The paper critically examines the functionalities of research methods in nursing practices and health care improvement. More specifically, the paper analysis a study conducted by Harris et al. (2013) of the research article “The impact of a brief lifestyle intervention delivered by generalist community nurses (CN SNAP trial).” The research seeks to address the knowledge gap on the minimal research examining the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions as applied by routine community nursing practices. The intervention measures focus more closely on lifestyle problems including the risk factors associated with chronic disease, smoking, hazardous alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and weight (SNAPW). Community nurses play an integral role in effecting preventive measures in primary health care (PHC) at the community level. Thus, the impact on providing effective advice on potential dangers and a change of perception and reaction to the daily routines of individuals in society.
Importance of the Study
The study primarily seeks to fill in the knowledge gap that asserts the significance of community nurses in PHC preventive interventions. The study provides fundamental insights on the profound impact of the community nurses on changes in lifestyle among the members of society. This is crucial to establishing and nurturing a healthy society with overall wellbeing (Astroth & Chung, 2018a). The capacity to provide preventive intervention measures is essential for the improvement of quality and standards of the health care status in the community. Therefore, the study seeks to expound on a subject that has received little attention leading to a deficit in knowledge and insights on the best practices utilized by CN in enhancing PHC services.
Research Design Methods
The research design utilized in the study comprised of the use of a quasi-experimental trial (CN SNAP trial). The quasi-experimental trial involves four generalist community nursing services located in New South Wales, Australia. The choice of one community is to determine the impact of CN in improving PHC preventive intervention measures and enhancing community health (Harriss et al., 2013). The selection of the research participants entails the use of a randomized approach with two categories. The categories include; two services allocated to an ‘early intervention’ and two others to a ‘late intervention’ group. The CN in all the groups were randomly selected to maintain high standards of authenticity and integrity of data collected (Harriss et al., 2013). The CN in the early intervention group were provided with training and support in identifying risk factors associated with various problems affecting the clients. This was to enable them to build capacity in offering brief lifestyle intervention advice to clients at the risk of developing further complications and preventing themselves from developing any problem by taking precautionary measures (Harriss et al., 2013). The late intervention group was prompted to offer the usual care for the first six months and receive training later on as time progresses. This provided a different context in the professionalism and capacity of the CN in ascertaining the quality and high standards of PHC preventive interventions (Astroth & Chung, 2018b).
On setting the stage for data collection sets based on early and late intervention groups, the research involved clients aged 30-80 years old. This provided self-reported data that was collected in line to making the functionalities of the CN in PHC preventive interventions more effective (Harriss et al., 2013). The assessment was focused on determining the readiness of the clients to change their lifestyle behaviors based on the advice and referrals received from the CNs. The procedure was to determine the impact of the CN in changing the course of PHC and their lifestyle behaviors for an improved and quality living (Harriss et al., 2013). This is a fundamental study in which impacts knowledge development to ways in which different approaches can be utilized to sustain the quality of the community health care services.
Furthermore, the data analysis technique employed in the study comprises the comparison of changes using both univariate and multilevel regression techniques. This is fundamental to provide extensive knowledge and insights on the applicability of different contexts of CN. The provision of training and support is essential to receiving quality advice and guidance on preventive interventions (Astroth & Chung, 2018b). SNAPW risk factors are extensive and diverse requiring professional assessment and advice offering to ascertain its effectiveness. Therefore, the research was integral in asserting the value of CNs in PHC.
The study results indicate that there were profound changes in the early intervention group as compared to the late intervention group. For example, out of 2361 eligible clients, 804 (34.1 percent) were recruited to participate in the study. This resulted in having the early intervention group increase the proportion of clients who recalled receiving physical activity or dietary advice from the CNs between the baseline and 3 months’ period. That is, the increase changed from 12.9 to 23.3 percent and 12.3 to 19.1 percent respectively (Harriss et al., 2013). As well, referrals for dietary or physical activity interventions show an increase in clients who illustrated a change from 9.5 to 15.6 percent and 5.8 to 21.0 percent respectively (Harriss et al., 2013). These changes in the early intervention group emphasize the value of professional training and support for CNs in sustaining quality PHC services. The research asserts the profound value of CNs in providing efficient health care preventive measures.
However, the late intervention group showed no change in the readiness of the clients towards adopting the advice, guidance, or referrals for preventive interventions. The duration provided for the examination of the participants showed no changes in the variation of behavioral trends and perceptions. Therefore, the participants in this group received little or no change in behaviors based on the advice provided by the CNs.
The use of a qualitative research approach through quasi-experimental trials provides key insights into the impacts of the CN in PHC and lifestyle behavioral change. To impact more effectively in the preventive intervention advice and referrals training and support is fundamental for the capacity of CNs. Also, the duration of the assessment is critical to determine the behavioral change in the perceptions towards SNAPW. For a more effective and inclusive study, the participants should be provided with more time and access to highly trained professional community nurses. Therefore, guarantee the efficiency of the advice offered and mechanisms applied when interacting with the clients.