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In any given research, it is important to have a well-planned search strategy to aid in collecting all the required information on the topic being researched. In addition to a well-planned search strategy, it is vital that the researcher fully understands the topic of research. In this case, the research concerns formulation of a computer-based search strategy to collect information using evidence-based research methodology only.
The first step in this search will be to formulate a question that will guide the research. In evidence-based methodology, for the question to be most comprehensive, it needs to have the PICO aspects (Huang, 2003). The PICO aspects cover the population, the intervention, comparison and the outcome. In this case, the question guiding my research is “Can additional choices of food and places to eat improve appetite and maintain weight in residents with dementia?” The population in this context will be the dementia patients while the intervention will be the provision of additional choices of foods and places to eat. This is in comparison with the current choices that the patients have. The outcome will be the effect that these changes will have on their appetite and consequently their weight.
The next step will be to conduct a search on the internet to get all the written materials related to this topic. There are various materials written concerning the feeding habits of dementia patients including the types of food recommended for them to eat (Fisher, 2011). In addition, there are researches done on the response of these patients to certain types of food (HelpGuide, 2011). Moreover, there are articles written on the best food for dementia patients and this will help in guiding this research (LiveStrong, 2011). All these collected material will be read through to see all that has been written about the topic which will assist in giving the background information and setting a foundation for this research.
The other step will be to use a computer-based search strategy to collect data on this research topic. This will involve searching for all the homes that care for patients with dementia around my area. A thorough and careful search will be conducted and all the details concerning these homes will be recorded. These details will include the location of the home, the number of patients within each identified home and the types of diets given to these residents in each and every home. In addition, the details of the caregivers in each home will be recorded so that in case there is a need to contact them to clarify any information, then that will be easily done. Also, weight records of these residents will be retrieved and if this is not possible due to the policy of confidentiality, the researcher will make a personal request to the homes to get all the information that will assist in the conduction of this research.
When all the details concerning these homes have been collected, a comparison of the types of foods being given and the residents’ records of weight and eating habits will be made. All the foods which are most liked by the residents will be identified and recorded. These records will be used as evidence of the effect of additional food choices on the residents’ eating habits. Therefore, for the research to be truly evidence-based, the conclusion must be drawn from the best evidence available (DynaMed, 2010).
In addition to the computer research mentioned above, the following evidence-based research methodology which is experimental and scientific will be used. It will involve use of control and experimental groups (Brown, 2007). Residents from a number of randomly selected care centers or homes will be involved. The researcher will suggest the addition of a number of foods. The residents’ responses will be studied and recorded. In addition, during the research, the residents will get chances to choose where they want to have their meals and the researcher will collect the data on how they respond.
All the results collected from this research will be recorded in the computer and a comparison of the results from various residents in various centers will be done to see how each resident responds to the provision of additional food variety and the choice of the area to have their meals from. Any weight improvement or deterioration will be recorded. Any significant similarities in response to certain foods and areas will be noted so as to be included in the findings and recommendations where they are needed.
During this research, the caregivers will be involved to assist in monitoring and providing information to the researcher concerning the observations made. This will be necessary since the researcher cannot collect sufficient data from all these centers all alone.
To communicate with all the caretakers involved and to collect sufficient data within the set period of time, communication via telephone and emails will be involved so as to liaise with all the caregivers and collect a lot of information while saving time (Brown, 2007). The caregivers will be sent for tables with information on various identified food types and they will be required to write their observations against each food type and feeding area and include a record of changes in the residents’ weight.
When all the data has been collected, an analysis will be done to see how the residents respond to the changes of adding food and offering them a chance to choose where they want to eat from (Fischer, 2009). In addition, each resident’s favorite food and the types of food generally most liked by the residents will be identified. All the information collected during the evidence-based research study is used to help in making vital medical decisions (The American Dental Hygienists’ Association, 2010). Therefore, after this analysis, a report will be prepared to record the findings of this research and make the necessary recommendation where needed.
Brown N., Fitzallen, N. (2007). Evidence-based Research in Practice. Web.
DynaMed, (2010) 7-Step Evidence-based Methodology. Web.
Fischer W., Etchegaray J. (2009). Understanding Evidence-Based Research Methods: Descriptive Statistics, The Health Environments Research and Design Journal. Web.
Fisher M. (2011) Reducing calorie and carbohydrate intake may affect Alzheimer’s disease (search) risk.
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HelpGuide (2011) Alzheimer’s Behavior Management: Managing Common Symptoms and Problems. Web.
Huang, W. (2003) Formulating Clinical Questions During Community Preceptorships: A First Step in Utilizing Evidence-based Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
LiveStrong (2011) The best Food For Dementia Patients To Eat.
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (2010) Evidence-based Methodology. Web.