Article Critique: The results of a worksite health promotion programme in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia.
The research article entitled “The results of a worksite health promotion program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia” discusses the impact of a worksite health promotion programme on serum cholesterol and dietary changes among employees over a 2 year period in a city in Malaysia. The study is aimed at analysing the success of such a health promotion program and if it is an effective channel for health promotion for the future. According to the study forty percent of the Malaysian population are employed, but chronic illness is a significant economic burden (Statistics Department, 2004, Ministry of Health, 2002). Therefore the work place was recognized as an important target for health promotion (Kristensen, 2000). Summary and Analysis of the Study
Malaysia has been recognized as a developing state with a noticeable shift away from agricultural pursuits. The nation’s health status has improved with infant mortality decreasing and life expectancy increasing amongst its populations. However changes in lifestyle including shifts from been physically active to sedentary lifestyles and diets from high fibre to low fibre including the uptake of high-energy foods have resulted in a change in disease patterns. Heart disease and disease of the pulmonary circulation and cerebrovascular diseases have become the second and fourth leading cause of death in Malaysia (Ministry of Health, 2002). Combined with these statistics and the results of a pilot study, a group of security guards, specifically Malay-Muslim male workers were used to form the intervention group and comparison group in the teaching hospital of the public university in Kuala Lumpur.
Appropriateness of the Study Design
The research design was quasi-experimental within two groups, the male security guards working within a public university in Kuala Lumpur the (intervention group), and those working in the teaching hospital of the same university as the (comparison group). Polit and Beck, (2006) defines a quasi-experiment as a “study involving an intervention in which subjects are not randomly assigned to treatment conditions, but the researcher exercises certain controls to enhance the study’s internal validity”. Subjects within this study were not selected randomly, instead the researchers have classified and categorized the type or qualities of participates required for the study and chosen them for that reason. This particular study design is appropriate for the study as it is important to acquire stratified and carefully selected participants to produce a valid outcome.
The subjects were selected soundly as they both share a common demographic characteristic, age bracket and are within the same range of salary and equally represent both types of gender. Therefore using a quasi-experimental method of study and comparative study as the methodology including a behavioural model, this research paper becomes more realistic and achievable.
One area of the design that could have been considered was that both groups were placed in the same facility which could result in contamination. That is, the subjects could learn about new techniques or guidelines from the researchers in the intervention group and therefore might begin applying them to the comparison group. Under the circumstances, the best solution would be to use subjects in one facility as the intervention group and subjects in the other as the comparison group in another facility, thereby avoiding the risk of contamination. It could also be argued that the researchers should have engaged an external evaluator at this early stage to reduce bias and increase objectivity within the study as it is located within a university. This could bring about an academic perspective rather than what other people from different back grounds or organisations, including their own perspectives, ideas, and who may...
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