This paper presents a critique of a qualitative research study by Ogedegbe, Mancuso, and Allegrante (2004) entitled, ‘Expectations of blood pressure management in hypertensive African American patients: a qualitative study.’ The authors acknowledge that hypertension is indeed more common among Americans of African descent; they are found to experience more of the detrimental effects of the condition compared to their European American counterparts. The introduction of the article cites various references from previous investigations, which explain the racial disparity existing between the two groups. In the course of the study, certain patterns emerged that permitted the researchers to inductively come up with suppositions which led to phenomenological approach to the experiences and perceptions of African American hypertensive patients concerning treatment expectations.
We will write a custom Essay on The Hypertensive African American Patients: Blood Pressure Management specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Study Purpose and Research Questions
The purpose of the study is tacitly indicated in the abstract and the introduction part of the study; the purpose of the research is to extract and distinguish the treatment expectations among hypertensive patients of African American origin adhered to a basic care practice. The study does not have a hypothesis as should be the case for qualitative research. Instead, the driving force behind the research is the proposition that patients’ expectations of their treatment of hypertension are likely to be either biomedical or non-biomedical. There exists some positive subjectivity on the researchers’ part in that the study allows them to carry out their study in accordance with the literature review (Burns & Grove, 2011, p. 82).
There is no delineated literature review section. However, the researchers draw on some pertinent literature in an attempt to give a logical background to their study. For instance, at the beginning of the study, the authors refer to a similar study of older hypertensive women in Louisiana (Ogedegbe, Mancuso, & Allegrante, 2004, p.443). This provides useful evidence to back up the need to analyze patients’ beliefs before making a prescription. Most of the literature cited is relevant to that time though very little of it is closer enough to the time of inquiry. In fact, the literature is somewhat vague and lacks depth as there is only a brief description. There is little evaluation of that literature.
Majority of the references seem to be based on empirical investigations though very little details are provided. The article is considered a phenomenological inquiry; the authors present and discuss the weakness of the previous study on the subject. The review presents a convincing argument for the significance of such a study.
Conceptual / Theoretical Framework
There is no definitive conceptual or theoretical framework; the authors direct us along with the supposition that patients’ beliefs, especially their perception of patient care, affect clinical results. The authors depict the various approaches toward tackling the prevalent hypertensive problem among African Americans. This way, the reader not only gets acquainted with the researchers’ motive but also understands the author’s perspective.
Study Design and Procedures
A research approach determines the design of a study (Creswell, 2003, p.159). The interview technique was clearly a qualitative paradigm and was appropriate in collecting numerical data and addressing the research issue. The specific sample group of adult African American patients diagnosed with hypertension and having at least a year’s encounter with high blood pressure treatment prescriptions was also deliberate; considering all the factors mentioned in selecting the sample, it offered the best chance to study and understand the social context of the problem.
Recoding the patients’ responses verbatim was a sure way of minimizing bias and ensuring reliability and validity. The same case is applicable to the choosing of respondents who are fluent in English. However, this may have locked out useful information especially from a population that does not speak English well but which has similar if not deeper experiences. Tape recording the participants’ responses would also have added validity to the data collected.
The researchers obtained approval from the Institutional review board before conducting the study. The consent of the patients was sought before the interviews showed that the study was ethical. Subjects were identified through a review of medical records and appointment registers. However, it is not clear if the review of medical records was approved.
The researchers’ presentation of the findings of the study is complete and is based on the participants’ responses. The continuous attempts to observe and categorize consistent patterns of perceptions, explanations, and expression show that African American hypertensive patients have various expectations of their treatment. The researchers also admit to some weaknesses in their inquiry in terms of sample population, research methodologies and nature of findings (Ogedegbe, Mancuso, & Allegrante, 2004, p.448). They nevertheless propose other data collection methods for future research.
The findings of this study will indeed be of realistic significance to clinical nursing practices. The results will particularly help improve clinical practice by informing healthcare providers on hypertension units. It will inform future investigations on the need to include validity instruments to determine hypertensive patients’ perceptions regarding medication adherence and controlling high blood pressure.
Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2011). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence- based practice. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage Publications.
Ogedegbe, G., Mancuso, C. A. & Allegrante, J. P. (2004). Expectations of blood pressure management in hypertensive African American patients: a qualitative study. Journal of National Medical Association, 96(4), 442-449. Web.