Research Design

Research Design

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Research Design

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research study is aimed at examining the psychological rejoinder exuded based on receiving a diagnosis of dementia among persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Since the diagnosis can only take place within a clinic, the evaluation of the psychological responses regarding dementia diagnosis was carried out for patients attending a Research facility for Alzheimer’s disease. Consequently, the manner in which the main symptoms comprising semantic factors such as anxiety and depression deviated after obtaining the results of the dementia diagnosis were examined among persons seeking assessment and persons that had accompanied them to the research facility. Additionally, examination was performed on the manner in which pre-assessment degree of distress, severity of dementia and pre-assessment suggestion of dementia by a healthcare expert related to the degree of distress after official assessment and investigative feedback.

Research Question and Hypothesis

Does the conduction and disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia prompt a cataclysmic emotional response among victims of Alzheimer’s disease?

The aim encompassing the research question and hypothesis of this research is to evaluate changes, in the short-term, in anxiety and depression after conduction of diagnosis of dementia among victims suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the research question is, Does the conduction and disclosure of a diagnosis of dementia prompt a cataclysmic emotional response among victims of Alzheimer’s disease?.

The research question also necessitates the need to determine if conduction and disclosure of the diagnosis of dementia affects victims that are placidly impaired. Consequently, the hypothesis deduced from the research question acknowledges that patients are susceptible to exude cataclysmic emotional reactions based on the conduction and disclosure of the diagnosis results. Irrespective of the disclosure of dementia diagnosis being deemed as an abnormal and unethical clinical application, it is still evident that research on the emotional responses and experiences victims gain from the divulgence of such information is important.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the research study is to point out the evidence of cataclysmic emotional reactions in terms of the degree of depression and anxiety innate within patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Regardless of the fact that patients occasionally react unconstructively towards the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia equally, it is important to illustrate the other side of the effect of the diagnosis of the disease based on the disclosure of the results that arise from the diagnostic studies. Since diagnostic experimentation cannot currently affirm the identification of dementia in its premature phases, carrying out diagnosis of the illness in its premature stages actually presents distress and as such, prompts the diagnosis of the disease at the instance the dementia is full blown within the patient.

Definition of the Terms

Throughout the research study, various terminologies will be utilized within the body with respect to the environment surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. Following are some of the terms used in the study

Dementia: Burns (2006) defines dementia as a medical condition in which the affected individual experiences a cluster of symptoms and signs that are exemplified by instances of intricacies in memory, inconsistencies in communication and language, psychiatric and psychosomatic changes and impairments in carrying out routine activities, tasks and duties. Dementia is an intrinsic part of the study since it embodies the biological and psychological framework of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been correlated with Alzheimer’s disease such that most individuals refer to the disease as a complicated form of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease: Cooper, Shanks and Venneri (2006) define Alzheimer’s disease as a consecutive neurological brain disorder that causes the undeviating deprivation of cerebral capabilities that sternly affect social or expert operation especially in the performance of routine tasks. Mild cognitive impairment: According to Spaan, Raaijmakers and Jonker (2003), mild cognitive impairment/disability refers to the condition in which a person has definite symptoms of dementia such as memory deprivation and quantifiable cognitive deficiencies but performs routine activities and tasks competently. Depression: a neurological condition, in which the affected individual experiences autonomous emotions and feelings characterized by dark or dull traits and possesses a negative effect on the psychological, social and physical welfare of the affected person. Anxiety: represents a psychological condition in which an individual experiences negative emotional, psychosomatic, behavioral and cognitive effects characterized by the feeling of angst (Leroi & Lyketsos, 2005).

Assumptions

The assumptions exemplified in the study are based on the hypothetical assertion characterizing the research on patients based on the disclosure of the diagnosis of dementia. These assumptions integrate various studies carried out by different researchers on Alzheimer’s disease and its associative constituents. These assumptions include:

Correlation between Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

The inclusion of Mild Cognitive Impairment has been a progressive factor in the diagnosis of dementia in the medical and clinical milieu. This is based on the assumption that cognitive impairments within the initial stages continue being mild for numerous years. Regardless of the controversy associated with the inclusion of such a factor in determining dementia during diagnosis, research has proven that persons having Mild Cognitive Impairment are at greater risk of gaining dementia, therefore depicting that the factor is a more likely antecedent to Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the current advances in clinical assessment, imaging technologies and neuropsychological examination have been utilized as possible methods of dementia diagnosis. As such, the basic assumption involving the correlation between mild cognitive impairment and dementia in dementia diagnosis involves its inculcation in determining the emotional impact experienced by persons after diagnosis.

Correlation between Dementia and Aging

Another assumption that has been deduced in the research based on the diagnosis of dementia among patients is the connection between dementia and aging. This is the most contributing assumption towards conduction of the research since it facilitates the determination of the target population for the performance of the study. As such, the correlation between aging and dementia is crucial in determining the nature of Alzheimer’s disease. Spaan, Raaijmakers and Jonker (2003) assert that research conducted on aging and cognitive ability illustrates that impairment in many areas of cognition are recognized even before the performance of diagnosis on Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, Brayne (2007) alleges that cognitive impairment is similar from that indicated in aging. As such, the assumption regarding the connection between aging and dementia is rather concrete since it provides an opportunity of approaching a specific population that possesses greater chances of allowing the research to coincide with the objective and purpose of the study.

Limitations

Irrespective of the advantages experienced in the conduction of the research on dementia diagnosis, various limitations were evident in the performance of the study. A considerable part of the limitations was based on the target population and the nature of this particular study. As such, the limitations include:

Lack of Cooperation from Participants

Regardless of the positive effect of the research study pertaining to the emotional welfare of diagnosed patients, a significant part of the target population was unwilling to facilitate the progression of the research. Initially, most of the people the research required illustrated fear and confusion regarding the emotional impact of the diagnosis. Indeed, as unrealistic as it seems, the participants, who were mostly aged individuals, expressed ignorance and would rather acquire information regarding their neurological condition surprisingly and involuntarily. In addition, the fear of actually suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease compelled most participants during the initial stages of gathering participants to cease cooperating with the research.

Target Population

The participants involved in the research were mostly persons between sixty and ninety years of age. In total, the participants who were up for diagnosis of dementia in the study were ninety persons. Additionally, among the ninety participants, the research included persons that were companions of the tested individuals. These individuals largely included kinship to the tested individuals such as family members and friends of the individuals being tested for dementia. In addition, the participants recruited for the study largely comprised those that possessed memory and cognitive grievances as well as those that did not possess recollection or cognitive complaints. In addition, most of the participants lived in the developed areas. In addition, there was no evidence of group differences between the 90 participants who finished the baseline and summarized questionnaires and those that did not complete the questionnaires in terms of sex, severity, and age and dementia condition.

Data Collection

For the research study, I contacted the participants and their respective companions through the telephone in order to facilitate the time in which the participants together with their companions could be available for the diagnosis. Additionally, the data that I collected implied on the recurring mental conditions and symptoms that the participants faced in order to carry out diagnosis based specifically on the dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As such, one of the main methods of data collection that I used for the participants and their companions will be interviews. The participants and their accompanying persons were interviewed independently through the telephone. During the telephone interview, both participants and their companions responded to a portion of similar questions that were responded to in the Baseline survey, as well as the supplementary questions based on the experience.

Additionally, another form of data collection during the research study on the participants was the inclusion of questionnaires. The questionnaires asked to the participants and their companions were divided into two parts; the Baseline Survey and the Summarized Questionnaire. The Baseline Survey comprised the questions that were asked separately to the participants and their accompanying individuals at the beginning of the study through the interviews conducted over the telephone. The second questionnaire, which was the Summarized Questionnaire, was a follow-up questionnaire that was asked to the participants and their companions physically at the time of the diagnosis of the dementia and mostly included a summary of the questions asked in the Baseline Survey in order to facilitate confirmation amid dementia diagnosis. As such, the two questionnaires were largely based on achieving constancy regarding the answers or retorts reported to the research performers in order to facilitate diagnosis of dementia and thus determine the emotional impact.

Instrumentation and Data Analysis

For the emotional signs of depression and anxiety among the participants in the revelation of the dementia diagnosis results, Linear Mixed Effect Models will be used to enable analysis of the data arising from the data collection methods. In this model, key impacts for Participant versus Companion (Dyad Member), Previous Implication of Dementia (yes vs. no) and Dichotomous Tally of the Baseline (high versus low) and Potential Relations among such factors will be deemed as fixed impacts. The Participant versus Companion factor or Dyad Member will be viewed as a random impact in order to account for the probable relation between members of a similar dyad. Additionally, the key impacts and relations will be accounted for only when the general model produces significant statistics. Consequently, data analyses will be further performed in expanded Linear Mixed Models to examine the impacts of other variables such as gender, age, education and dementia severity

References

Brayne, C. The Elephant in the Room-Healthy Brains in Later Life, Epidemiology and Public Health. Nature Reviews Neuroscience.8 (2007). 233-9. Print.

Burns, Alistair S. Severe Dementia. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

Cooper, J.M, M.F. Shanks, and A.Venneri. “Provoked Confabulations in Alzheimer’s Disease.” Neuropsychologia. 44.10 (2006): 1697-1707. Print.

Leroi, I. and C. Lyketsos. “Neuropsychiatric Aspects of Dementia”. Dementia. Eds. A. Burns, J. O’Brien, D. Ames. London: Hodder Arnold, 2005: 55-64. Print.

Nestor, Peter J, Philip Scheltens, and John R. Hodges. “Advances in the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 10.7 (2004). Print.

Spaan, Pauline, Jeroen Raaijmakers, and Cees Jonker. “Alzheimer’s Disease versus Normal Ageing: a Review of the Efficiency of Clinical and Experimental Memory Measures.” Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 25.2 (2003): 216-233. Print.