A1 Quantitative Article: Tan, C.H.S., Ishak, R.B., Lim, T.X.G., Marimuthusamy, P., Kaurss, K.,
& Leong, J.J. (2016). Illness Management and Recovery Program for Mental Health
Problems: Reducing Symptoms and Increasing Social Functioning. Journal of Clinical
Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13712
Introduction – The introduction is clear and concise. It explains how the study aims to discern the efficacy of an immensely popular evidence-based practice in the US – the Illness Management and Recovery Program (IMR) when applied to subjects in Singapore. The introduction carefully lays out the criteria for mental illness, and subjects who qualify.
Review of the Literature – The Literature Review is well-written. However, much of the review overstates the obvious, and is somewhat vague. For example, the researchers repeatedly point out the benefits of the IMR program without venturing into a lot of specifics about how the program achieves its results, more specifically.
Discussion of Methodology – The researchers discuss the methodology at length, and are quite adept in conveying how the experiment is designed (randomized sample of 50 subjects, half of which are control group and half of which are experimental group). Moreover, they discuss the criteria for participants.
Data Analysis – The study uses SPSS 2.0 to analyze the collected data.
The researchers’ conclusion is that the IMR program is extremely helpful in the intervention of low- to marginally-functioning Singaporeans with a serious mental illness. Furthermore, they conclude that clinicians can benefit immensely by this evidence-based practice, as they learn from eight different IMR modules how to treat patients in a hospital, home, or clinical setting.
2. The researchers’ points support the conclusion that the IMR program is successful among its
sample size, as well as their conclusion that this study’s overwhelming success can be readily applied to other mentally-ill patients throughout Singapore. They used several metrics to calculate the strength of the IMR program, including the Global Assessment Scale (GAS) and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).
3. This study successfully protects the anonymity and confidentiality of its participating subjects. Furthermore, the researchers state that they received approval by the institutional ethics review board prior to collecting data, which lends further authenticity to the research itself, and the protection of its subjects.
4. This is a strong study, but it uses too few subjects – and is skewed towards female subjects, as 62% of its subjects are females. Perhaps, the IMR program interventions are more effective with females than males. Nevertheless, another one of the study’s strengths is its data analysis. The study uses a four-way ANOVA, and calculates a variety of data that support its conclusion that the IMR program is a highly-effective intervention for Singaporeans with serious mental illnesses. One of its weaknesses is that the researchers seem somewhat biased due to their zeal about the IMR program. Lastly, a larger sample size would have provided more data, further strengthening the study.
5. The evidence collected from this study informs mental health nursing practice by teaching them how to better intervene with the treatment of mentally ill individuals via IMR program modules. Furthermore, this study shows that the IMR program helps improve the cognitive and social functioning of a given mentally ill population – in Singapore.
B1 Qualitative Article: Thornicroft, G., Deb, T., & Henderson, C. (2016). Community mental
health care worldwide: current status and further developments. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 276–
Introduction - The introduction for this extensive study is both concise and thorough. For example, the authors provide a highly-detailed definition of community healthcare, which includes four specific criteria.
Review of the Literature – The literature review cites many references, including the Disease Control Priorities Manual (DSP-3), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO). Furthermore, this study uses its literature review to guide its later proposals. For example, the researchers note that previous studies suggest a wider platform of community care for nations across the globe, platforms which include more than mere in-patient care for those with mental disorders, especially anxiety and/or depression.
Discussion of Methodology – Indeed, this is a qualitative study. However, its methodology is inclined more towards an intensive review of the literature. In this manner, the researchers arrive at their ten-point proposal for the improvement of mental health care across a broad spectrum of community care treatment modalities, as well as the implementation of models that assist mentally-ill individual who suffer for comorbid conditions, such as HIV/AIDS – conditions especially prevalent in African nations which have little financial resources for those who suffer from mental disorders. Thus, this study takes a lot of factors into consideration for its suggested ten-point proposal plan for mental health improvement across the board.
Data Analysis – Indeed, the researchers’ data analysis is thorough. However, at times, the researchers make broad statements which do not have a basis regarding evidence-based practices. For example, they claim that mental illness is stigmatized, yet present no specific evidence within the paper about ways to analyze such stigmatization. Nonetheless, the researchers cite outside evidence of the broader implications of stigmatization of those who suffer from mental illness. It remains unclear whether such stigmatization is greatest in low-, medium-, or high-income countries.
The researchers’ conclusion – the ten-point proposal plan – is concise and thorough.
2. Every point that the researchers make during their analysis and discussion about the current status of global mental health supports the researcher’s conclusion. For example, the data clearly supports the need for improved evidence-based practices in countries across the globe.
3. As this study focuses more on available data and the ten-point proposal plan, its statistical data comprises subjects whose identities remained completely anonymous, thereby not jeopardizing the confidentiality of those with diagnoses of mental illnesses.
4. The strengths of this study consist of its thorough research, and detailed proposal plan. Indeed, its limitations include the lack of particular subjects and conclusive experimental data. However, the researchers arrived at a detailed, thought-provoking conclusion which was evidence-based.
5. The evidence informs nursing practice by shifting attention to the specific (and more generalized needs) of the global population, using data from reputable sources such as WHO. Thus, a mental health nurse who chooses to practice in an underserved nation with per capita low incomes should be able to glean a lot of valuable data and conclusions helping support their evidence-based practices.