Final Project: Early Methods Section
While stress cannot be entirely removed from the workplace or life, one can develop coping skills with relative ease. Stress has shown to contribute to physical conditions like high blood pressure, ulcers and stroke. As such, stress reduction directly impacts the improvement of one’s physical health. Health promotion strategies employ different approaches in improving the physical and mental health of an individual. Approaches that use multiple strategies have proven more effective when compared to stand-alone approaches. Health promotion strategies offer health information so as to create awareness and capacity among individuals to make decisions concerning health behavior and care.
Health promotion strategies provide supportive environment within working settings such as businesses, schools, hospitals, worksites and recreational facilities (Egger, Spark & Donovan, 2005). This empowers people to make better health choices. However, there has been limited research on the effect of health promotion strategies on stress reduction. More precisely, scholars have not encompassed different perspectives in the studies on the subject of stress reduction using health promotion strategies (Ludovici-Connolly, 2010). As such, there exists gas in knowledge as to whether health promotion strategies can help alleviate stress. It is on this premise that this is paper is informed.
In order to sufficiently deliver on the mandate of the paper, I will evaluate the following research question: Do health promotion strategies help alleviate stress? Enormous human and economic costs are linked to occupational stress. These enormous costs justify initiatives that are designed to alleviate or prevent occupational stress at the work place. It is also important to measure the effect of such strategies on alleviating occupational stress because of the enormous investments involved.
The study will seek to test the following hypothesis:
Health promotion strategies help alleviate stress. This is an alternative hypothesis to the study.
In order to assess whether health promotion strategies help reduce stress, the study will test the following null hypothesis:
Health promotion strategies do not help reduce stress.
Sample size, characteristics and criteria
Using a random sampling technique, I would utilize ten percent of the study population. For instance, if the study population included the employees in a given corporation, the participants used as respondents for the study would be ten percent of the entire workforce. This is a scientific method of arriving to a sample size. It has been found that such a sample size, if chosen randomly would be representative of the general population. As such, the results gotten from the study can be generalized to other populations in similar settings. The inclusion criterion for the study is that the individuals chosen for the study have to be part of the study area chosen. They also have to be over eighteen years of age and of sound mind. Individuals who are diagnosed with psychological disorders like manic and bipolar disorders cannot be included into the study. This is because such disorders might affect the results of the study in ways that cannot be controlled. Individuals with personality disorders cannot also be included in the study (Davis, Eshelman, & McKay, 2010). The sample needs to be diverse. Diversity in the sample size is very important. Diversity in terms of gender and age presents different perspectives in the responses given.
In order to achieve the appropriate sample for the study, randomly sampling will be employed. However, the sampling techniques will also be tempered by elements of purposive sampling technique in order to include the various aspects of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The random sampling technique will ensure that the sampled population is a representation of the general population of study. Through random sampling, the researcher will pick names from the general population. For instance, if the study area or population includes employees of a corporation, the researcher is liaison with the human resource department will pick names randomly from the employee fraternity.
However, purposive sampling will also be employed in order to ensure that the various provisions of the inclusion and exclusion criteria are factored. To this end, a questionnaire seeking to know whether either of the sampled individuals is affected by the provisions in the exclusion and inclusion criteria will be administered. Any individuals ruled out by the exclusion criteria will be removed from the sampled list and replaced using the random sampling technique. The population of the sample generalizes to all individuals who are not diagnosed with any psychological or personality disorders.
Variables of study
The following are the variables of study: -
- Well being
- Health promotion strategies
Operational definition of the variables
The variables of study assume the following meanings for the purposes of this study: -
- Stress: - for the purposes of this study, stress means anything that challenges or poses a threat to one’s well being. Although stress is not entirely bad, stressing factors that undermine one’s mental and physical health is bad this study will be focusing on stressing factors that undermine and individual’s mental and physical well being.
- Well being: -This is not merely the absence of infirmity. For the purposes of this study, well being is the general condition of an individual.
- Health promotion strategies: - for the purposes of this study, health promotion strategies are activities aimed towards giving people more control of their health in order to reach to state of mental, physical and social well being.
Measurement of the variables
In order to measure stress, the study will employ standard psychological questionnaires that asses different psychological factors that are related to stress in human beings. In addition to this, the study will also employ autonomic measure to assess the stress levels in the sampled population. Firstly, the researcher will take the blood pressure of the respondents. Unusually high levels of blood pressure can be indicators of stresses. Secondly, the researcher will assess the salivary cortisol as an important biomarker of stress (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2009).
The researcher will measure the well being of the study sample by using a standard guide developed to measure the well being of communities and individuals. The questionnaire will assess for indicators like resilience, absence of infirmity, activity level, nutritional status, happiness, diagnosed disorders and satisfaction (Stahl, Goldstein, Kabat-Zinn, & Santorelli, 2010). Using different scales, the questionnaire will rank the individuals subjective well being. In order to measure health promotion strategies, the researcher will list various health promoting activities and require the respondent to list those he has been exposed to in the last six months.
Reliability and validity
The reliability and validity of the measures are dependent on many factors. Nonetheless, the study will assess the measurement techniques for reliability and validity before the study. The study will rely on inter-observer reports, tests and retests, parallel forms and split half reliability. All these measures are meant to assess the reliability of the techniques used to measure the variables of study. In order to assess the validity, the researcher will assess the tools for criterion validity, construct validity and content validity. All this will inform any necessary changes that ought to be made before the study.
Data collection techniques
The study will employ interviews as a data collection technique. This will entail the researcher visiting the location where the respondents reside and get information out of them through interviews that are guided by standard questionnaires. The researcher will also employ observation check lists where appropriate as guided by the methodology (Kothari, 2005).
The study will adopt the crossectional analytical study design. This study design will enable the researcher to measure the variables of study in their environment. The design will also allow the researcher to describe the variables of study at one specific point in time. The study design was also adopted due to financial and time constraints (McBurney & White, 2010).
Procedure to be followed
The researcher will introduce themselves and the study to the respondents. In addition, the researcher will also seek the consent of the respondents to participate in the study after assuring the respondent of confidentiality. The researcher will then require the respondent to sign a consent form. In case of any intrusive procedures, the researcher will inform the respondent prior to and seek their consent in the administration of the procedures. For instance, the researcher will acquire the saliva of the respondents for the assessment of salivary cortisol. In such an instance, the researcher is to explain to the respondent why the saliva sample is required. The researcher will administer the contents of the tools used for data collection.
Issues of confidentiality are important in any study. Such issues in this study will be addressed by assuring the respondent of confidentiality. In addition, the data collected will only be used for the purposes of the study and that the data will not be disseminated to third persons. Intrusive procedures will be administered by trained personnel without compromising on the standard operating procedures (Kimmel, 2007).
Through the results of the study, the general population will be better poised to understand the relationship between health promotion strategies and stress reduction. The information generated will also be useful for policy makers and the health provision fraternity.
Davis, M., Eshelman, E. R., & McKay, M. (2010). The relaxation & stress reduction workbook. S.l.: RHYW
Egger, G., Spark, R., & Donovan, R. J. (2005). Health promotion strategies and methods. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kaplan, R. M., & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2009). Psychological testing: Principles, applications, and issues. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Kimmel, A. J. (2007). Ethical issues in behavioral research: Basic and applied perspectives. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Pub.
Kothari, C. R. (2005). Research methodology: Methods & techniques. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd.
Ludovici-Connolly, A. M. (2010). Winning health promotion strategies. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
McBurney, D., & White, T. L. (2010). Research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Stahl, B., Goldstein, E., Kabat-Zinn, J., & Santorelli, S. (2010). A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.