Health Promotion

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Qualitative Research Critique
Cindy Walters
NUR/518
October 8, 2012
Elizabeth Esterl

Qualitative Research Critique
Hi, my name is Cindy Walters. I am presenting a qualitative research critique on a study conducted in 2011 on people with bipolar disorder with comorbid substance use. The study is entitled “The lived experience of adults with bipolar disorder and comorbid substance use disorder” written by Terry Ward, MSN, PhD, RN. Bipolar disorder involves changes in cognition, behavior, and mood. The episodes of bipolar disorder cycle through mania and depression. Mania is described as an elevated, irritable, or expansive mood, whereas depression is the opposite or hypomania. In the manic phase people present as euphoric, enthusiastic, and optimistic with an infectious personality. The euphoric state may suddenly may be replaced by extreme irritability if the persons needs are not met. In a manic phase the person’s speech may be rapid, loud, intrusive, and hard to follow or interrupt. If someone tries to interrupt a manic person he or she can just as quickly become, threatening, irritable or assaultive (Ebert, Loosen, Nurcombe & Leckman, 2008). Substance abuse is the excess use of drugs such as alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription medications. The number of people abusing drugs and alcohol is about 3.4 million. Those individuals abusing have a greater change of acquiring a mental disorder at a rate of 2.7 times more likely than a non-abuser, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health individuals with a psychiatric diagnosis such as bipolar disorder have 28.8% chance of substance abuse or use of drugs. Individuals using drugs with a mental disorder, within a year are diagnosed as dependent on them (Ebert, Loosen, Nurcombe & Leckman, 2008). If bipolar disorder and substance use disorder are combined, they have a devastating effect with negative outcomes for those individuals. Understanding the problem with the ability to manage bipolar disorder with the proper treatment, health care providers can improve patient outcomes and his or her outlook on life. The problem is clearly stated in the abstract and first paragraph of the study. Several statistics of drug use are quoted to give the reader an estimate and prevalence of this addiction with an unknown cause. The author addressed four hypotheses to explain this phenomenon. The negative outcomes in the use of substances and bipolar disorder affect a person mentally, physically, and functionally. The author stated the prevalence was high and does not receive enough attention in research studies. With increased knowledge, health care providers will be able to introduce new avenues for research, education, and nursing practice. The purpose of the study is to see how the individuals perceive their day- to- day experience of living with the disorders. A study done by Cassidy et al. (2001) addressed supporting and maintaining the patient’s stability and quality of life with effective treatment. Other studies focused on pharmacotherapy, psychosocial factors, and interventions as areas of research. Little research has been done on the phenomena. The researcher provided the broad platform for a qualitative study for individuals to share and speak freely of their experience with the hope the patients will be heard, get support, and have better outcomes. The method of this study was a descriptive and phenomenological design. “Phenomenology accepts that the truth can be revealed through the words of those that live the experience and that those words can describe the essence of that lived experience” (Thomas & Pollio, 2002, pg. 184). “Descriptive phenomenology has its emphasis on describing universal essences through direct interaction between the researcher and the objects of study” (Wojnar & Swanson, 2007, pg. 22). Conclusions could be drawn from the researcher of the subject experiences. The method adequately...
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