A Research Proposal on Nursing Education and End-of-Life care
The study will be conducted in the form a quasi-experimental design involving two groups of participants. The comparative quasi- experiment will entail one group as the experimental or intervention group to be compared to a non-equivalent group. Participants in the intervention group will go through the education program while the comparison non-equivalent groups will comprise of nurses will not participant in program. In quasi-experiments, there researcher does not necessarily need an equivalent control group or randomize the participants if the circumstances do not allow (Polit & Beck, 2010). In this case, it would be difficult to have a completely controlled group for comparison because some of the aspects of such as knowledge or information would be difficult to control (Polit & Beck, 2010). Quasi-experiment design is therefore more suitable for this study than experimental design especially for studies involving an intervention. The study design will allow findings in the study to be compared between and within the groups of participants.
The study will be conducted in a hospital selected on basis of providing end-of-life care nursing services. The setting is appropriate because it allows easy recruitment of nurses that provide end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, as the target sample population. The main inclusion criterion for the selection of the study participants will be involvement in delivery of end-of –life care nursing services in the selected hospital.
The participants will be selected to participate in the study on a voluntary basis or voluntary enrolment to take part in the education program. On the other hand, the comparison group of participants will be selected from the nurses providing care to the terminally ill patients that choose not to participate in the education program.
A convenience sampling technique will be employed to come up with the sample population for the study. This is because of the limited number of nurses providing end-of-life care in the hospital and by the fact that nurses are expected to volunteer to participate in the education program *. A convenience sampling technique is appropriate because this is a comparative study in which the finding from the experimental group will be compared with that of the comparison group as well as comparison of the baseline data (pre-test) and the post-test data (Graveller & Forzano, 2015 )*. In addition, according to Graveller and Forzano (2015), the convenience sampling technique is appropriate in settings with unusual or unique characteristic such as caring for terminally ill patients. In addition, the technique is appropriate where participants are selected based on their availability and willingness to take part in an activity as in the case of this study.
Confidentiality in the study will be guaranteed by ensuring that personal information that could lead to identification of the participants is not disclosed or available to third parties. Specifically, for nurses who choose not to participate in the education program, their decision will not be disclosed to the hospital administration and such information will be treated with utmost confidentiality. On the other hand, the questionnaires will be coded to ensure anonymity is maintained throughout the data collection and analysis process (Roe & Webb, 2008 )*.
The intervention to be administered for the experimental group will be an education program designed to educate the participants on the different components of end-of-life care with significance focus on the development of an effective end-of-life care plan. The education program will be implemented in both theoretical and practical lessons. Nurses who volunteer to participate in the education program will go through classroom setting-kind of teaching using PowerPoint presentations and demonstrations. In addition, nurses will also have ward rounds in which they will observe demonstrations from experts as well as get an opportunity to apply some of the knowledge taught in class *.
Prior to the intervention, participants both in the experimental group and the comparison group will be evaluated on the issues covered in education program content to obtain pre-test data *.
The education program is expected to run for 3 months and lessons will be conducted over the weekends to minimize interruptions in the hospital duty roster *. In addition, participants will be provided with reading materials including videos and audio to cover part of the program content out of the classroom setting. Participants in the comparison group will however not attend the classes nor gain access to the content of the program.
Questionnaires to evaluate the knowledge acquired, attitude towards care of terminally ill patients and the frequency of helping patients to develop end-of-life care will be administered three years following end of the education program *. The post-test questionnaires will be administered to participants in the experiment group and the comparison group to collect data required to provide answers to research questions in this study *.
Instruments/Scales and Measurements of Outcomes
The study will use a semi-structured questionnaire to be self-administered among the participants to collect quantitative data (Vogt, Gardner, Haeffele & Vogt, 2014). The questionnaire will be designed to elicit demographic data, attitude scales, knowledge and self-reported frequency of helping patients develop end-of-life care plans.
The measures of outcomes include change in attitude towards providing end-of-life care, knowledge about different aspects of end-of-life care nursing, and self-reported frequency of helping patients to develop end-of-life care plans *.
The data collection will involve self-administered questionnaires to be distributed among the study participants. The participants will be expected to fill the semi-structured questionnaires and drop it at a selected point of collection within the hospital.
The post-test questionnaire will provide data to be compared with the pre-test data collected prior to the implementation of the education program. In this case, the pre-test data will be used as the baseline data upon which comparison will be made to determine changes between and within the two groups of participants (Vogt, Gardner, Haeffele & Vogt, 2014).
Gravetter, F & Forzano, L. (2015). Research methods for the behavioral sciences, (5 ed.). Stamford: Cengage Learning.
Polit, D & Beck, C. (2010). Essentials of nursing research: appraising evidence for nursing practice. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Roe, B & Webb, C. (2008). Research and development in clinical nursing practice. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Vogt, W., Gardner, D., Haeffele & Vogt, E. (2014). Selecting the right analyses for your data: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.
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