Quantitative Research Critique Essay Sample

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The critique of the study on job-related stress and sickness absence among Belgian nurses was conducted on the studies validity and reliability. The study was analyzed and broken down using the methods learned throughout the semester, and proved to be reliable and valid. The study was absolutely applicable to the field of nursing and translated well into our society. The methods and results proved to be accurate yielding high confidence intervals. There is a high level of clinical relevance to the study and the field of nursing.

I will be analyzing a study done on 527 Belgian nurses, the study was done to interconnect percentages and ratios of deducting the influence of stress and how it relates to sickness or job sickness leading to absences. I will be dissecting everything from the author’s credentials, to the influence and impact on nursing and healthcare overall in today’s society. I will be implementing the knowledge and skills acquired in this class to give a full summation of the methods, results and conclusions to this study. I will break down the formula and explain the confidence interval, and the equations presented from the study.

The authors of the study are a collection of educators, comprised of 2 professors, 2 post-doctoral researchers, one being a fellow, one doctoral researcher, all from Ghent University Department of Public Health, in Belgium. Another post-doctoral researcher was from the department of epidemiology and health promotion school of public health, in the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and lastly one lecturer, from the Department of Health in Brussels. The group of men and women who researched and designed this study were well educated in the field, and highly qualified. The study itself was put through a double blind peer review, an expert peer review and a peer review for qualifications and validation. The authors of this study set out with the purpose of investigating the influence of job stress on sickness and absence of nurses and to determine the predictive power of the Demand-Control-Support or DCS model, and the Effort-Reward-Imbalance–Over Commitment or ERI-OC.

Over the years nursing demand have grown, as the population grows, so does it populous of sick or ill population. Tasked with the daunting and never ending task of being at the front line are nurses and hospital staff. This Particular study used a measure of formulas based off of surveys conducted, the surveys measured job stress and stressors, and the sample was made up of 527 Belgian nurses. The nurses were followed up on and evaluated on absences, due to sickness and that was sub categorized in short-term, long-term, and frequency. The findings of the study dictated that the ERI and job strain lead to higher levels of and increased chance of long-term and multiple absence with astoundingly high confidence intervals. Contributing to the stress are the psychological aspects, and the coping ability of the nurses, job demands such as workload, time pressure, and role conflict were highlighted by the authors. The conclusions of the study stated that the DCS and ERI-OC predicted the odds for long term, and short term sickness as well as multiple episodes.

The study captivated me because I as a nurse have dealt with stress and we all as nurses have had less than great days. Depending on the department or specialty of this wide-ranging, and diverse profession, one’s stress level and coping ability can be different. I know that I personally tend to tough it out when I have a cold or don’t feel well, for those necessary “mental health” days. Many of us nurses deal with life and death and that takes an emotional toll on us, so I will agree that the studies validity, and argument are completely relevant the field today. The research question for this study was does job related stress lead to higher rates of sick absence, long-term and short-term as well as higher frequency? Through the data collected and the tested variables the answer is an astounding, yes. Stress of nursing, leads to higher call out rates when the stress is not properly vented out. The research done and the variables through the methods, of data collection, analysis and tested with confidence intervals all gave strong proof to this clinical question.

The methods of the study were done by sample surveys of 527 staff nurses and employee records with sick time statistics. The data was collected of a 12 month or one year period, and had the approval of the University Hospital of Ghent’s ethics committee. The survey or questionnaire was comprised of work environment characteristics, and health indicators, as well as social habits that could be negative to stress adaptation and behaviors that could enhance stress. The data was analyzed using the ERI- OC and DCS models which in previous studies indicated very high confidence intervals, as well as high levels of reliability and validity in measuring stress. Analyzing the data was done by using the DCS, and the ERI-OC models individually and then combined subsequently. The groupings were broken off into four sub-categories, with relative and different levels of stress exposure, and different levels of stress adaptation by the participants.

The results showed no significant differences in gender, age, and education level as it related to absences whether they be short, long-term, or multiple episode sickness. The results breakdown the evidence supporting previous findings, that nurses and how thy cope and adapt to stress has an overwhelming effect on call outs and absences. There was limited predictive value though for the study, and showed a lack of evidence on short-term absence, the theory here and I have to agree with it is that the shortage of staff in the field and the commitment to team and colleagues drives nurses to come back to work sooner than expected. Which in turn, adds more stress on the individual and can lead to other incidences of absents.

This study is relative to the field of nursing today here in the United States just as much as it was where it was conducted, in Belgium. Here the nursing shortage is no longer an issue, but the demand on today’s nurse is tenfold from days of old. Nurses today are the multi-tool of the

healthcare profession, and are growing newer roles and expanding our scope of practice as I type this. In today’s healthcare the stress levels can be enough to exhaust anyone, including those who have high levels of stress management capability. That is a testament to the study and the formulas used to analyze the data, that the methods and results are applicable today as they were then. The implications on the practice are evident, nursing is a stressful career, how we deal with that stress individually will lead to how we can cope and overcome ailments and illness. Stress levels are different for each individual and handled differently by all, one thing that is evident across the board and emphasized by the study is that stress is prolific in healthcare and I nursing, Conclusion

In conclusion the findings in this study showed that the combination of the two formulas comprised the most reliable analysis of the data leading to the conclusion that stress has an effect on nursing absenteeism. The study will be useful wherever it is applied, and could translate across continents and into different fields. The question posed by this study was, does job related stress lead to higher rates of sick absence, long-term and short-term as well as higher frequency? The answer is yes, it does.


Trybou, J., Germonpre, S., Janssens, H., Casini, A., Braeckman, L., Bacquer, D. D., & Clays, E(2014). Job-Related Stress and Sickness Absence Among Belgian Nurses: A Prospective Study.Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 46(4), 292-301. doi:10.1111/jnu.12075 Rebar, C. R., Gersch, C. J., Macnee, C. L., & McCabe, S. (2011). Understanding nursing research: Using research in evidence-based practice (3rd ed., pp. 153-154, 184). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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