Research Critique 2

Research Critique 2





Research title: Sexual Abuse of Older Residents in Nursing Homes: A Focus Group Interview of Nursing Home Staff

The Abuse of old people is a reality in today’s society, across all cultures throughout the world. Assaults on the older persons for a long time have been a phenomenon that has been hidden, by being kept away from the public, away from the public. Whatever kind of abuse, this subject has become so emotive, that a research on it is handy as we seek to understand how this happens. A critique on the research before us is very helpful, since the research itself tried to find out more about abuse, in terms of sexual abuse on the elderly. The researcher aimed at giving us the nurses’ perspective on this issue, since they stay the most with these elderly people in the nursing homes, and is definitely a nursing problem. The critique of this research will help us dissect the authenticity of the findings, and if it really represented the reality as it is. First we will look at how the researchers used the human participants and their consent to the survey. I will then look at how data for this research was collected, including the rationale and the time frame, the analysis of that data, and what findings the researchers drew. Finally, the conclusion made, based on the findings from the analysis will be discussed.

In order to get the opinions of the nursing fraternity, the researcher recruited experienced staff from nursing homes, who were to reflect on their own practice. The participants were both male and female nurses and nursing practitioners, who had in employment for at least one year, either on permanent or temporary basis. Additionally, these nurses had to be registered nurses or licensed practicing nurses/nurse assistants. The Norwegian Social Science Data Services approved the research project. Before the study, the participants were given information through a letter, which explained the purpose of the research study and was requesting the individual to participate in the research project. According to the author, the group of nurses was a very appropriate sample, give the experience they had in the field of nursing, and they were drawn from different homes for diversity of information. However, the author failed to identify the fact that the nurses may give inaccurate information, since they could be culpable of committing the abuses against the elderly.

The data was collected through the means of group interviews, which has grown in popularity in the field of health research (Curtis and Redmond, 2007). The participants had a set of two case stories to discuss. The two cases were sent to them a few days before the actual interview day. They were to answer some questions based on the two cases provided, for one hour 45 minutes. The author had in mind that the nurses were the best sample group, because they were the focus of study. Both the independent and the dependent variables have been identified in the research were not mentioned in the research, which is a flaw.

Since the data collected was in form of audio recordings, the researcher had to transcribe the files to text files, for analysis. Transcription is always done by an individual, who listens to the recorded conversation and types the words. The researcher employed the Classic Analysis Strategy which is for focus groups, as a method for interpreting data, in an analytical way. It is used in the identification of themes, and categorization of the results. Considering the question that might have been framed in the questions, it is very likely that the researcher avoided bias by giving the same case twice, but changing the subjects. If the researcher had started with interviewing the nurses about a real life experience of a nurse who had abused an elderly person, it would have been expected that the nurses will become defensive, hence biased. The data collection events began at the point of distribution of the consent letters, to the interviews, the feedback and finally the analyzing of the data itself.

The researcher gave very straight forward findings to the research. According to him, the nurses were in agreement that the sexual abuse of the elderly is such a pathetic act. It emerged that the nurses themselves hated the sound of an old person being sexually abused, and some were actually surprised that it happens. As a remedy, they nurses thought that any such case should be reported to the police immediately for action to be taken against the perpetrator. In the nursing homes, the nurses agreed that this is a real challenge, because in pursuit of dealing with the problem, people tend to start suspecting everyone. These findings represent the reality to some extent, like in the issues mentioned. I don’t agree however that this is a topic that should catch them by surprise, because cases are being uncovered every day, on the elderly being abused in nursing homes. The limitations to the study includes the fact that some of these nurses actually believe that the abuse of an old person is a taboo, therefore they can’t imagine the thought of an old person being abused. This study can apply to nurses who take care of the hold in the nursing homes. Its implication is that nurses will be more careful with the elderly, because it emphasizes the fact that their abuse is a reality. In future, studies on the real reasons why nurses can abuse the elderly should be done. Also, severe punishment should be researched, that won’t allow a fired perpetrator get a job in another nursing home.

Indeed the elderly in our society are suffering in silence. They are innocent, weak and feeble, a reason why they are taken advantage of. They need our love, care and protection even in their latter days. The nursing fraternity has a very key role to play here, given that they will sometimes find themselves having to care for the elderly. In this regard, this vice should be treated as a taboo, and any single incident should be reported as soon as it is found out. That is all that the research was about, and the researcher did a good job in bringing up this issue.


E. Curtis and R. Redmond, “Focus groups in nursing research,” Nurse Researcher, vol. 14, no. 2,

pp. 25–37, 2007.

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