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Design, Data Analysis, and Sampling Techniques in Clinical Research Essay

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Updated: May 11th, 2022

Introduction

Clinical research may emanate from questions raised in a hospital ward. A case in point is the research questions by Gans & Beek (2002). The questions touch on the possible effects of steroids on pyogenic meningitis. Another question may analyze how neurocysticercosis is related to epilepsy (Gans & Beek, 2002). It is from this that more refined research questions may develop. For instance, Gans & Beek (2002) developed two refined research questions from the general questions above. To conduct a clinical study, one must come up with a single focused research question.

Setting

It is important to choose an appropriate setting to conduct the study. The setting may be a hospital or a population. The reason for this is that the profile of some diseases may be different within a population and within a hospital setting. Generalizability of the study reported in the articles relies on how Gans & Beek (2002) and Scarborough et al. (2007) examined the effects of adjunctive Dexamethasone on bacterial meningitis. Both studies are examples of a clinical study in a hospital setting. The studies involved acute conditions. The researchers assumed that patients suffering from the conditions will seek hospital care. The assumption helped them track down patients suffering from meningitis. It is fallacious to analyze less acute diseases in such settings. From the two studies, it is clear that one cannot generalize the findings if they disregard the inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Sampling

Crosby et al. (2006) provide a working definition of the term ‘sample’. They conceptualize it as balanced reflection of a population. The essence of having a sample is to reduce the cost of studying the entire population. Scarborough et al. (2007) used stratified random sampling. The researchers randomly divided the patients into two groups. One group was treated with Dexamethasone, while the control group was subjected to a placebo (Scarborough et al., 2007, p. 53).

Use of Sampling Techniques and Conclusions Made

According to Crosby et al. (2006), effectiveness in sampling relies on the optimization of the technique used. In the case of Scarborough et al. (2007), sampling was not misused. The study yielded the envisaged results. A critical analysis of Gans & Beek (2002) and Scarborough et al. (2007) reveals that the scholars did not make conclusions outside the boundaries of the samples.

Validation

The profile of some diseases varies from one setting to the other. Other acute diseases, such as Ebola, have a similar profile within both hospital and community settings. For a researcher to make conclusions or generalizations within the boundaries of the sample, they should first establish the resemblance between the sample and the entire population (Tamela & Ketchen, 1999).

References

Crosby, R., DiClemente, R., & Salazar, L. (2006). Research methods in health promotion. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Gans, J., & Beek, V. D. (2002). Dexamethasone in adults with bacterial meningitis. J Med, 324, 1549–56.

Scarborough, M., Gordons, S., French, N., Njale, Y., Chitani, A., Yater, U., & Marti, U. (2007). Corticosteroids for bacterial meningitis in adults in Sub-Saharan Africa. J Med, 357, 2441–50.

Tamela, F. D., & Ketchen, J. D. (1999). Organizational configuration and performance: The role of statistical power in extant research. Strateg Manage J., 20, 385–95.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Design, Data Analysis, and Sampling Techniques in Clinical Research'. 11 May.

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