hullen, C. L., Dunford, B. B., Angermeier, I., Boss, R. W., & Boss, A. D. (2011). Minimizing deviant behavior in healthcare organizations: The effects of supportive leadership and job design. Journal of Healthcare Management, 55(6), 381–397. –
See Added Files for PDF copy of Article 2. —
Compare the two studies by analyzing their samples. Use the following questions to guide you.
1. What sampling design is used?
2. Is the sample size adequate?
3. How does the sample affect the validity of the conclusions of the study?
Week 4 Overview
Welcome to Week 4!
In the first half of the course, you learned that scientific investigation proceeds by iterations of observation, explanation, and experimentation. This week, we dig deeper into one aspect of observation, sampling. Sampling is one of the techniques for gathering the data on which theories are built.
Sampling is a vital part of research. It can make or mar a study. An error or bias in sampling could produce questionable data and lead to erroneous conclusions. Suppose you want to investigate the health effects of weight training. It may seem that the sample should be drawn from people who do weight training. However, you must include in your sample some people who do different types of exercise and some who do not exercise at all. Only this type of a sample will allow you to compare the health status of those who work out with weights and those who don’t. Not only are the groups considered for each research important, the sample size is also extremely important. Suppose you selected 20 individuals out of a population of 2,000. This is only 1% of the population and may not be a representative sample.
Purpose of Research and Sampling
A new healthcare manager at a hospital notices that the emergency room (ER) of the hospital is frequently used for nonemergency treatment. This is an inappropriate use of valuable resources from the hospital’s and the insurer’s point of view. For the patient, too, an ER visit, costing about $400, is much more expensive than a visit to a family physician. Clearly, the patients should be discouraged from visiting the ER for nonemergency treatment. What would be the best way to achieve this goal? Would patient education make a difference? The manager commissions a study to estimate the impact of patient education on use of ER for nonemergency treatment.
The researcher designs a patient education program. It delivers information about proper use of ER and care options available to patients through talks and printed materials. If proven effective, the program will be delivered in the area the hospital serves through professional organizations, parent-teacher associations, and other community groups. But first, the effectiveness of the program must be tested.
The purpose of this research is: Determine the effectiveness of the patient education program in lowering nonessential ER visits. The independent variable is “patient education” and the dependent variable is “ER visits.” The study will select a sample and divide it into two similar groups. The patient education program or the intervention will be delivered to one group and not to the other group. The group that receives the intervention is called the experimental group and the group that does not receive the intervention is called the control group. ER visits of both groups will be tracked over a period of 6 months following the intervention. If the number of visits for the group that received the intervention is significantly lower than the number of visits for the group that did not receive it, the intervention will be considered effective.
This is a simplified description of the research study. For each element of the study, many details need to be decided. This week, we focus on the sample.
The first question in sampling is: What is the population? What is the group of people from among whom the sample will be selected? In our example, all the people who live in the hospital’s encatchment area make up the population. Remember, we are interested not only in the patients who come to the ER. Anyone living in the encatchment area could potentially visit the hospital ER for nonemergency treatment. Another point to note is that the population for this study is not the market that the hospital has identified for its services. The market is made up of the people whom the hospital sees as potential customers. The population for this study is made up of people who see the hospital ER as a convenient source of care.