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Explain the underlying theoretical perspective and philosophical assumptions that quantifies the relationship between variables

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Introduction

HEALTH RESEARCH (ONLINE) Assessment One Introduction The aim of quantitative research is to determine how one variable affects another in a population. In other words, it uses various strategies and approaches to explain the underlying theoretical perspective and philosophical assumptions that quantifies the relationship between variables (DePoy and Gitlin, 1998). The research article I have chosen for critical analysis is drawn from a non-experimental type inquiry of quantitative research. An understanding of the appropriate research approach and processes will be demonstrated for justification, followed by an evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the articles. Throughout this assessment, other relevant information will be raised for consideration. The title of the article selected is: "Efficacy and Safety of Second-Generation Antidepressants in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder" (Hansen, Gartlehner, Lohr, Gaynes, and Carey, 2005). The full review of this study is 449 pages, and is available at http://www.ohsu.edu/drugeffectiveness/reports/documents Deductive Approach Using a deductive approach, this quantitative research seeks to establish facts, make predictions, and test hypotheses that have already been stated (DePoy & Gitlin, 1998). A large part of this data analysis of quantitative study is statistical, striving to show that the world can be looked at in terms of one reality; this reality, when isolated in context, can be measured and understood, a perspective known as positivism (Gay & Airasian, 1999). Deductive reasoning is a form of interpretation by which each conclusion follows from the previous one; an argument is built by conclusions that progress towards a final statement - a valid form of proof. ...read more.

Middle

Hypotheses and Variables The tremendous volume and large variability in the quality of evidence to support use of first and second generation antidepressants makes it difficult to make evidence-based decisions. In terms of comparisons of SSRIs with SSRIs efficacy or effectiveness, the author's did not recognize systematic differences between findings of trials that were related to their quality rating, sample size, non-inferiority design, or duration. A null hypotheses was not identified in this study. The Methodology To address the purpose for this research, the methodology uses three questions to formulate the research investigation. The study selection identified that the abstracts were independently reviewed by two people. The authors focused on randomized, controlled trials, meta-analyses, and observational studies on 10 types of medications. The researchers included placebo-controlled trials, head-to-head trials, and observational studies with large samples (>100 patients). However, a larger sample size for observational studies was required to detect adverse events that were not frequent enough to be apparent in smaller trials. Although the author's did not claim saturation, I believe they have achieved it through an adequate sample selection of effectiveness trials, which they define as conducted in primary care settings, by adequate duration of follow-up (?3 months), and having minimal inclusion and exclusion criteria (so that participants represented the general population), to name a few. Multiple designs (e.g. relational and descriptive designs) were clearly used in this article. Relational designs express association and differences between and among variables numerically. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the researchers of the current review note that newer antidepressants are not significantly more effective in improving depression when compared with other medications (Hansen et al, 2005). From an undergraduate's perspective in psychology, critically researching an issue is important as a future practitioner because it involves continual seeking of knowledge - continual asking of questions - and continual learning of how diverse circumstances require diverse methods to bring about key interventions and solutions. I have also gained an appreciation for research as this will enhance my understanding of the research-based information presented in my psychology classes. Conclusion Overall the article was interesting with clear aims and use of appropriate methodology. The authors focused on randomized, controlled trials, meta-analyses, and observational studies of various types of medications. From the study it emerged that second-generation antidepressants did not differ substantially for treating patients with major depressive disorder. I believe that evidence from clinical trials of antidepressants should be made public, regardless of the sponsor or direction of the findings. This essay raises multiple questions on the use of quantitative investigations. Although I appreciate the importance of research in my discipline, I still have a lot to learn and gain from this paper. My impression of research is that it is made up of many different approaches - each asking a different set of questions and therefore getting different answers. It is complex - it is diverse - it is controversial - it is necessary. ...read more.

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