Research Designs in Health Sciences Construct, Conduct and Critique on 25 to 27th June, 2009
Cosponsored by HRDG Division, CSIR, New Delhi, TNSCST, Chennai The workshop on research designs, constructs, conducts and critique, was initiated with the idea of diffusing the philosophy of research designs and its implications. Dr.Radha Krishnan, Director, PSG Institute of Advanced Studies, in his chief guest address during the inaugural expressed the abundance of knowledge and practice of research and the need for intellectual congruence of research designs in Social and Health sciences, as the Physical Sciences overlie on experimentation as they deal with products, but the Health Sciences are more concerned with Human Beings.
Rtd. Prof. Dr.C.P. Prakasam, Department of Public Health and Mortality Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai in his key note address acknowledged the realities of conducting the research in Health Sciences and the decision to decipher the design component. Prof.Elizabeth Jean Abraham, Principal, PSG College of Nursing, expressed the significance and responsibility of the research department to programme and propose the issue of research methodology and especially the research designs. Dr.Subhadra Iyengar, in introduction to the theme of the workshop pronounced the need to understand the design component, its implications and the skills in designing the research studies in Health Sciences.
The scientific session began with Dr.Prakasam addressing on the Qualitative research approach to health from social context. He imparted the critical issues and contributory mechanism of qualitative research and with citations from various research in AIDS and HIV, and gender related reproductive health and social attributions associated with them expressed the richness of qualitative approach to conduct of health research. The type of qualitative research was also listed and explained in detail by him in later session.
Prof.Elizabrth Jean Abraham, Principal, PSG College of Nursing, in her attempt to Qualitative designs, Principles, and Practice determinately pronounced that everything can not be just quantified. With esthetic pictures of Crying Baby and Dancing Folk, she put a thought provoking question in the minds of the audience whether measuring in quantam is alone crucial compare to the understanding the phemenon as it exists in its natural setting. She involved the students in by making them do some small exercises. Dr.Subhadra Iyengar in her topic on Quantitative research designs, principles and practice went on emphasizing the cause and effect relationship while testing of hypothesis. She also expressed the need to identify the variables of the study, understand the nature and its influence, and the need to be cautious about internal and external threat to the study, the steps and skills to minimize the same. The session ended with online quiz.
Then Dr.Thomas V Chacko, HOD of Community Medicine and MET Department, PSG IMSR balanced by establishing the distinguished characteristics, advantages, disadvantages of both the approach and recommended for combination, namely mixed match method.
From here, the sessions started and flittered into specific design with quantitative approach. Dr.Thanga Pandian, Lecturer, Dept of Psychology, PSG College of Arts and Science, in his deliberation on Survey design made the participants probe into surveying the personality of each which gave two expressions, one self introspection and the other technique of applying survey Design to studies.
Dr.Jemima Mohana Kumar, Professor, Department of Nutrition, PSG College of Arts and Science, explained with exercise about the Descriptive designs and their focus. Mrs. Beena Chacko, Associate Professor, in Medical surgical Nursing and HOD of Fundamentals of Nursing, PSG College of Nursing dealt with examples, the time dimensional designs and their significance in assessing the impact of Lung Cancer and Smoking.
Then, the deliberation on Experimental Designs was made by Dr.Ramamurthy Professor and Head of Department of Biotechnology, PSG Institute of Technology. He lectured in detail the principles, practice, types and implication of experimental designs. Dr.Ramalingam, Principal and Professor of Pharmacology, of PSG Institute of Medical Sciences, with examples and critical probing with the audience explained the case study, case control and RCT designs in medical research. Dr.Bhuvaneshwarn, Medical Director, PSG Super Specialty Hospitals gave birds view of Clinical Trials and citations were from the numerous researches conducted by him.
Prof.G.Malarvizhi, Head of Pediatric Nursing Department, PSG College of Nursing, addressed with her profound knowledge on Pre test Post test control group and Solomon Four group design, in health sciences.
Prof.T.Nirmala, Vice- Principal, PSG College of Nursing made the delegates practice the design techniques by practically making them relax and define the principles, practice of one group pre and post design. She also stressed on internal and external validity and minimization of the same.
Dr. Ramanathan, Professor, Department of Pharmacology, PSG College of Pharmacy specified, classified and expressed the need of quasi experimental research design in health sciences, especially when dealing with behavioral issues. From there, the session was handled by Prof.Tamil Selvi, Head of Medical-Surgical Nursing Department, on Non Equivalent Design, and she maximized the extent to which these designs bring down to earth results.
The third day was linked to the first day session, as Dr.Vidya Ramachandran, in depth with research studies on epidemiological aspects explained about qualitative research and its significance in epidemiology and transformation of the approach to quantitative. It was thought provoking and mind storming session.
Then the workshop started on Group task with different situation and the representatives from each group presented the design components. Later the papers were presentated by Delegates, where also there was a stress on identification of variables, structuring the design, assessing internal and external threats to studies and the measures to control the same.
The best paper presentation award was conferred to Dr.Reshmi Sharin, Ayurveda College, Coimbatore, who presented on Double Blind Research Study. The three days task helped in overcoming the misnorms of design construction and gave crystal clear picture of the method of drawing the research design. The workshop was valedected with a speech from Dr.Vidhya Ramachandran, and report from Dr.Subhadra Iyengar. Prof.Elizabeth Jean Abraham, presented the award for best paper presentation. Mrs. Kalaimathi, Assistant Professor, PSG College of Nursing, extended the vote of thanks.