Critiquing a Quantitative Article
Rural healthcare is one of the areas in healthcare that is faced with challenges in the United States. Essentially, rural-urban migration has contributed to neglect to some point of rural healthcare services, with the quality of these services deteriorating each and every day. Notably, the number of Americans living in rural areas has declined steadily over the past few years. With this in mind, the article “The health status of Veterans using mobile clinics in rural areas” by Wray, Nelda P, Weiss, Thomas W, Christian, Carol E and Menke, Terri that appeared in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved in August 1999 is one of the most important articles that highlights the health issues of the neglected people in society, taking into account that these people live in the rural areas where access to healthcare services is limited. In line with this, while focusing on the health status of veterans who live in rural areas, the articles is an eye-opener to the plight that these people faced in terms of health issues. Note that issues such as the insurance cover as well as the availability of high-class medical equipment contribute to improved healthcare in the United States, and this makes it that rural people are disadvantaged (Glasgow, Johnson & Morton, 2004).
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Arguably, the findings in this articles play a significant role in understanding the areas that need serious improvements in rural health as well as forming a basis for understanding the policies that need to be laid down to ensure that healthcare services are moved also moved to rural areas. In line with this, this is one of the areas that need further research to understand the challenges that the neglected people in rural areas face, and how their access to quality healthcare would be improved. Furthermore, understanding the arguments in the article also forms a strong for research on the flaws in healthcare policies in the United States as well as how these policies can be strengthened to whole include Americans in healthcare coverage. Therefore, as a person who is interested in the distribution of healthcare services across the United States, I would be compelled to carry out a similar study. Note that healthcare issues have been a subject of discussion lately and finding appropriate solutions to the problems that the United States face through studies would contribute to the welfare of Americans. A similar study would rely heavily on the studies that have been carried out in the past as well as current information on the subject. The sources would, therefore, include text, scholastic journals as well as appropriate websites.
Appropriate Examples, Design, and Feasibility of the Study
The study that was carried out in the article “The health status of Veterans using mobile clinics in rural areas” was a feasible study that highlighted important healthcare issues that the poor and the neglected people face in rural societies in the United States. To begin with, the study had access to the necessary data that provided a basis for a feasible study. Note that the study relied heavily on data that had been collected previously through various researches that had been carried out in the United States on healthcare issues that affected the veterans in rural areas. Similar data for veterans in urban areas was also available. However, one of the issues that challenged the feasibility of this study is the area of coverage of the study. In other words, collecting a sample in a particular geographical area was challenged by the fact that the mobile clinics that were used to collect most of this data were distributed over a wide geographical area. According to Wray et al. (1999), each mobile clinic had a parent hospital that extended from Togus, Maine, to Spokane, Washington: the parent hospitals were widely distributed geographically (p. 340).
Another issue that challenged the feasibility of the study was embedded in the fact that the research depended on the opinions of the patients rather than the doctors that operated the mobile clinics. Whereas the article was clear in identifying the common diseases that were highlighted during the study, they failed to focus on the main challenges that the patients faced from a medical point of view. In other words, the research questioned patients on the status of their health, with the majority of them arguing that their health was fair or poor. Whereas this was the case, depending on official reports from the doctors would strengthen the research as compared to patients’ reports. For instance, some of the patients argued that they hindered from work as a result of physical challenges as opposed to emotional challenges. Therefore, whereas the research was feasible in this article, its effectiveness needed to be ascertained.
On the other hand, the design of the study was appropriate. Note that the article begins by defining various challenges that were experienced by people in the rural areas to back up the topic of the study. The article begins by arguing its points from a broader perspective and narrows down to the specific issue that was to be addressed. In line with this, it is important to understand that this lays a proper background for the article on how to approach the issue. It is also worthy to note that the article begins by the abstract, then introduction, methodology, results, and discussion. This is a good study design. However, the study design could be enhanced further by the inclusion of certain aspects such as conclusion on its own rather than merging it with the discussion section as well as the inclusion of recommendations. Note that the design that was used in this case does not include recommendation section, which is pertinent in any particular study.
In regard to appropriate examples, the study included significant examples that strengthened the points that were highlighted by the research. More importantly, most of the examples that are provided in the study were based on a factual understanding of healthcare issues in the American society. Furthermore, some of the examples that were used in this paper were based on data that had been collected before, thus leaving no doubt that they were correct or rather accurate.
Ways to Improve the Study
There are various ways through which the study would be improved. To begin with, whereas the data that had been collected in this study had been substantiated, it was of utmost important to ascertain the validity of this data by clearly defining the sample size as well as the specific data to be collected. One of the issues that are mentioned in the study is that it was possible that the estimate in the study of the health status of veterans in comparison clinics was biased in that only 39 percent of those veterans participated in the study (Wray et al., 1999, p. 345). To avoid such doubts, the study would need to clearly define the data that was to be collected as well as identify a specific sample, rather than depending on a general sample.
The organization of the study could also be improved further. Currently, the article began with a clear organization structure. However, the conclusion, as well as the recommendation sections of the article, was either corrupted or lacking. As such, the conclusion, as well as the recommendation section of the study, was totally unclear. Therefore, to improve the presentation of the study, recommendations and conclusion need to be included in the article as a separate section rather than being bundled together with the discussion section as it has been done in the article. The literature review section was also wanting in this article.
There are also clinical issues that could be addressed to improve the article. In this regard, rather than depending on how the veterans felt, it was also important to determine the views and responses from qualified medical practitioners who operated these clinics. On the other hand, whereas assumptions were critical in researches and studies, clinical research and studies require the actual substantiation of facts that are under discussion. Note that the article reveals that the study depended on too many assumptions. This weakens the findings in the study. In addition, it was important for the study to state whether ethical issues were observed such as protecting the privacy of all respondents who participated in the research as well as mention the limitations of the study (Lo, 2009).
Research Issues in the Study
There are various research issues in the article that were or need to be addressed. To begin with, the research problem and the purpose of this study were succinct and thus straight to the points. However, the hypothesis of the paper was not strong enough to raise strong research questions that were pertinent in the study. On the contrary, the weak hypothesis resulted in the lack of clearly stated research questions that would help in addressing or rather meeting the purpose of the paper. In addition, this research did not have literature review of what had been done in the past or was being done. Moreover, there was a lack of a theoretical/conceptual framework to guide the study. This weakened further the research. Apart from the structure as well as the approach to the design, it is not clear whether ethical issues were observed while gathering data to protect the privacy of the respondents.
This could easily raise legal issues and discredit the study. Future studies should consider using research design instruments and measurement tools because as it was, there was use in a limited manner. On the other hand, data collection and analysis needed to be enhanced in the future study to lay emphasis on the correctness as well as on clarity. Similarly, whereas the interpretation of findings and discussion of these findings was clear, the study failed to point out important research issues namely; limitation of the study, its implications for practice as well as make recommendations for future research.