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Evaluating a Quantitative Method of the Study: Nurse Exposure to Physical and Nonphysical Violence

5 pages
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Middlebury College
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The study titled, Nurse Exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: A quantitative review applies a typical quantitative design in which actual figures are used to explain concepts, principles, and theories that underpin the study. The study operates on four hypothetical situations. First, the researchers posit that Nurses are at high risk for violence exposure. The second hypothesis is that the violence exposure rates among nurse practitioners vary by violence type and employment setting. The third hypothesis is that most physical and nonphysical violence is committed by patients and their families or friends (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2014). The other hypothetical statement is that nonphysical abuse is often perpetrated by staff members including other nurses.

The study applied a quantitative review of electronically sourced secondary sources of information which is a vital source of already existing data revenant to the survey (Polkinghorne, 2005). Primarily, the researchers relied on secondary data but focused on looking at their quantitative aspects which related to the topic of research. To improve the authenticity of the quantitative review of secondary data, the authors followed best practices of conducting a meta-analysis (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2014). These steps included a definition of the domain of interest, undertaking a search of appropriate databases that potentially have relevant articles for analysis, established inclusion criteria to identify potential materials, retrieved actual statistics from the isolated materials and finally conducted the quantitative assessment (Sundborg, Saleh-Stattin, Wandell, & Tornkvist, 2012).

Electronic databases including Medline and PsycINFO were earmarked for searchers of relevant articles which ultimately yielded 1216 records. The electronic searches used various keywords which included aggression, sexual harassment, violence, or workplace violence, and nurse bullying. Before deciding on which article provided the desired information for the quantitative review, the authors used specific inclusion-exclusion criteria. In ascertaining the relevance of any secondary material, screening is essential (Dixon-Woods, Agarwal, Jones, Young, & Sutton, 2005). In the criteria, for an article to be considered relevant to the study, it had to bear reliable reports of results of one or more empirical studies. It also had to report incidence rates expressed in percentages or as a proportion of the study sample. The use of percentages as a measure of dispersion is relevant to the process of establishing the distribution of an issue within the study population (Johnson, & Christensen, 2008).

From screening, the researchers excluded 135 articles for having failed to meet the inclusion criteria while 136 were considered for review since they were found to bear valuable empirical data for use in the study. The data in these relevant articles came from 160 samples obtained from 151,347 nurses worldwide. For comprehensive empirical data, the researchers identified three studies from 38 countries (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2014). Therefore, this study upheld the viability threshold of quantitative studies that is often a derivative of the extent of representativeness in the data used in making specific conclusions. The researchers combined the countries forming part of the survey into important cultural regions. The combination and eventual classification resulting in a study sample consisting of 65 countries and 17,000 nursing managers which by far provides the most comprehensive examination of cultural differences in a given workforce (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2014). Due to the homogeneity in the studies used, they were not rated for quality.

To ensure that only relevant empirical information was derived from each study, the inclusion criteria were actively used (Sogunro, 2002). For instance, the articles that did not have any content reporting violence incidences among the nurses were threshed out. Based on the remaining relevant materials, the study team classified timeframe and the type of violence to which the nurses are exposed (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2014). In exploring the exposure levels of nurses to risks at work, the study sometimes used single items such as asking a single or multiple threats such as being bullied, kicked or abused. Nonetheless, to ensure lack of ambiguity and absolute consistency, the study developed a checklist that captures potential nurse risks such as being a victim of kicking, punching or insult. In designing and following a list in research, the study implemented an ideal approach towards ensuring that each critical aspect of the study was adequately explored (Kothari, 2004)

When gathering the specific numeric from the secondary studies, the researchers achieved some sense of diversity which provides insights on the statistical relevance or the lack of it in particular cases (Sundborg, Saleh-Stattin, Wandell, & Tornkvist, 2012). For example, some studies used questions that did not differentiate between physical and non-physical violence against nurses. To ensure that the studies matched the type of valance provided in the secondary data under qualitative assessment, the researchers painstakingly reviewed each of the measures independently. Ideally, when numbers are jumbled up in a study, then it becomes troublesome to determine which aspect of a study they represent (Sogunro, 2002). Each figure should be assigned a specific element of the survey for them to have actual or perceived statistical relevance.

In the data analysis, the study operationalized rate of violence as a percentage of the sample of the population that reported each type of abuse. These set of violence was a broad spectrum ranging from physical, nonphysical, bullying and sexual harassment. The operationalization was also extended to measure aggression as a percentage of the nurses who were physically injured during an assault. The resultant proportions were then converted into percentages. In cases where the people exposed to violence were only assigned frequencies, computation of percentages ensued. Also, the samples were arranged in different categories for comprehensive analysis as required in quantitative studies (Sandelowski, 2000).

Despite the systematic nature of this study, it to a given extent questionable since its reliance on secondary data implies possible borrowed inconsistencies from those studies from which references are made (Maxwell, 1992). For a qualitative research to achieve the desired threshold, the researcher should delve into practically ascertaining concepts through a primary study (Johnson, 2011). This primary research would involve giving out questionnaires and conducting interviews. The study population should also be an actual one instead of being derived from other proximate studies which may not ideally be as representative as possible.



Dixon-Woods, M., Agarwal, S., Jones, D., Young, B., & Sutton, A. (2005). Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative evidence: a review of possible methods. Journal of health services research & policy, 10(1), 45-53.

Johnson, D. R. (2011). A quantitative study of teacher perceptions of professional learning communities' context, process, and content. Seton Hall University.

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Sage.

Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research methodology: Methods and techniques. New Age International.

Maxwell, J. (1992). Understanding and validity in qualitative research. Harvard educational review, 62(3), 279-301.

Polkinghorne, D. E. (2005). Language and meaning: Data collection in qualitative research. Journal of counseling psychology, 52(2), 137.

Sandelowski, M. (2000). Combining qualitative and quantitative sampling, data collection, and analysis techniques in mixedmethod studies. Research in nursing & health, 23(3), 246-255.

Spector, P. E., Zhou, Z. E., & Che, X. X. (2014). Nurse exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: A quantitative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(1), 72-84.

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Sundborg, E. M., Saleh-Stattin, N., Wandell, P., & Tornkvist, L. (2012). Nurses' preparedness to care for women exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: a quantitative study in primary health care. BMC nursing, 11(1), 1.


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