The Livedqualitative Research : Critique . Experience of Having a Chronic Wound

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Qualitative Research Critique
The Lived Experience of Having a Chronic Wound:
 A Phenomenologic Study
Katelyn Adams
Nursing Theory and Research 390
October 12, 2006
Problem Statement: In my qualitative evaluation of The Lived Experience of Having a Chronic Wound: A Phenomenologic Study, written by Janice Beitz and Earl Goldberg (2005), I found that the need or rationale for this particular study, as do most qualitative research papers, focused on how or what, as opposed to quantitative studies that focus on asking why?  The problem statement is:             “Approximately 2 million people have venous ulcers.  In addition, between 1 and 2 million diabetics have neuropathic foot ulcers.  In total, venous, arterial and neuropathic ulcers may affect as many as 5 million older Americans.  Consequently, the need to investigate the chronic wound experience has become even more compelling.  Given the projected increase in the number of elders, and individuals with diabetes health care provider need to understand the chronic wound experience” (p.51-52).  

Purpose: The primary purpose of this phenomenologic study is to explore and describe the patient’s experience of living with a chronic nonhealing wound. The secondary purpose is to provide knowledge and understanding of the experience for health care providers (Beitz & Goldberg, 2005).  Both purposes of the study were clearly articulated.  

Research Question(s): The research questions that were explored and investigated by Beitz and Goldberg’s study (2005) included: “What is the experience living with a chronic, nonhealing wound like?” and “What are the meanings and essences of the phenomenon” (p.52)?  

Study Framework: “Phenomenology has been described as the study of essences, a philosophy that puts essences back into existence (Bruns & Grove, 2001).  It is also a research method.  Phenomenology is the rational investigation of meaning rather than an empirical investigation of things or events.  The central focus of phenomenology is to describe or analyze the lived experience of the world of everyday life.  The phenomenologic approach in this study is that of Colaizzi (1978) who believed that phenomenology permits researchers to construct a phenomenon as people experience it” (p.52).  In the case of this article the phenomenon is living with a chronic nonhealing wound.  It is the focus constructing the study framework.   

Literature Review: Relatively little research has been conducted concerning individuals’ chronic wound experience related to the high number of patients actually living with chronic wounds.  Previous and existing studies have included research on pressure ulcers, venous leg ulcers, lower extremity ulcers, and chronic nonhealing wounds.  These studies have described both qualitative and quantitative approaches (Beitz & Goldberg, 2005).  

Variables: The variables considered in this article researched the effects of gender, age, marital status, type of ulcer/wound, and the experience living with it (Beitz & Goldberg, 2005, p. 54).  The variables or characteristics were clearly articulated in Table 1 in the article.             Design: Beitz & Goldberg’s study used a “phenomenological design to describe living with a chronic wound” (p.53).  

Data Collection: Data sources included interviews that were done by the participant observation of the researchers.  Participant-observation is “the active engagement of the researcher in the settings of people being studied” (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2005, p.141). Other data sources included field notes, “self-designed observational protocols for recording notes about field observations” from a purposeful sample of participants following specific criteria (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2005, p.141). The criteria included; having a chronic wound for...
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