What is the impact of X (Intervention) on Y (Outcome) in Z (population)?

Guide to Grading ARM – 2019

Question – this should be in the format, ‘What is the impact of X (Intervention) on Y (Outcome) in Z (population).

For example, ‘What is the impact of reality orientation on the incidence of falls in older people in residential care’

The students have been asked to refine their question into this format so all the students should have this type of question.

Background – The student will have to write 1000 words on the background to their question. Using the example above this could involve the student giving some figures about the numbers of older people in residential care, older person health problems, fall incidence and the cost of falls to the person, family and service. There should be plenty of up to date references in this part of the essay.

The student will then write 400 words on the intervention. So using the above example the student would write 400 words on what the evidence says about the use of RO in relation to falls in older person residential care. The student should demonstrate that he/she has read around the intervention. An in-depth knowledge is not expected but the student should show they have read and that there is enough evidence to review. 

The final part of the background section involves the student writing 450 words on why this proposed review is needed whilst also writing about what Systematic Reviews are. They should show that they have read some research methods papers about what a SR entails.

Objectives – The student should write 2 or 3 objectives that closely reflect what the question is looking at, for example, ‘to explore the impact of reality orientation on the incidence of falls etc’.

Methods – First of all the student will write  on the types of papers they will seek to use in their review. The student may decide and justify they want to use RCT papers only, or all types of papers, or say they will try to get RCT papers first and failing that other papers. In this section the student should show they understand what they are on about, for example, if they say they will use all methodological type papers in their review then they should write a piece about the research methodologies (Quant, Qual, Mixed methods).

The student will then write about the type of samples they want in their selected papers. For example, using the example above, the student would say that each paper they use should have a sample of older people over 65 in residential care. The student should also show an overall understanding of what sampling is in research. 

The student will then write about primary and secondary outcomes. Using the example above the primary outcome would be incidence of falls. The student needs to understand that the primary outcome is a very clear measurement that will underpin the review. The student can say that secondary outcomes will emerge as the full review unfolds but for now can give some example, for example, cost, QoL, pain etc.  The student should also define what primary and secondary outcomes are. 

The student will then write approx. 400 words on their propose search strategy. 

The student will write 1000 words on data collection and analysis hitting the following points:

  • Stating that they will use a data extraction table and giving an example of what this will look like. An example has already been given to the students. The student should go through each section of the data collection table showing that they understand what it means, so for example, there will be a data collection column, so the student will explain what data collection means in research, the same with sampling. Plenty of research methods papers should be used in this part of the essay.
  • Quality appraisal and bias should be talked about. The students have been given examples of tools. They should say that they will use the EBL quality appraisal tool for all papers used in the full review, and then write descriptively about each section of the quality appraisal. The student is not expected to give an in-depth analysis of quality appraisal rather show they understand what it means.
  • Finally the student should write about how they will bring key findings together. They should write a short piece on using summary tables and meta-analysis, narrative analysis or qualitative analysis. Again a basic understanding is required.

Conclusion – this should be about 250 words in length