Elderly Women Diagnosed with Nonspecific Chest Pain May be at Increased Cardiovascular Risk" is succinct, but it does convey the scope of the research in a very few words. It gives the three main variables around which the article is based.
The abstract contains all of the major sections of the paper, and it leads the audience properly into the study. Each section gets about a two sentence treatment which explains the intent of the article, its method and findings.
Basically the article states that since women are more prone to nonspecific chest pain there needs to be some research conducted which investigates whether women, who are also at a greater risk of heart disease, who have the chest pain are more prone to cardiovascular problems. The problem does have significance for nursing because nurses will be the first to hear about this type of chest pain, and with the knowledge that this research provides, they are more informed about the risks. The study is appropriate for a quantitative study, and the research question does seem to match the method and research design.
Research Question: The research question was given in the introduction of the article, and it was easily recognizable. The question shows the variables around which the study is based.
Literature Review: The literature used for the study is all current enough (within fifteen years) that it is appropriate to the current study. The review is arranged such that it gives research that has been conducted regarding the minutiae of the study so far, but also shows that the current research is a new take and needs to be undertaken.
Conceptual Framework: The variables for the study are easily recognizable and defined. A framework is not necessarily stated, and there seems to be no reason why there is none.
Method: Most studies are required to go through an ethics and review board, and although it is not specifically mentioned that this study was it can be assumed. The study was conducted by members of the epidemiology department at the University of Iowa, so, because this was conducted at a university hospital, there had to be IRB approval for the subjects. The authors specifically talk about the minimization of risks among the original participants. However, since this study is based on database research and not actual participants that the authors worked with, there was no danger to participants from this research.
Research Design: The study used such a wide population base that the findings are easily extrapolated to the general population. Issues of validity were taken care of by the relative simplicity of the design, and by the minimization of variables. As far as comparisons, during the literature review the authors looked at each variable and the work which had been conducted already. It seems that every effort was made to make sure that the study accounted for every possible variable in some way.
Population and Sample: The research sample is taken from a database of patients in a large study conducted by the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. The women were postmenopausal and the ones selected for the present study had no prior complaints of heart disease. The women were aged from 50-79 years. The researchers used the records of 83,622 women who met the criteria of the study. The sample size is extremely large which will mostly eliminate any biases that may usually occur. Because of the large sample size the authors are able to easily extrapolate the findings across cultural divides. No power analysis was used because the researchers were able to use the entire database and search for likely candidates. It was not necessary to determine what the ideal minimum sample size would be because there were no restrains on the population size used. Meaning the sample size far exceeded the minimum necessary requirements.
Data Collection and Measurement: The definitions used for the study were properly vetted prior to use. The operational definitions coincided with conceptual upon which the study was based. Since this was a study conducted with a database of participants rather than live participants, there was no need to operationalize the variables in the normal since. That is why the scope of the study remained relatively simple. No instruments were used either since this was a simple quantitative look at a large database sample. It does seem, however, that the results were still valid and reliable. Since the researchers kept the scope of the research small, and they had such a large sample.
Procedures: Since the data collected was from a database which delineated first time interview and follow up of the patients, there were no interventions made by the study researchers. The staff that looked into the data were supervised by a researcher who was appropriately trained for the task.
Results: The research question dealt specifically with whether women who had a nonspecific chest pain were more likely than those who did not (actually the study was done with regard to women who were hospitalized for a nonspecific chest pain) to have some type of cardiovascular irregularity in the future. This question was completely examined based on the age of the various participants and the severity of the complaint when it was first made. Statistically, all appropriate measures were taken by the researchers to make sure that there analysis was as complete as it possibly could be. The researchers also conducted tests which would give them a defined confidence interval surrounding the probability that specific heart problems would occur. It does appear that the analysis conducted was done such that any confounding variables which may have occurred were minimized. Mainly this was accomplished because the researchers kept the study simple and their questions tight.
Findings: In the findings section of the paper, there was attention paid to the significance of the findings. The researchers realized that even with a large sample size there were problems with neglect for some ethnicities, so they mentioned this. The researchers used confidence intervals (set at 95%) to make sure that their findings fell within some measurable continuum. The researchers tabulated the findings so that it was easy for the reader to distinguish the results they said were evident. The tables were easy to follow and appropriate for the data collected. It would easily possible to conduct a meta-analysis based on the data collected from this study.
Discussion: During the discussion of the findings for this research, the authors looked at the literature that was done prior to this study. They discussed whether the prior research findings and those from this new data were consistent. The researchers found that their research was consistent with that dine previously, but they also discovered some new findings that were important. Basically, women who were hospitalized at some point for nonspecific chest pain were more likely (and in some cases much more likely) to be hospitalized subsequently for cardiovascular problems. However, they did find that the older the woman was the more likely that she would have the heart issue. The researcher do make the point of saying that the study was limited to the age range and ethnicities of the participants. The study is only generalizable to the same type of people.
Implications: There is a discussion about the way in which the study can be used, and they do make the case for further research to be conducted. Since the study was not done with present patients, the authors made the statement that further research should follow up with these sorts of participants.
Global Issues (Presentation): The report has enough detail that is easily accessible and understandable for nurses. It is detailed enough that it covers the subject adequately, but is not so detailed that it is hard to read.