Research Design

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Research Design

In this proposed study, a triangulation or ‘mixed’ research method will be used as a methodological framework for quantitatively studying prevalence and early detection of adolescent suicide and self-harm. Ideally, the study will be a quantitative research study that intends to use both primary and secondary research methods (triangulation) to accomplish its purpose. As noted by Hawton, Saunders and O’Connor (2012), self-harm and suicide are significant sources of public health problems in our nation’s adolescents with self-harm statistics being high among teenagers and suicide rates being noted as the third most prevalent cause of death among American teenagers (NIH, 2008). The triangulation research design will help us in exploring self-harm and suicide and evaluate how nurses and other professionals can recognize signs of self-harm and interrupt a cycle that might lead to suicide; which is the purpose of this study.  Hussein (2009) noted that triangulation is a concept that is defined as the application of several qualitative and quantitative techniques in studying a common phenomenon for the sole purpose of increasing the credibility and validity of the study.  The primary research will be conducted by means of an online self-administered survey.

The appropriateness of triangulation research approach for this study

Researchers have always argued that a good research practice often involves the utilization of multiple methods in order to enhance both the validity and reliability the research findings as indicated in the work of (Mathison, 1988).The choice of triangulation as the appropriate research design is inspired by the fact that helps in achieving improved clarity, research completeness and validity as noted by Fielding and Fielding (1986). According to Knafle and Gallo (1995), triangulation technique contributes to the overall quality of a research ‘only to the extent that it facilitates the achievement of some clearly articulated purpose’ (cited in Adami and Kiger, 2005). The convenience of triangulation in nursing research for confirmatory purposes is noted by Adami and Kiger (2005) to be heavily dependent on the principle that research should be a rigorous search for absolute and objective truth. Validity and completeness of findings on how nurses and other professionals can recognize signs of self-harm and interrupt a cycle that might lead to suicide are therefore our motivation for choosing triangulation technique for this study. The overarching objective of this study is to find ways of minimizing mortality and injury due to teenage self-harm and suicide among the American youths.  This must be done with the highest level of clarity, validity and completeness that can only be achieved by means of triangulation.

Purpose of research proposal

Teenage mortality is an important public health issue because the majority of these deaths are preventable. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and it is believed that 14 to 24 percent of teenagers have engaged in self-harm (NIH, 2008).  Every two hours in the United States someone under the age of twenty four successfully commits suicide leaving behind a family and a community that is left to wonder why this has happened and also if there were measures that might have been able to prevent the death from happening (ASS, 2013). The purpose of this study is to explore how nurses and other professionals can recognize signs of self-harm and interrupt a cycle that might lead to suicide. Research into how nurses and professionals are coping with this pandemic will be explored.  An important question will be how assessment tools can identify at risk youths. Nurses from many fields work with adolescents; these include those who work in clinics, in hospitals, in schools and in psychiatric units. This proposal intends to provide an outlook on how this pandemic can be mitigated through the involvement of nurses and others who work with adolescents.

Design of the survey instrument

            The survey in this study will involve the design and use of online questionnaires.  The design of the survey will begin by the development of a collection or bank of question items that will be suitable for answering the required research questions. The design as well as development of the survey instrument will involve six distinct steps or stages.  The initial step will involve the examination of any existing models for suicide and self-harm evaluation by physicians and nurses. The second stage will involve the extrapolation of the essential items   from the existing models for suicide and self-harm evaluation by physicians and nurses. The third stage will involve the examination of extant literature that reported the application of questionnaires in the evaluation of mental conditions (suicide and self-harm in particular). The fourth stage will involve the development of the criteria that was derived from the existing models for suicide and self-harm evaluation by physicians and nurses.  The fifth stage will involve the design and construction of the online questionnaires to be administered to the target audience (Registered Nurses) via the appropriate channels. The fifth step will involve the piloting and revision of the questionnaires.

Data sources

The primary research method to be used is random survey sampling through the use of questionnaires to the participants of the study. An online survey tool, Survey Monkey, will be used to conduct the primary research. Secondary sources will also be consulted in the research. These sources will be from reliable peer-reviewed journal articles, books, whitepapers, personal experiences, online and offline articles, newspapers and conference papers. The research will target or involve nurses who have dealt with this problem on a personal and professional level as well as research material that can be provided from the hundreds of online websites that are dedicated to helping adolescents who feel that suicide might be their only option.

Target Audience or Participants

The target audience will be nurses who work in all areas of nursing and are not limited to those who are working with youths. The benefit of working with all nurses, regardless of their chosen field is to determine if the adequate tools are in place to identify if a child is at risk or if better screening needs to be in place. The volunteers who are already working with adolescents appear to be ready and willing to co-operate to help identify how additional methods can be identified to assist with this crisis. Nurses are on the frontline of suicide prevention and identifying adolescents who are at risk. The participants’ gender will be both male and female and can include those who have worked with adolescents and nurses who are working in all fields. The sampling survey will involve a total of one hundred (130) RN’s.

Sampling technique

This research will employ a random stratified sampling strategy.  The sample population will be stratified according to state and type or nature of nursing career that they engage in (agency, ambulatory care, case management, critical care, emergency, informatics, research, psychiatric, perioperative (OR) etc). The sample will be selected from willing respondents who m.............


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