Longitudinal Survey in Nursing Research

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Research and Longitudinal Survey

Longitudinal Survey in Nursing Research

Longitudinal Survey,Longitudinal Surveys and Nursing Interviews,Structure of Sampling Strategies,Adequate Response In Cross Sectional  Survey, Structurer of Questionnaire,Venue Selection,Requirements for Longitudinal Research.

Longitudinal Survey

    In longitudinal study designs the variables of interest are measured at several points in time for the same individuals. A value of longitudinal designs is the ability to shed light on trends and the temporal sequencing of phenomena. 

    Most health-related phenomena of interest in nursing science are dynamic in nature. Describing patterns of change in phenomena and evaluating the outcomes of nursing interventions over time are often the focus of nursing research. 

    Topics such as sense of well-being, family coping in chronic illness, adaptation to parenthood, and recovery from life-threatening illness are appropriate for longitudinal investigation. 

Longitudinal Surveys and Nursing Interviews

    Nursing intervention outcomes are often measured during the course of the intervention and at several follow up points for example, changes in quality of life following a telecommunications nursing intervention or improvement in parents' ability to discipline children after participating in a series of parenting classes. 

    A variety of longitudinal designs are employed in nursing research, such as a time series design with repeated measures on a single entity or a number of entities at a relatively large number of time points. 

    Panel designs may be used for making observations on many entities but at relatively few times. Although the relationship of the selected variables to the appropriate timing of measurement is critical in longitudinal research, nurturing a longitudinal sample is an art that researchers often underestimate.

Structure of Sampling Strategies

    Attrition of the sample is a serious compromise to meaningful study outcomes. Despite a precise sampling strategy, the population of interest will be represented inadequately if a large proportion of the sample fails to respond to the questions. 

    Once a sample is accrued, retention is essential because attrition is financially costly and threatens the internal and external validity of results. 

    There are many reasons for sample attrition, including loss of interest, loss to follow up due to address changes, burden of participation, and exacerbation of the illness.

Adequate Response In Cross Sectional  Survey

Obtaining an adequate response rate for cross-sectional surveys requires careful attention. A more challenging task is maintaining the response rate from participants who are repeatedly answering the same set of questions over several test points, extending for months or even years. 

    Dillman (1978) established techniques that have been shown to facilitate the process of engaging respondents and enhancing the quality and quantity of responses. 

    The total design method ( Dillman ) is based on the process of getting potential participants to complete questionnaires honestly and return them. The process can be viewed as a special case of social exchange. 

    Classic social exchange theory asserts that the actions of individuals are motivated by the return of these actions are expected to bring ( Blue , 1964; Homans, 1961). 

    The assumptions are that 

(a) people engage in any activity because of the rewards they hope to reap

(b) any activity incurs some costs

(c) individuals attempt to keep their costs below the rewards they expect to receive

     In the case of research there are three things that must be done to maximize survey response: minimize the costs of responding, maximize the rewards, and establish trust that rewards will be delivered ( Dillman ). 

    Costs to participants in survey research include tangible costs, such as envelopes and postage, which can be easily addressed by the researcher. The intangible costs of time and effort take more creativity and thoughtfulness. 

Structurer of Questionnaire

    A questionnaire that is attractive, distinctively identified with the project, easy to read and complete, reduces perceived cost. Techniques for reducing the effort in completing the questionnaire include.

(a) stapling the booklet in the centerfold, thus allowing it to open out flat

(b) using clip art throughout the booklet to reduce boredom

(c) constructing response choices so that a simple mark is required, thus reducing error and mental effort

(d) using adequate "white space" to give the image of being easy to complete

    Thibaut and Kelley (1959) noted that being regarded positively by another person has reward value. Techniques to increase intangible rewards include 

(a) frequent expressions of positive regard in all correspondence

(b) expressions of the importance of participation

(c) personal salutations and real signatures

(d) a consultative approach, including an open-ended question asking for information that the respondent thinks would be important for the study

(e) holiday greetings and birthday cards

(f) newsletter every 6 months

(g) handwritten notes in response to those who share personal information. Tangible rewards such as money or gifts should be carefully considered.

Venue Selection 

    Identification of the research with an agency with a good reputation may increase the sense of trust. Respondents may return their questionnaires to the researcher, not so much because of any feelings of obligation to the researcher but because they feel that they have received past benefits from the university or health care agency ( Dillman , 1978). 

    Over the course of a longitudinal study, carrying out promises for a newsletter with updates on the progress of the study and brief reports of results is critical for enhancing trust. Sensitivity to the needs of particular groups may also increase trust. 

    For example, calling the post office in a small rural town before sending a mass mailing, to express concern about the additional workload, can narrower trust with a key person in the community. 

    This trust and interest in the study will be translated to the community at large. Exchange relationships must be nurtured throughout the course of the study. For example , as the project unfolds, members of their search team often come to be viewed as experts.

     When phone calls are received asking for advice about a specific disease or a new treatment or requesting information about the availability of support groups or educational programs, the response should be friendly and accurate; and a referral is made when appropriate.     

Dealing with phone calls and mail in a manner that is respectful and helpful is critical to the maintenance of the study sample.

    Attention to followup is critical to a good response rate. The total design method contains a detailed routine for prompting non responders that has been very effective. An important aspect of follow-up is a personalized, signed thank-you letter after the return of the questionnaire. 

    In a 5-year study in which questionnaires were completed annually, a systematic follow-up routine was used. A response rate of 89% for usable data for the 5th year was reported (Weinert & Catanzaro, 1994).

Requirements for Longitudinal Research

    Undertaking longitudinal research requires a skillful and creative research team. Attention to issues related to costs and rewards, narrowing trust, and maintaining interest are essential elements of success. 

    Non-response and loss to the study cannot be totally eliminated, but careful attention must be paid to techniques designed to increase response rates and engage participants in the activities of the research project. Successful longitudinal research is truly an art form. 

    Although careful attention to minor points may appear to be overly labor intensive, they can lead to sustaining the sample for long periods of time and obtaining higher quantity and quality of data.

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!