Qualitative Inquiry Explores Health-Related Quality of Life Female Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The qualification of the researchers is well provided in the article. All of them are considered to have a high level of education; for instance, four out of five acquired a doctoral level of education and the fifth one holds a master’s degree. Their area of work is not provided in the article but after doing some research I am very impressed. They all have an extended level of experience and expertise in veterans' research.
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Dr. Haun and Dr. Lind have current research at the Veterans Affairs (VA) and have expertise in using qualitative and quantitative research studies for years. Dr. Duffy is an experienced nurse with more than 6 years of experience researching veterans during her postdoctoral fellowship. Pamela Kasala and Dr. Luther also, have current research for VA and they have expertise in patient-reported outcomes measurement in the rehabilitation population and the use of both the qualitative and quantitative techniques to outcome measure development Without a dough this group contains the strength needed to succeed in this study.
The title is clear, specific, and concise. It contains the amount of information needed to inform the reader what the study is about, the method that was used for the study, and the target population that was used for the study. The title also creates interest by adding the word “female” to the title, this makes the study more specific and appealing to the reader. When seeing the word veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), people tend to assume that it will be primarily addressing the male’s population.
The abstract of the article it’s found at the top of the article. This is well written and includes the purpose of the study in the third sentence. The authors begin the abstract explaining why the female population was the target of this study which set up the tone to keep the reader focused on the article. The abstract also discloses the type of study being used and population including the sample size. Even though the participants reported issues with self-medication and substance and one of the researchers had a doctoral in nursing there is not an application to nursing in it. All the major points were summarized in the abstracts.
After reading the introduction, the authors made it clear what the problem is and why they decide to target this population, “understanding the impact of PTSD on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of female veterans”. They also explained why female veterans are at greater risk of this issue. The introduction also includes both the background and significance of the problem that it was going to be addressed in the article; for instance, the deployment of the personal military to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). They also add the percentages of veterans that were associated with PTSD because of their continued exposure to trauma. In the second paragraph of the introduction, the problem statement is easily identified followed up by an example explain why this population reports more distress on the matter.
The purpose of the research was stated clearly on multiple occasions. The purpose was found in the abstracts and the introduction. In the introduction, the authors were able to explain the purpose of the study in detail. There was not a literature because they focused on the female’s experiences. The article states that it is dedicated to growing the knowledge and information of women with PTSD and to support women-centric care within the VA. The researchers noticed in their study that the female participants showed issues in relationships and employment due to their PTSD. With this, they want to find well in helping female veterans cope from their past trauma and help them in their everyday lives knowing their experiences and recovery is different from men.
In the introduction, a previous event that affects the mental health of the military veterans was made to support the repeated exposure to trauma. The event was explained in a brief matter to be easily understood by the reader. They explained that during OEF/OIF, the continuous exposure to trauma increased mental health issues in veterans and that females were at the greatest risk because of this population experiences and response to trauma in different ways.
Most of the references in this study were less than five years from the time the article was published. The researchers used 15 references to support their study, where eleven of the references were within 5 years and the other four were within the 10 years. The article mostly contains primary sources, using the interviews and experience of female veterans. The researchers used a small percentage as secondary sources to describe events OEF/OIF that cause trauma to the participants. Also, when the authors used King et al work to compare female and male symptoms reported after a trauma.
The study was not critiqued by the researcher that I noticed but they do mention that there was a potential bias due to the sample size/participants. The worked with a small sample size of participants and have the same background. The researches state that further exploration would be greatly beneficial with a larger sample size with mixed methodologies to create less bias and more personal care for the female veterans with PTSD.
The researchers state that this is an issue that has been increased in this population. The authors explained that because there is little literature describing this issue, the study is considered unique and it was logically organized by concepts.
To warrant the validity and quality of the study, only veterans diagnosed with PTSD receiving care or treatment at one of the three large Veterans Health Administration (VHA) sites were enrolled to participate in the focus groups. There were multiple strategies used for collecting data from the target population; such as one-hour focus groups and demographic surveys including the quality of life of female veterans with PTSD.
The researchers clearly described the design as the qualitative methodologies used to collect data on the target population at the end of the first page. The study emphasized participation and collaboration among female veterans diagnosed with PTSD after continuously exposing themselves to trauma. Researchers based on clinical databases; for instance, participants were only allowed to be part of the study if they were receiving treatment at VHA medical centers.
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The article provides a clear rigor in documentation present in this study. The purpose of this study was to assist female veterans with their PTSD and how their experiences and effects differ from their male counterparts. During this study, procedure rigor wasn’t present. The only used one-hour focus groups, with only 12 participants in three large VHA medical centers. To create a more informative result, they could have done a broader research with more participants to have more sufficient data. This study did have ethical rigor, all participants gave their consent prior to participating in the study. This is a unique study, the first time they have done a study containing this exact population, so no second researcher was present to replicate the study. Once the study was complete the researchers hoped to do a broader study with more participants because their conclusions show that female veterans diagnosed with PTSD were affected much differently than man.
The article clearly states the participant group of female veterans with PTSD showing the two major factors affecting them were relationships and employment issues. They described the decision on why they chose females very clearly, the researchers noticed that females could have different symptoms of PTSD than males and wanted to gather further information on how we could support them. There were three large VHA medical centers in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Florida, twelve veteran females, and 6 Doctors/Researchers as part of the study.
The theoretical schema was clearly explained throughout the study. The study clearly showed how the data was collected and the sample size of the participants. The theory they developed gives a clear picture of what causes the issues with the participants and how their PTSD different from males. This study connects to nursing because nursing works at the VHA Hospitals and assist with trauma patients daily and this knowledge can help them as they assist their patients in their recovery.
Intuition was not use in this research. The data was based on the participant’s perspective and experiences. Relation to the existing body of knowledge is not clear in the article, but I want to say that because one of the researchers had a doctorate in nursing maybe she was able to incorporate some of her nursing and clinical knowledge into the study. Also, some of her past experiences working for 6 years for the military population during her fellowship may have contributed greatly It will be very easy for nurses to integrate the findings into their knowledge.
The main issue for these women was the fact that they were not provided with the proper education and information that they need to overcome these issues. The majority of these women report fearing to seek help from a man because of their perception of men. To help with this issue, a woman veterans’ program manager was put in place to help advocate for these women. If nurses were available to care and educate this population, they would be more open in seeking for help and treatment.
The main points discussed in the article were how the development of PTSD in veterans and military personnel of the female sex were negatively impacting their health-related quality of life. When managing the wellbeing of each participant, these areas impacted their HRQOL the most: Cognitive issues, social participation, physical issues, emotional issues, and substance abuse issues. Female are at greater risk for experiencing PTSD compared to male veterans, because women respond to trauma more variable than men. The researches want to target this population to help them deal with this issue. Some post research additives to help the female veterans were to hire a female Veterans Program Manager to reduce the stigma of being a male dominated industry.
- Haun, Jolie N,PhD., EdS., Duffy, A., PhD., Lind, Jason D,PhD., M.P.H., Kisala, P., M.A., & Luther, Stephen L,PhD., M.A. (2016). Qualitative inquiry explores health-related quality of life of female veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.Military Medicine, 181(11), E1470-E1475. doi:http://dx.doi.org.resource.ahu.edu/10.7205/MILMED-D-16-00064
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