DescriptiveStatistics: Article Critique
The report provides descriptive statistics pertained to the livedexperience of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) collected using aqualitative approach. The data from the field was collected usingone-on-one and telephone interviews. Given that the study used aninterpretative phenomenological analysis that collected data in wordsas opposed to numerical data, it does not meet all the requirementsof descriptive statistics sufficiently. This is because descriptivestatistics are described in three ways 1) frequencies, 2) measuresof central tendency, and 3) measures of spread (dispersion) (LectureN5024 2016). However, the distinction between collecting data inwords or numbers is not a useful way of differentiating approaches toresearch. In the case of interpretative phenomenology, the variousthemes should be accorded numerical values so as to describe data inthe three ways mentioned above.
The study employed descriptive statistics minimally. For example, indescribing the sample of 15 participants, the study only cites therange in age being from 21 to 75 but does not provide the averageage, or the mode or medium age or even frequencies of each age group.Again, the interviews lasted 35 to 180 minutes, but descriptivestatistics such as the average time of interviews or mean age of thesample are missing. However, in some cases, descriptive statisticswas used in some variables such as the genetic history of HCM where apercentage is indicated. It is also noticeable that inferentialstatistics were not inappropriately employed. For instance, inanalyzing the data through thematic analysis, the study capturedactual participants’ responses and did not generalize or infer suchexperiences on the population.
The study ignored using accurate descriptive statistics in someareas. For instance, the mean age of the sample and the average ageof participants living with HCM were not provided but only the range.With as sample size of only 15, the particular periods of living withHCM for all participants would be efficiently captured in a table andthe mode and medium and even distribution could be calculated. Due tothe omission of such valuable information, the skewness of the samplesize is not evident. Also, the frequency of given themes or phrasesand their weight would be well captured through numerical ornon-numerical descriptive statistics, but this is not the case.
Descriptive information was not presented in a useful format.Ideally, descriptive statistics strives to present data in a moremeaningful way that allows simpler interpretation. In this case, atable describing the features of the sample or frequency of keyphrases and themes would have captured the data more appropriately.However, the study made no use of tables whatsoever, which makes ithard to skim through the paper or understand data at a glance.Furthermore, information describing the sample would be best capturedusing a table but none was used. The paper is well formatted withheadings and subheadings to identify different sections. The headingsare of different levels. There are no bulleted or numbered items thatwould have otherwise replaced prose information that can be tiringand monotonous to read.
There were no risks computed. The study did not involve any clinicalinterventions that would pose a given risk to the participants. Theonly risks that the research addressed pertained to the risk ofexposing participants’ private information. This was taken care ofthrough codifying participants’ names and avoiding collectingprivate data.
Descriptive StatsLecture N5024. (2016). Module 1.
Subasic, K. (2013).Living with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Journal of NursingScholarship.