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Posts Tagged ‘Statistics’

Since my last post two things have happened.

Firstly, I am feeling lots better, so quarantine is being lifted and the plan to go to IPS 2012 is still on – Happy Times!

Secondly, my further readings and discussions surrounding the use of the Cochran Q test proved it was unsuitable for what I wanted to do. This is most definitely not good….  All is not lost, and I can still go forward with Study 3, but can only confidently investigate my first Hypothesis regarding Inherent and Elective Trigger activities – what I cannot plan to do is look into the effect of these triggers over time. In other words, how variable people’s Hand Hygiene behaviour is when reacting to these triggers when measured at different opportunities – do the same people always react to the same Inherent Triggers the same way?  Try as we might we cannot find a statistical analysis model that will allow for binary data using a within-subjects design over some element of ‘longitudinal’ measurement.

Off to Liverpool…!
If only my number puzzles were still this simple….

 

So, what I am really hoping will happen now is that I can head to IPS 2012, and find inspiration amongst all the promising talk and poster presenters; who knows what kind of study designers may be Liverpool-bound, just desperate for a new study-puzzle to pour over….?

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Currently I am practicing good Infection Control and am in quarantine – which has thrown a spanner in the works with regard to my active research at UHCW, but on the positive has given me time to work on planning my next phase of work.

Following the emerging themes produced from Study 1 and 2 (including interviews with Healthcare Professionals) the design for Study 3 has had to change.  It is no longer feasible to carry out the Inherent/Elective categorisation task as originally planned, as there is too much ‘noise’ around the concepts of Hand Hygiene triggers such as “Patient Contact” and “Contaminated Items”.  Therefore, instead of using existing audit data for a retrospective analysis, the new design involves an in-situ observational study collecting fresh Hand Hygiene data relating to specific activities deemed “Inherent” or “Elective” by current Healthcare Professionals.

From a conceptual point of view, this seems simple.  Indeed, when discussing the idea with others the idea – to see whether people perform Hand Hygiene more at certain points than others, and then whether this behaviour is stable – seems both clear and interesting; however when delving slightly deeper, the actual quantitative analysis required to investigate this theory appears much more complex.  Issues such as the use of binary (dichotomous) data, and a within-subjects design, makes the study actually quite abnormal.   However, after much design/re-design and discussions with some great sources of help, I think we may be getting close to a solution.  Today I thus have to just confirm that  the McNemar and Cochran Q are potentially solutions, and then I can firm up the design…

Whilst statistics are difficult in such cases, as has been said to me recently, the good part is once you have found the correct design, the actual carrying out is relatively simple. I cannot say how much I am looking forward to that part…!  The redesign of Study 3 has really shown how hard it can be to decide what is possible in research – having to compromise what you find interesting with what is possible to quantify or work into a design.  Patience, logic and the understanding that future work is always an option.  Lessons learnt…!

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Have just had to make my first cancellation with a participant since my research began, and naturally feel dreadful.  On a scale of dreadful so great that I’m thinking that even cake isn’t going to cut it today…  Combine this psychological feeling with physical pain, and you’ll gather that today finds me in a ‘bad place’.  For comparison, perhaps imagine an IKEA checkout on the first day of the Sale, full of fraught couples, bored children, hyper-active under-5s, and a flat-pack box wedged in the till space…. No, your pastry and free coffee temptation isn’t going to calm me today my yellow t-shirted friends…

Anyway, so yes, today I am supposed to be collecting data on site, but yesterday, in a rather daring move, I decided to try to knuckle down to understanding a new area of my work – trying to add a quantitative element to the research.  Thanks to a brilliant co-researcher at the IDL I am now looking at performing a new level of analysis on my Inherent/Elective categorisation, namely a MANOVA.   Whilst the bulk of my work in my first degree (BSc Psychology) was quantitative, it has been many years since I flicked on the computer and turned to SPSS, so statistical analysis as a whole is like revisiting Narnia – strangely familiar yet most definitely not yet commonplace.  I have been using the great work of Andy Field as guide/lamppost to keep me secure during my re-awakening adventure through statistical analysis, and this is really how the mishap of yesterday occurred….

Having presented to the IDH team at lunchtime, I went straight off to the library to review some of the issues raise, turning to Andy Field’s ‘Discovering Statistics Using SPSS’ text book.

 Brilliant.     Cover of "Discovering Statistics Using SP...

However, when it was time to go, in my rush to get out and make the most of the elusive dry/sunshine I forgot how much he had packed into one book, and flung my book bag over my shoulder….and calamity…!  Searing pain across the shoulder-blade.  Not good.  Being a sneaky pain it did go after some rather entertaining breathing exercises and stretching (in public…!), but this morning it has returned to show me who is boss, and thus I am now somewhat incapacitated.  Have taken the recommended tablets, and now am sitting in a position that is reasonably comfy, to the point that I have about 1cm tolerance either way…  Loving all things wireless, laptop and mobile right now. Not loving kettles, fridges and basically the real world – how dare it be so demanding?!

Have everything crossed that this pain goes quickly, as have another meeting scheduled at UHCW tomorrow, plus a meeting at IDH.  Also, running – something I’ve not managed to do for a week now, and with a rather long run planned on Saturday am starting to get a little concerned about….

Anyhow, on the bright side, the temporary incapacitation does give me an opportunity to catch up on coding the already collected data, so as ever, there are always things to do…  And this chair is exceptionally comfy. From IKEA. Naturally….

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