Term Paper: Coleman Et. Al.) Patient

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[. . .] The test compares the observed distribution of frequencies to an expected distribution of frequencies, and then determines whether or not these distributions are similar (and likely to be from the same population). In this sense, it is similar to a t-test (Urdan, 2005).

6. What type of bias was evident in this study?

Sampling bias was a significant factor in this study. The study represents the experiences of patients of only a selection of OBGYNs, and the subset of respondents from each OBGYN may not be representative of that particular OBGYN's practice, as the selection process was not random. Because there was not a process for random selection of physicians or of patients, the results of the study may not be generalizable to the population as a whole. The physicians selected were members of an organization that promotes participation in research and clinical studies, and thus these physicians may differ in some unknown, yet systematic way from the entire population of OBGYN's in the country (Coleman, 2009).

7. Summarize the findings displayed in Table 4.

The findings displayed in Table 4 emphasize the difference between patient recall of HIV testing recommendations made by their OBGYN and the reported recommendations by the physicians themselves. The table indicates that a much higher number of physicians reported recommending an HIV test than what was indicated by the actual patients, thus indicating that the patients do not have good recall for the recommendation process. The table also breaks up the responses between pregnant and non-pregnant patients (Coleman, 2009).

8. In the Results section of the paper, under the Factors Influencing HIV Test Recommendations subheading, the author notes that a Chi-Square test revealed that race was significantly associated with patient recall of their Ob-Gyn recommending HIV testing. Explain the equation X2 (3) = 17.8, P < 0.01, in other words:

• What does X2 (3) mean? -- This means that the degrees of freedom is equal to 3.

• What does the 17.3 value indicate? -- 17.8 is the Chi-Square value.

• What is the significance of P < 0.01? This lets us know that the difference in proportions found by the Chi-Square test is significant, because the p value is less than .01. This means that there is a less than 1% chance that these results are due to chance, as opposed to being due to an actual difference between the expected and observed frequencies.

9. State at least one limiting factor/limitation of the study and how it impacted the results and/or conclusions.

One significant limitation of this study is the use of self-report measures. Self-report measures are subject to a number of biases and errors that cannot be controlled for by the researchers. One particular weakness concerns the tendency for participants to want to appear in a positive light and thereby provide 'socially desirable' responses. These responses may therefore not be entirely honest, and can then skew the data in one direction or another. Self-report studies are also often completed by participants in the absence of the researcher, and thus it is not possible for concepts to be clarified and it cannot be guaranteed that each participant understands the questions in the same manner as other participants, or in fact in the way that they were intended to be understood by the researchers. In this study, participants are being asked to recall whether or not their OBGYN provided them with information about HIV testing and whether or not their OBGYN asked them specific questions related to their risk status for HIV. One of the conclusions of the study is that participants do not accurately recall the process of HIV testing recommendation, but given self-report limitations, it could be that participants do accurately recall this process, but for one reason or another, do not wish to disclose this information to the researcher (Coleman, 2009).

References

CDC (2008). Training: Policy Research and Development. Retrieved May 16, 2010 from http://www.cdc.gov/phtrain/policy_research.html.

Coleman, (2009). Patient Perceptions of Obstetrician-Gynecologists' Practices Related to HIV Testing. Maternal Child Health Journal, 13, 355-363.

DIGISTATS (2007). Descriptive Statistics; Inferential Statistics; Graphical Analysis. Retrieved on May 16, 2010 from http://www.cvgs.k12.va.us/DIGSTATS/.

Norusis, M.J. (2008). Guide to Data Analysis. SPSS Statistics 17.0.

PurpleMath (2007). Straight-line Equations: Slope-Intercept Form. Retrieved on May 16, 2010 from http://www.purplemath.com/modules/strtlneq.htm.

Ryan, P. (2004). Chapter… [END OF PREVIEW]

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