Summary of Different Types of Observational Research
Please follow the below instructions for this assignment: Find articles on PubMed that are examples of acupuncture research using TWO of the following approaches to research. Identify which approach to research you have chosen, and write a summary for each of the two that you chose, for a total of two summaries of different approaches in two pages. 1. Observational case study research 2. Observational case series research 3. Observational cross-sectional research 4. Observational case control research 5. Observational cohort research 6. Qualitative research 7. Mixed methods research.
Summaries of Two Types of Observational Research
The first paper I reviewed was a prospective, case-control, mixed methods study incorporating one objective measure and three qualitative measures. The stated aim of the study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of using auricular acupuncture (AA) for Operation Iraqui Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans who exhibited sleep disturbance as part of their post-traumatic stress disorder. Of the randomly-selected participants, the study group (N=12) received a standard insomnia AA protocol 3 times per week for three weeks, while the control group (N=8) did not. Treatments were performed by a single, experienced operator who was not a principle investigator on the study. Qualitative measures were: subjective sleep times using the Consensus Sleep Diary; sleep quality ratings per the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; and an investigator-developed 5-point Likert scale question regarding acceptability of acupuncture. To objectively measure sleep data, participants wore the Motionlogger Watch, a generally accepted tool for measuring sleep-wake cycles. Baseline data was collected on all for one week, then the study group received 3 weeks of AA, and then data was again collected on both groups.
Study results showed no significant effect on objective sleep measures (in fact, they got worse). Interestingly, there was no difference between the groups regarding acceptability of AA—both groups found it acceptable. Both subjective sleep times and sleep quality ratings demonstrated significant improvement (p= 0.003 and 0.004, respectively).
From a research quality point of view, this study was riddled with problems. The marginally sufficient original group of 30, after a 33% dropout rate, was extremely small. The study was done on an in-patient psychiatric ward; participants were given sleep medications throughout the study. Additionally, concurrent with this investigation, participants received cognitive processing therapy (recalling traumatic events), which is believed to have affected the objective sleep measure.
The second observational research paper I reviewed was a retrospective, cross-sectional, qualitative study that sought to evaluate complementary and alternative practices (CAM)—with a particular focus on acupuncture—for military personnel and their families in a military emergency department (MED). The survey tool was an 18-question investigator-developed questionnaire, of which 7 questions focused specifically on experience with and attitude towards acupuncture. For the other 6 questions, 2 were demographic in nature and 4 gathered information on CAM in general. For the purposes of this assignment, the acupuncture results will be described.
For this study, a convenience sample of 1005 surveys was collected in the MED over a 3-month period. The article indicated that all English-Speaking patients presenting to the MED during the study period were requested to complete the survey. The two demographic questions addressed gender and education level. Not all participants answered all questions. There is no further explanation nor discussion of this in the paper.
Evidence Informed Practice Week 6 Assignment
Of the 886 participants who completed questions regarding acupuncture, 15.7% reported previous use, and 55% reported a willingness to use it in the future. Satisfaction rates with acupuncture were as follows: extremely satisfied 26%, very satisfied 31%, somewhat satisfied 26%, not satisfies 8%, and not at all satisfied 9%.
The authors concluded that respondents were willing to use or potentially use acupuncture in the MED, and recommended further studies to determine appropriate indications, efficacy and patient satisfaction with acupuncture in the emergency setting.
King, H.C., Spence, Hickey, A., Sargent, P., Elesh, R., Connelly, C. D. (2015). Auricular Acupuncture for Sleep Disturbance in Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Feasibility Study, Military Medicine, 180 (5), 582-590.
Ross, E. M., Darracq, M. C. (2015). Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practices
in Military Personnel and Families Presenting to a Military Emergency Department. Military Medicine, 180 (3), 350-354.