Measurement
  • Statistics
  • Research
  • Evaluation

11
Our Species Had to Start Somewhere in the Quest
for Measurement Sophistication
________________________________________________ F
rom Harris, S. (2004). Einstein simplified
Cartoons on science (Rev. ed.). New Brunswick,
NJ Rutgers University Press.
12
True Experimental, orRandomized Controlled
Trial,Research Method
  • First Example from the Massage Therapy Research
    Literature Chang, Wang, Chen (2002)
  • Abstract (p. 24 in Chapter 3 Handout)

13
A Warm-Up Exercise in Flowcharting To Prepare
for the Very Next Section!
_______________________________________________
From Harris, S. (1991). You want proof? Ill
give you proof! More cartoons from Sidney
Harris. New York W. H. Freeman.
14
Jumping AheadSchematic Illustration of
theChang et al. (2002) Study
  • Flowchart of Sorts (p. 32 in Chapter 3 Handout)
  • Reflecting Only Select Features of, a Slight
    Modification in, the Study by Chang et al. (2002)

15
Schematic (cont.) of Chang et al. (2002) Study
  • Research Question Professional Literature
    Review
  • Population Sample
  • Randomization Random Selection Random
    Assignment

16
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyVariables
  • Independent Variable
  • Dependent Variable
  • Extraneous Variable
  • Control Variable
  • Confounding Variable
  • Intervening Variable

17
Yet Another Type of Control Group?
Another Humble Hymelian Observation The
professional literature seems to be silent on the
actual existence of this type of control group
distinction therefore, please exercise caution
if and when an author refers to an alleged out
of control group!
__________________________________________________
_______________ From Mueller, P. S. (nd). P.
S. Mueller cartoons. http//www.psmueller.com.
18
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyHypotheses
  • Research Hypothesis
  • Null (or Statistical) Hypothesis)
  • Alternative Hypothesis

19
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyParameter Statistic
  • Parameter Characteristic of a Population
  • Statistic Characteristic of a Sample
  • Parameter Population Statistic Sample
  • Relationship to Research Hypothesis, Null
    Hypothesis, Alternative Hypothesis

20
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyStatistical Analysis
  • Statistical Testing Inference
  • Alpha (a) Level (or, Probability of a
    Type I Error)
  • P Value (or, Level of Significance)
  • Statistical Power (or, Power Analysis)
  • Confidence Interval
  • Effect size

21
Off on a TangentA Simple Example of Whats
Happening in Null Hypothesis Significance Testing
  • Claim Hester Sue Has ESP
  • Options Take It on Faith or Empirically
    Investigate
  • Null Hypothesis Hester Sue Does Not Have ESP
  • Research Hypothesis Hester Sue Does Have ESP
  • Task Observations Hester Sue Is Asked To
    Predict the Outcomes of 10 Flips of a Coin, We
    Observe the Results
  • Analysis Compare Observed Results with Expected
    Probabilities (Jaccard Becker, 2002, p.170,
    next slide)
  • Decision With a .05, Reject Null Hypothesis If
    Observed Results Have a Probability of Happening

22
Off on a TangentA Simple Example of Whats
Happening in Null Hypothesis Significance Testing
(cont.)

Expected

Probability of
Indicated Number
Number of Expected
or More of Correct
Predictions Probability Correct
Predictions 10
p.001 p.001 9
p.010
p.011
8 p.044
p.055 7
p.117 p.172
23
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyExperimental Validity
  • Internal Validity
  • Issue Nature of Relationship between
    Independent Variable Dependent Variable
  • Driven by Random Assignment Manipulated
    Independent Variable
  • External Validity
  • Issue Generalizability
  • Driven by Random Selection

24
Schematic (cont.) of the Chang et al. (2002)
StudyExperimental Research Design Notation
  • See p. 31 in Chapter 3 Handout
  • Shorthand for Identifying Research Category,
    Strategy, Method, Design, Procedures

25
Experimental Research Design Notation for the
Chang et al. (2002) Study
RA EG X
OPost RA CG ?
OPost
26
Measurement Statistics As Research Tools
  • Valid Reliable Measuring Instruments A
    Necessity
  • Measurement Scale Research Issues Determinants
    of Statistical Usage
  • Descriptive Statistics Inferential Statistics
    Distinctions

27
Major Ethical Issues in Behavioral Health
Science Research
  • Considerations, e.g., in the Chang et al. (2002)
    Study
  • Role of Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • Informed Consent
  • Confidentiality
  • Latitude To Exit Study without Prejudice
  • Control Group Entitlement If Possible
  • Debriefing

28
Where Do We Go from Here?
  • Concepts, Principles, Procedures Considered in
    Greater Detail
  • Analyses of Two Additional Massage Therapy
    Research Studies

29
Introduction OverviewChapter 4/Unit 2
A More Focused View of the
True Experimental/RCTResearch Method
  • Van den Dolder, P. A., Roberts, D. L. (2003) A
    trial into the effectiveness of soft tissue
    massage in the treatment of shoulder pain.
    Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 49(3),
    183-188.
  • Preyde, M. (2000). Effectiveness of massage
    therapy for subacute low-back pain A randomized
    controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association
    Journal, 162(13), 1815-1820.

30
True Experimental/RCT Method the Research
Category-to-Procedures
Continuum
  • Quantitative Research Category
  • Difference-Oriented Research Strategy
  • True Experimental/RCT Research Method
  • Randomized, Control-Group, Posttest-Only Research
    Design (i.e., Chang et al., (2002)
  • Random Assignment Manipulated IV As
    Prerequisite Research Procedures for Possible
    Cause-and-Effect Conclusions

31
A Closer Look at the True
Experimental/RCT Research Method
  • Second Example from the Massage Therapy Research
    Literature Van den Dolder Roberts (2003)
  • Abstract (p. 39 in Chapter 4 Handout)

32
A Closer Look at Van den
Dolder Roberts (2003)
  • Research Question Literature Review
  • Population, Randomization, Sample
  • Variables
  • Hypotheses
  • Measurement Statistics
  • Research Design
  • External Validity Internal Validity
  • Major Ethical considerations

33
A Framework for Reading a Research Article
  • A Research Articles Structure (Anatomy),
    Function (Physiology), Implied Criteria for
    Evaluation
  • A Research Articles Sections Implying Structure
    Function
  • Preliminary Section Title Page Abstract
  • Introductory Section
  • Method Section
  • Results Section
  • Discussion Section
  • Concluding Section References Beyond

34
Content of the ArticlesPreliminary Section
  • Title page suggesting type of study being
    reported, major variables investigated, and
    participants who were the focal point of the
    research effort
  • Abstract that synthesizes the studys
    introduction, method, results, discussion
    sections

35
Content of the ArticlesIntroductory Section
  • General literature review of available research
    in the studys problem area
  • Specific literature review providing greater
    detail and depth of coverage
  • Purpose statement via an explicit statement of
    the research question
  • Rationale or justification for the research
    hypothesis
  • Explicit statement of the research hypothesis

36
Content of the ArticlesMethod Section
  • Participants sampling procedures, with emphasis
    on inclusion exclusion criteria
  • Research strategy, method, design
  • Variables operationalized
  • Instrumentation used, with emphasis on
    reliability validity issues

37
Content of the ArticlesResults Section
  • As implied, outcomes of the study are presented
  • Reliance on descriptive statistics inferential
    statistics
  • Results of analyses conveyed in context of null
    hypothesis testing, with implications for the
    confirmation/disconfirmation of the research and
    alternative hypotheses

38
Content of the ArticlesDiscussion Section
  • Reflections on manner in which the study was
    conducted, inclusive of its limitations
    delimitations (boundaries)
  • Elaboration on interpretation of studys findings
    begun in the results section
  • Acknowledgment of studys significance and its
    relationship to earlier research findings
    previously cited
  • Theorizing as to why the studys results are what
    they are
  • Suggestions of recommended areas of further
    research as logical sequels to the study

39
Content of the ArticlesConcluding Section
  • References via bibliographic citations of works
    actually cited in the body of the report
  • Possibly appendixes, author notes, and footnotes
    as needed

40
A Framework for Reading a Research Article (cont.)
  • Implied Criteria for Critiquing a Research
    Article Reflections of Structure Function
  • Critique Questions (n29) To Ask in Each Section
    of a Research Article (pp. 48-49 in Chapter 4
    Handout)

41
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Preliminary Section
  • 1. Does the title of the study provide a basis
    for identifying the type of study, major
    variables, participants?
  • 2. Does the abstract synthesize the main body of
    the report (i.e., the introduction, method,
    results, discussion) with a particular focus on
    the research question, research hypothesis,
    participants, research method design, major
    variables, instruments, statistical techniques,
    principal findings, conclusions?

42
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Introductory Section
  • 3. Is the reader introduced to the relevant
    professional literature bearing on the study
    being reported by way of a general overview of
    the research problem area as well as a more
    specific coverage of individual studies?
  • 4. Is the purpose of the study identified by way
    of the research question being formulated at an
    operational level?

43
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Introductory Section (cont.)
  • 5. Is a rationale or justification, based on
    various features of the professional literature,
    presented as a context or framework for the
    studys research hypothesis?
  • 6. Do the authors state the studys research
    hypothesis in such a way that the predicted
    answer to the studys research question is clear
    unambiguous?

44
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the Method
Section
  • 7. Are the studys participants clearly
    characterized along with the inclusion
    exclusion criteria used for identifying them?
  • 8. Did the researchers justify the number of
    participants constituting the sample size by way
    of a power analysis?
  • 9. Was an accessible population of potential
    participants acknowledged along with an
    indication of how the sample was derived from
    such a population, be it through random selection
    or some other procedure?

45
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the Method
Section (cont.)
  • 10.Did the authors specify the manner in which
    the participants were assigned to the two or more
    comparison groups, be it through random
    assignment or some other means?
  • 11. Was any clarification provided as to how the
    ethical aspects of the study were governed,
    particularly in reference to the protection of
    the participants, the overall integrity of the
    research, the earlier approval of the study by
    an IRB?
  • 12. Was the nature of the research effort
    adequately characterized in terms of its position
    in the research continuum (i.e., its position
    regarding research category, strategy, method,
    design, defining procedures)?

46
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the Method
Section (cont.)
  • 13. Were the studys variables operationalized in
    a comprehensive fashion so that their
    manipulation or measurement could be replicated?
  • 14. Did the authors clearly specify the equipment
    or instruments used in the study for variable
    manipulation or measurement purposes, along with
    a documentation of the technical characteristics
    of such including validity reliability?

47
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the Results
Section (cont.)
  • 15. Were the data analysis techniques used in the
    study identified and justified?
  • 16. Were the results of the study communicated by
    an appeal to descriptive and/or inferential
    statistics consistent with the nature of the
    research question as well as the research method
    measurement scales used?
  • 17. Were the results of the data analysis related
    to an appropriate decision regarding the studys
    null or statistical hypothesis?

48
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the Results
Section (cont.)
  • 18. Was the decision regarding the null
    hypothesis acknowledged as a basis for inferring
    decisions concerning the alternative research
    hypotheses?
  • 19. If hypothesis testing was performed, were the
    analyses augmented with other statistical
    techniques such as confidence interval estimation
    or effect size calculations?
  • 20. Were tables figures appropriately used so
    as to render the data analyses more
    comprehensible?

49
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Discussion Section (cont.)
  • 21. Did the researchers reflect on the manner in
    which the study was designed and conducted
    regarding any limitations and/or delimitations
    (boundaries)?
  • 22. Did the authors elaborate on the
    interpretation of the studys findings beyond the
    interpretation that was begun in the results
    section?
  • 23. Did the researchers address the significance
    of the study and its findings, particularly as
    they relate to earlier studies in the problem
    area investigated?

50
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Discussion Section (cont.)
  • 24. Did the discussion section address possible
    intervening variables in the study that might
    explain why the results obtained were indeed
    forthcoming?
  • 25. Were recommendations suggested to the reader
    regarding needed follow-up studies that might
    replicate, fully or partially, or at least
    augment, the study?

51
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Concluding Section
  • 26. Does the list of references accurately
    reflect each of the sources cited in the research
    report, with a consistent bibliographic citation
    style used?
  • 27. Does the research report contain any
    appendixes that augment in greater detail
    information provided earlier in the article?

52
Criteria, or Critique Questions, for the
Concluding Section (cont.)
  • 28. Is there any information in the form of
    author notes providing insight regarding funding
    support for the study, contact directives for
    communicating with the authors as a follow up, or
    collegial assistance in completing the study?
  • 29. Are any footnotes provided that elaborate on
    one or more aspects of the study that would have
    been misplaced or distracting if they had been
    embedded in the main body of the report?

53
An Even Closer Look at the True
Experimental/RCT Research Method
  • Third Example from the Massage Therapy Research
    Literature Preyde (2000)
  • Full-Text Article (pp. 49-55 in Chapter 4
    Handout)
  • Detailed Analysis of Article Provided Via 29
    Critique Questions (pp. 55-60)

54
Where Do We Go from Here?Other Options in
theQuantitative Research Category
  • Difference-Oriented Research Strategy
  • True Experimental or RCT Method
  • Quasi-Experimental Method
  • Single-Case Experimental Method
  • Nonexperimental Comparative Groups Method
  • Association-Oriented Research Strategy
  • Correlational Method
  • Predictive Method
  • Descriptive-Oriented Research Strategy
  • Single-Case Quantitative Analysis Method
  • Survey method
  • Naturalistic/Structured Observational Method
  • Case Report Method

55
Where Do We Go from Here? (cont.) Options in
theQualitative Research Category
  • Contextual/Interpretive-Oriented Research
    Strategy
  • Case Study Method
  • Phenomenological Method
  • Grounded Theory Method
  • Ethnographic Method
  • Example (viz., of Case Study) Anderson, R.
    (1999). A case study in integrative medicine
    Alternative theories the language of
    biomedicine. The Journal of Alternative
    Complementary Medicine, 5(2), 165-173.

56
Where Do We Go from Here? (cont.) Options in
theIntegrative Research Category
  • Synthesis-Oriented Research Strategy
  • Traditional Narrative Review Method
  • Critical Systematic Review Method
  • Meta-Analytic Systematic Review Method
  • Best-Evidence Synthesis Method
  • Qualitative Systematic Review Methods
  • Qualitative Meta-Synthesis method
  • Qualitative Meta-Summary Method
  • Example (viz., of Meta-Analysis) Moyer, C. A.,
    Rounds, J., Hannum, J. W. (2004). A
    meta-analysis of massage therapy research.
    Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 3-18.

57
Where Do We Go from Here? (cont.) Examples of
Most Critical Input Needed from Massage
Therapists As Members of a Research Team
  • Determination of principal anatomical
    structure(s) physiological function(s) impacted
    by the clients presenting signs symptoms
  • Formulation of a research-based
    practice-sensitive treatment protocol appropriate
    to the clients presenting condition and desired
    outcomes of the intervention
  • Ensuring that the treatment protocol is specific
    operational enough to allow replication (full
    or partial) in future studies and/or practice
    applications
  • Translating or transitioning massage research
    findings into practice-relevant applications for
    the benefit of clients (i.e., translational
    research)

58
Follow-Ups to This Session
  • Contact at hymel_at_loyno.edu, http//loyno.edu/hyme
    l/, or (504) 865-3257
  • Participation in Massage Research Education
    (MRE) LISTSERV via hymel_at_loyno.edu
  • Reflections on Needed Curricular Content and
    Instructional Delivery Methods To Advance MRE
  • Resources of the Massage Therapy Foundation
  • Massage Research Database at www.massagetherapyfou
    ndation.org/researchdb.html
  • Student Practitioner Case Report Contests at
    www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/education.html
  • Forthcoming (Summer 2008) International Journal
    of Therapeutic Massage Bodywork Research,
    Education, Practice
  • Resources of the National Center for
    Complementary Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at
    http//nccam.nih.gov/

59
A Parting Thought . . . .
Some people see things as they are and ask
Why? others dream things that never were and
ask Why not? (George Bernard Shaw). Bringing
the incredible healing power of touch to others
most in need, both physically and emotionally, is
a privilege, an honor, and indeed a sacred trust.
In that regard, let us always endeavor to count
ourselves among those who dream things that
never were and ask Why not? (Hymel, 2006, p.
xiv)
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