Problem addressed by the study
The study recognizes that patients with breast cancer lack of information on chemotherapy and cognitive changes. The study therefore, aims to help breast cancer patients by providing information on crucial issues related with the condition.
The problem addressed by the study is very imperative for nursing to study to ensure that breast cancer patients no longer lack information related with the disease. Study of this problem will help breast cancer patients’ informed consent, authenticate the process of CRCI and increase the satisfaction of breast cancer patients.
The main purpose of the study was to give a comprehensive description of chemotherapy related cognitive impairment. The study mainly targeted women with breast cancer and its aim was to find out related information that the affected women would use before chemotherapy. The purpose of the research was to also look out for information crucial for women with breast cancer especially during the early stages of cognitive transformation.
The study seeks to help women with breast cancer by providing them with vital information that they can use to make important decisions before going for a therapy. The study acknowledges that earlier studies show that there is little knowledge on cognitive changes in breast cancer patients hence the need for the patients to be informed.
The study had mainly four research questions. The following are the questions that formed the basis of the study:
- Women who had undergone chemotherapy were asked to explain their encounter with CRIC.
- The women were asked what information on CRCI they thought would be useful before starting treatment.
- The women diagnosed with breast cancer were also asked information that they would find useful on CRCI when cognitive changes manifested.
The researched questions stated by the study are broad enough to ensure a qualitative study. The questions used in the study are evocative and problematic hence will attract the attention of the reviewer (Alexandrov 135). The questions used are of particular interest to the breast cancer patients because it addresses their predicaments. The research questions that the study uses are relevant especially to the breast cancer patients as the questions seek to address the problems that they face.
The research questions are distinctive as they address the problems of breast cancer patients in a new and unique manner. The study uses questions that are researchable hence meet the threshold of a qualitative study. The questions also have limited variables hence making it easy to focus on the main problem and make it easy to research.
The study adopted a qualitative and descriptive design methodology which is suitable for getting straight answers that are important to health practitioners (Spark, Dunn and Houlahan 345). The data used in the study was obtained by use of questionnaires, interviewing and focus groups. Reviews were done on the interviews by specialists to ensure they were credible.
The participants of the study were obtained from University of Kansas Breast Cancer Survivorship Center and affiliates of the Kansas City Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society. The study used sampling in selecting women above the age of 18, had breast cancer of any stage and had competed therapy in 6 to 12 months time. The women needed to have undergone cognitive changes such as mental gloominess, difficulties in concentration, short memory, difficulty in doing arithmetic calculations and poor direction while driving.
The study did the sampling until there was no more fresh information found from the interviews. The study design that was adopted by the study is effective because it allows the researcher get enough information from the breast cancer patients that is crucial in making important conclusions from the information obtained.
Philosophical/Theoretical basis of the study
The theoretical framework used in the study employs a scientific approach. The study reviews earlier work done by other researchers that is relevant to the topic under study. The theoretical framework that the study uses helps the study to form a hypothesis. The study cites references that support the philosophical approach of the study.
For instance, the study cites studies done by other researchers that attempt to address breast cancer issues especially those are related to CRCI. The theoretical framework that is adopted by the study is suitable for the data collection procedures that the study adopts. The study’s framework is related to the nursing because it gives a clear perspective on the breast cancer issues.
Review of Related Literature
The articles that are reviewed in the study are relevant to the previous studies done on the topic of breast cancer. The articles that are used in the study are a build-up of the earlier theories formulated in the field of nursing and especially the focus on breast cancer. For instance, a study that was cited in the study, done by Jenkins and other researchers dealt on the cognitive changes in early stage breast cancer.
Most of the references that are used in the study are most recent, a majority of them authored in the last ten years. 18 sources from in the study are from the last ten years while five are from the last five years (Myers, Sousa and Donovan 596).
Subjects and Setting
The setting of the study is the University of Kansas Breast Cancer and the Kansas City Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society. The subjects that were used in the study are women who were breast cancer victims and were selected from the University of Kansas Breast Cancer and the Kansas City Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society. The study used purposive sampling to select the subjects of the study.
The sampling method that the study uses is effective because it mainly targets only women who have the breast cancer condition. This ensures that the researchers easily get the information that they need because the sample that they are using is what they are targeting. The sample of 18 women with breast cancer that the study used was adequate because the researcher would be able to make important conclusions based on the sample.
The University of Kansas Breast cancer and Kansas City Chapter of Oncology Nursing Society were good settings for the study because this is where the researcher would easily get the interviewees with breast cancer for the study. The institutional board approval was given by University of Kansas Medical Center.
The participants would not be interviewed without informed consent and interviewees’ first names would be used to keep their identity confidential. The steps that were taken to protect the rights of the subjects were effective as they protected their identity and they were to take part in interviews only on condition that they consented.
Data collection procedure and Appropriateness of data analysis methods
The data used in the study was collected through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interview guides by use of open-ended quizzes. The interview guides had 4 questions and a series of survey questions that increased the participation of the respondents. The interviews were carried out in locations that were appropriate to both the interviewers and the interviewees.
When the interviews were completed, the interviewees who were willing would take part in focus groups which aimed at validating the data that was collected during the interviews. The data collected was reviewed by experts who had skills in qualitative content analysis.
The data that was collected was supplemented with journal notes. This ensured that there was no bias in the study. The data collection procedures that were employed in the study were effective for a qualitative research. The study used interviews and focus groups which are effective for a qualitative research.
Data saturation is a point in data collection when the information that is being revealed by participants in a study to the researcher is repetitive and no new information is obtained hence the researcher stops collecting the information as inclusion of newer participants would not add any new information (Magilvy and Thomas 298). Data saturation was achieved in the study as the collection of data was stopped when information collected from the participants was no longer new.
Specific data analysis procedure used
The data that was collected for the study was analyzed through an iterative procedure. The data was analyzed through an inductive analysis that was used to report the data (Elo and Kyngas 107). Qualitative software was used in processing the data. Direct quotations from the participants were used to give a comprehensive description of what the breast cancer patients experienced and what was recommended for education.
Coding was also used to interpret the data collected from the field. Coding is a technique that is used in qualitative design to classify data and give a way to process the information into some quantitative methods (Liamputtong 209).
The data analysis procedures that the study uses are effective for qualitative data analysis because it codifies the data that is collected in the field. The data analysis procedures that are employed in the study are consistent with qualitative data analysis procedures because the data is categorized into segments and descriptions are used.
Evidence of Auditability/Decision Trail/Member checks
Decision trail involves documentation of analytic decisions made in a study. Decision trail helps to improve transparency and ensure trustworthiness. The study maintained a decision trail where journal notes were employed in data trailing. The decision trail was reported in the study in detail. This is mentioned in the study where the journal notes were used to make an audit of the data collected.
Outcomes of the study
The study reveals that there is evidence of cognitive changes on many areas ranging from memory problems, concentration and coordination. From the study, there was a high rate of reported symptoms of CRCI. The results from the study also matched earlier results done on ovarian cancer patients (Cohen, Kahn and Steeves 454).
The study found out that the breast cancer patients believed that education on CRCI was important before a patient underwent chemotherapy, thus there was need for intensive sensitization of breast cancer patients.
The themes used in the study, “How I changed and How I Cope” showed the outcome CRCI had on the life of the patients. The theme, “How to Teach Me”, showed the need for breast cancer patients to be educated on the CRCI. The themes would be a good approach by nurses in education of patients and families.
Strengths and limitations of the study
The research was done using ways consistent with qualitative research and this was a key strength for the study. The methods that were employed in the collection of the data were effective and the methods used to collect the data collected were effective. The study also underwent expert reviews and specialists from the University of Kansas helped in the analysis of data. The study also had limitations because coding was done by only one investigator, hence it was prone to bias on interpretation by only one person.
The researcher concludes that the study reveals a comprehensive experience on CRCI and provides important perspective on how patients should be educated. The researcher believes that the results of the study can be used to help breast cancer patients. The researcher suggests that the results from the study can be used by oncology nurses to carry out further research in the field. The interpretations of the study are clear hence can be replicated.
The study has impacted me greatly as a nurse. From the study, I have learnt how to deal with breast cancer patients especially just before undergoing chemotherapy. This will make it easy for me to serve my patients best because I have the knowledge. Using knowledge from the study, I will help breast cancer patients to deal with their condition. I believe that this study will make me a better nurse than before.
Alexandrov, Andrei. “How to Write a Research Paper.” Cerebrovascular Diseases 18.2 (2004): 135 – 138. Print.
Cohen, Zichi, David Kahn and Richard Steeves. “Making use of qualitative research.” Western Journal of Nursing Research 24. 4 (2002): 454 – 471. Print.
Elo, Satu and Helvi Kyngäs. “The qualitative content analysis process.” Journal of advanced nursing 62.1 (2008):107 – 115. Print.
Liamputtong, Pranee. “Qualitative Data Analysis: Conceptual and Practical Considerations.” Health Promotion Journal of Australia: Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals 20.2 (2009):133 – 139. Print.
Magilvy, Joan, and Eileen Thomas. “A first qualitative project: qualitative descriptive design for novice researchers.” Journal for specialists in pediatric nursing: JSPN 14.4 (2009): 298 – 300. Print.
Myers, Jamie, Valmi Sousa and Heidi Donovan. “Predictors of self-reported memory problems in patients with ovarian cancer who have received chemotherapy.” Oncology nursing forum 37.5 (2010): 596 – 603. Print.
Spark, Joy, Rebecca Dunn and Kelli Houlahan. “Women’s Perspective on Progesterone: A Qualitative Study Conducted in Australia.” International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding 13.4 (2009): 345. Print.