NURS 8310/ NURS 8310F/ NURS 8310M/ NURS 8310A/ NURS 8310C Week 4: Analytic Epidemiology Designs: Experimental

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NURS 8310 Week 4: Analytic Epidemiology Designs: Experimental Essay Assignment

In the fall of 2011, the FDA announced a shortage of important chemotherapy drugs; this shortage, in turn, disrupted clinical trials and led to potential challenges in assessing data from those studies. Experimental research, which includes clinical trials, plays a pivotal role in the advancement of disease prevention and treatment. Once a risk factor has been established, the next step is testing an intervention through experimental research methods. Does this drug actually prevent or ameliorate symptoms?

In Week 3, you examined observational study designs, an important form of analytic epidemiology. This week, the focus turns to experimental studies. As you explore this topic, think about why experimental research is considered the “gold standard” of epidemiology. You will also begin developing Assignment 2 (Sections 1 and 2 of Major Assessment 7) and consider which research design will best address your selected population health problem.NURS 8310 Week 4: Analytic Epidemiology Designs: Experimental Essay Assignment

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze a randomized controlled trial research study
  • Analyze ethical issues with a randomized control trial study
  • Evaluate epidemiologic study designs to answer a population health study question
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of health data sources to answer a population health study question
  • Determine primary data collection methods for a specific population health problem

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), asthma is a leading chronic illness in children ages 5 to 17, a leading cause of school absenteeism, and the third highest cause of hospitalizations in children younger than 15 (2011). The costs associated with treating this chronic illness are high.

A number of randomized control trials have examined the effect of instituting a home management program for treating asthma in combination with pharmaceuticals. These studies found that, by implementing a structured home management program, the morbidity, severity, and frequency of asthmatic episodes were reduced (Agrawl, Singh, Mathew, & Malhi, 2005). Recent research is also exploring how and when to cut back on levels of medication as asthma episodes become controlled, further reducing the cost of this chronic illness; however, controversy remains over the long-term effects of reducing levels of medication due to the disparateness of asthma (Rogers & Reiberman, 2012).

For this Discussion, you are asked to identify an example of an experimental study design in the popular literature and consider the ethical implications of the randomized control trial design.

To prepare:

  • Search the Internet and credible websites to locate a news piece or article that features a randomized trial study design. The article should be from a widely distributed news source, accessible to and written for a lay audience. Possible sources include, but are not limited to, online magazines, online newspapers, and health news websites. Be sure to include a link to the article in your posting. You may not select an article already posted by one of your colleagues for this Discussion.
  • Critically analyze the following aspects of the research study:
    • Purpose
    • Study population
    • Length of the trial
    • Data collection methods
    • Outcome measures
    • Results and conclusions
    • Ethical issues associated with the study
  • Ask yourself: How did this research study benefit from its randomized design? What was discovered by randomization that might not otherwise have been demonstrated?

By Day 3

Post a cohesive scholarly response that addresses the following:

  • Summarize the research study addressing the aspects bulleted above. In your posting, provide a link to the article you selected.
  • Identify and discuss the ethical issues associated with this study.

By Day 5

Respond to at least one of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence, or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

Discussion 2: Epidemiologic Designs

As introduced in the first few weeks of this course, investigators use various epidemiological study designs to study health problems and the effects of health interventions. You have examined several study designs, including descriptive designs (in Week 2) and analytic study designs that are observational (in Week 3) or experimental (this week). As a DNP student, you should be able to determine which study design would be most suitable for addressing a health problem of interest to you, as this is a foundation for evidence-based practice.

For this Discussion, you will consider which epidemiologic study design (i.e., descriptive, ecologic, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, or experimental) is most appropriate for investigating the population health problem you selected for Assignment 1. In addition, you will consider which epidemiologic data sources you would use to examine your health problem.

To prepare:

  • Reflect on the population health problem you identified in Assignment 1, which you will use for Major Assessment 7, and your early review of the literature.
  • Identify a question for your study; this will help you select an appropriate design.
  • Consider which epidemiologic study design (i.e., descriptive, ecologic, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort, or experimental) is most appropriate for addressing your selected health problem based upon the assumptions and basic tenets of each design.
  • Determine which epidemiological design(s) would not be appropriate for your study and why.
  • Also, explore the various health data resources that were presented in Chapter 5 of the course text, Epidemiology for Public Health Practice. Consider which data resources you could use for your study, assessing the strengths and limitations of those resources.

NURS 8310 Week 4: Analytic Epidemiology Designs: Experimental Essay Assignment

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