Example Of Designing A Study Case Study
1. Develop a research question or purpose of the study
The research question for the study is:
Will introducing better meal options in the hospital help in increasing patient satisfaction?
The purpose of the study is to collect data in order to investigate whether patient satisfaction at the hospital is improvable if patients receive more flexible meal option.
2. Selection of subjects for study (what is the sample)
The target population for the study will comprise of patients, doctors and nurses at the hospital. Due to limiting funds and time, only a small number of respondents shall, be selected from the target population, while upholding the desirable accuracy at a minimum cost. The study will require 100 respondents drawn from the patients at the hospital.
The sampling technique to be utilized to select the sample shall be simple random sampling which will involve selecting subjects indiscriminately. This approach shall guarantee uniformity in the data sought, and thus yield a representative sample of the target population. The reason for this is that each subject will have an equal chance of selection for the study.
When selecting the sample, an inclusion and exclusion criteria will be utilized. For consideration into the sample, a patient’s stay at the hospital should be more than 7 days since the experiment runs over this period.
3. Assignment of subjects to experimental or control groups
The patient group of respondents will be assigned into the experimental and control group. In this case, the experimental group will receive a new meal plan for a week while the control group will receive regular meals over the same period. At the end of the same period both groups will fill in a questionnaire in order to determine whether, there are any significant differences in the level of satisfaction because of the meal plan.
4. Study time period
The study will take period of two months from start to completion. During the two-month period, collection, organization, and analysis of both primary and secondary data will be carried out in order to produce credible results.
5. Type of data to be gathered
The data to be collected for the study will include the following:
The study will collect data on patient satisfaction based on the meals received. This will be tested in order to determine the correlation between the two variables
The study will also collect data on the challenges faced by patients based on the meals received that undermine satisfaction
The study will also collect data on suggestion by patients on how meals can be improved in order to improve satisfaction
The study will also collect data on the financial implication on the hospital if it decides to change its meal plans
The study will collect data from secondary sources such as credible books and journals on the relationship between patient satisfaction and meals
6. Measures of meal options and of patient satisfaction
Patient satisfaction because of meal options will be measured using a 5-point Likert scale (Very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied). This scale will be contained in the questionnaire and the respondents will be required to select their level of satisfaction based on the scale.
7. Method of data collection
For this study, both primary and secondary data will be collected. Primary data collection procedures will include self-administered questionnaires issued to the patients selected to participate in the study. The use of self-administered data collection procedures is to ensure that as much data is collected from many respondents at a low cost. The questionnaire will be provided to the patient at the end of the one-week experiment. When the need for a person to administer a questionnaire is eliminated, it makes it possible to reach many people. However, removing this requirement also means that the questions have to be very simple. This means that only very simple data can be collected using this method. Secondary data collection methods will involve collecting data from previous research and publications on the relationship between meal options and patient satisfaction.
8. Guidelines for data interpretation
The amount of data gathered will be a lot and to get sense out of it will require the use of various data analysis techniques. In order to analyze the data gathered it is important to organize it first. The questionnaires will also be checked for comprehensiveness and consistency, crosschecking mistakes and omissions. Furthermore, it will also be coded and using SPSS the data can be entered for further statistical analysis. Generally, coding is done from number one to five based on the satisfaction scale discussed earlier. This means that satisfaction will be coded as follows (1 = Very satisfied, 2= satisfied, 3 = neutral, 4 = dissatisfied, and 5= very dissatisfied). Once it has been coded statistical analysis such as correlation and regression will be utilized to test the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable. Graphs and charts will be used to present the data collected as they make interpretation easy. The secondary data collected will be summarized into a literature review that will form a basis for the study.
Research question – the research question is not obvious in the article. It is important to have a research question as it guides direction of the study.
Study time period – the time period of the study is not obvious. Time is important as it helps in determining how long the study took.
Assignment of subjects to experimental or control groups – this element is also not obvious in the article. It is important as it helps in creating a comparable experimental and control group.
Clements, A., Henderson, B. J., Tyndel, S., Evans, G., Brain, K., Austoker, J., & Watson, E. (2008). Diagnosed with breast cancer while on a family history screening programme: an exploratory qualitative study. European journal of cancer care, 17(3), 245-252.
Watters, C. A., Sorensen, J., Fiala, A., & Wismer, W. (2003). Exploring patient satisfaction with foodservice through focus groups and meal rounds. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(10), 1347-1349.
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