Research Practice and Methodology

Collection of articles on Research Practice and Methodology is available here.
Unsettling Knowledge Synthesis Methods Using Institutional Ethnography: Reflections on the Scoping Review as a Critical Knowledge Synthesis Tool.
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N. K. Dalmer.
Qual Health Res 2020 Aug 21:1049732320949167
Scoping reviews are an increasingly popular knowledge synthesis method. While knowledge synthesis methods abound in evidence-based practices, these methods are critiqued for their reliance on positivism. Drawing on a scoping review that mapped scholarly conceptualizations of family caregivers’ information-related dementia care work, in this article, I reconcile institutional ethnography’s epistemological and ontological assumptions with the prescribed scoping review framework. I first explore the textual organization of scoping reviews. I then unpack the process of modifying three scoping review stages in keeping with an institutional ethnography method of inquiry, and in doing so, transform the scoping review into a critical knowledge synthesis tool. Through a reflexive process, I deconstruct scoping review’s textual authority and uncover that scoping reviews bring about a double decontextualization of family caregivers’ information work, removing family caregivers from their experiences of their information-related care work while simultaneously reducing them to objects of techno-scientific interventions

Individual, institutional, and scientific environment factors associated with questionable research practices in the reporting of messages and conclusions in scientific health services research publications.
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R. G. Gerrits, J. Mulyanto, J. D. Wammes, M. J. van den Berg, N. S. Klazinga and D. S. Kringos.
BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Sep 3;20(1):828-020-05624-5
Health Services Research findings (HSR) reported in scientific publications may become part of the decision-making process on healthcare. This study aimed to explore associations between researcher’s individual, institutional, and scientific environment factors and the occurrence of questionable research practices (QRPs) in the reporting of messages and conclusions in scientific HSR publications. METHODS: We employed a mixed-methods study design. We identified factors possibly contributing to QRPs in the reporting of messages and conclusions through a literature review, 14 semi-structured interviews with HSR institutional leaders, and 13 focus-groups amongst researchers. A survey corresponding with these factors was developed and shared with 172 authors of 116 scientific HSR publications produced by Dutch research institutes in 2016. We assessed the included publications for the occurrence of QRPs. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify factors within individual, institutional, and environmental domains. Next, we conducted bivariate analyses using simple Poisson regression to explore factors’ association with the number of QRPs in the assessed HSR publications. Factors related to QRPs with a p-value < .30 were included in four multivariate models tested through a multiple Poisson regression. RESULTS: In total, 78 (45%) participants completed the survey (51.3% first authors and 48.7% last authors). Twelve factors were included in the multivariate analyses. In all four multivariate models, a higher score of “pressure to create societal impact” (Exp B = 1.28, 95% CI [1.11, 1.47]), was associated with higher number of QRPs. Higher scores on “specific training” (Exp B = 0.85, 95% CI [0.77-0.94]) and “co-author conflict of interest” (Exp B = 0.85, 95% CI [0.75-0.97]) factors were associated with a lower number of QRPs. Stratification between first and last authors indicated different factors were related to the occurrence of QRPs for these groups. CONCLUSION: Experienced pressure to create societal impact is associated with more QRPs in the reporting of messages and conclusions in HSR publications. Specific training in reporting messages and conclusions and awareness of co-author conflict of interests are related to fewer QRPs. Our results should stimulate awareness within the field of HSR internationally on opportunities to better support reporting in scientific HSR publications.

How Pragmatic are Trials in Nursing Home Settings?
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K. H. Magid, E. Galenbeck and C. Levy.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2020 Aug 25
With the aging global population, an increasing number of older adults will need long-term care (LTC). Although there is a trend to provide LTC in the community, nursing homes remain a key component of the LTC continuum. Across countries, the care model and resident population of nursing homes differs. Based on a 2012 survey of geriatric experts from Australia, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, most nursing homes use nurse-led or social models of care. 1 Financing nursing home care also varies by country and can include social insurance (eg, Japan), government funding (eg, Norway), or a combination or multiplayer systems (eg, United States). 2 Although the care needs of nursing home residents differ between countries, nursing facilities across the world will undoubtedly remain an essential LTC setting. 3 Research conducted in these settings has the potential to help improve the quality of nursing home care.

A concept analysis and meta-narrative review established a comprehensive theoretical definition of replication research to improve its use.
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B. Vachon, J. A. Curran, S. Karunananthan, et al.
J Clin Epidemiol 2020 Jul 16
The aim of this study is to clarify the concept of replication research to improve its appropriate use by researchers, editors, research funders, and decision makers. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We combined concept analysis and metanarrative review methods to synthetize knowledge on replication research from various scientific fields. We used multiple search strategies to identify the relevant literature published before April 2018. We summarized the data by seeking commonalities and differences in underlying conceptual and theoretical assumptions in the literature. RESULTS: A total of 153 articles from various disciplines were included. The analysis led to the identification of three major definitions of replication: the repetition of a previous study, the extension of a previous study, and the road-testing of a theory. Attributes, conditions required to conduct replication studies, concerns related to the interpretation of replication studies, and diverse replication research typologies were synthesized, combined, and analyzed. Based on this metanarrative review, a comprehensive theoretical definition of replication research was formulated. CONCLUSION: This study can support the adoption of a shared understanding and recognition of the indispensable nature of replication research for the sound development of knowledge in all research fields.

Carrying Out Rapid Qualitative Research During a Pandemic: Emerging Lessons From COVID-19.
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C. Vindrola-Padros, G. Chisnall, S. Cooper, et al.
Qual Health Res 2020 Aug 31:1049732320951526
Social scientists have a robust history of contributing to better understandings of and responses to disease outbreaks. The implementation of qualitative research in the context of infectious epidemics, however, continues to lag behind in the delivery, credibility, and timeliness of findings when compared with other research designs. The purpose of this article is to reflect on our experience of carrying out three research studies (a rapid appraisal, a qualitative study based on interviews, and a mixed-methods survey) aimed at exploring health care delivery in the context of COVID-19. We highlight the importance of qualitative data to inform evidence-based public health responses and provide a way forward to global research teams who wish to implement similar rapid qualitative studies. We reflect on the challenges of setting up research teams, obtaining ethical approval, collecting and analyzing data in real-time and sharing actionable findings.