Problem Statement/Purpose StatementThe title is: A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Financial Incentives for Smoking Cessation.
Smoking is the leading cause of premature deaths that can be preventable in the USA. The study will be looking at how smoking can be prevented and thereby reduce the number of deaths that have been on the rise. Financial incentives will be used or experimented upon to see if they will increase the number of smoking cessations.
The purpose of this research is to see if financial incentives can be used to stop excessive smoking thereby reducing the number of deaths in America. By using financial incentives this study will try to see where the other likeminded researches theynt wrong and how they can be rectified.
This experiment is important to our health system. This is because it if successful, it will reduce the number of people who will be admitted to hospitals with smoking related ailments thereby reducing the funds that are being used currently to deal with this disaster. Also, it will reduce the number of deaths that are being experienced in the country.
(MacArthur, Graham & Fitzgerald, 2006)
Hypothesis can be defined as an assumption or anticipated explanation that is made on the foundation of limited evidence as an initial point for further examination.
Hypothesis: when financial incentives are used, smoking cessation takes place among smokers.
Simple Hypothesis: this predicts the relationship that exists amongst a single independent variable (IV) and that of a single dependent variable (DV)
Simple Hypothesis: higher financial incentives will be associated with higher smoking cessation.
Directional hypotheses: They are frequently derivatives from theory. They often imply that the investigator is mentally committed to a particular result. They spell out the probable direction of the association connecting variables in that the researcher predicts not only the being of a relationship but also its character.
Directional Hypothesis: higher financial incentives will result into higher smoking cessation.
Null hypothesis: this is put into use when the researcher sees that there is no relationship amidst two variables or when there is the presence of inadequate hypothetical or empirical data on which to base or state a research hypothesis.
Null Hypothesis: Higher financial incentives do not result into higher rates of smoking cessation.
(MacArthur, Graham & Fitzgerald, 2006)
Identification and Operational Definitions of Study Variables
Name the independent and dependent variable/s in your study?
DV- smoking cessation.
Concept of Operationalization
They haphazardly selected 878 employees of a multinational firm that was based in the United States to collect information concerning smoking-cessation programs (442 employees) or to get data about programs that were coupled with financial incentives (436 employees). The financial rewards were $100 for finishing of a smoking-cessation program, $250 for termination of smoking in 6 months subsequent to study conscription, as established by a biochemical examination and a reward of $400 for the abstinence for an extra 6 months after the first termination, as confirmed by the biochemical test. Individual participants were categorized in accordance to their work site, heavy or non-heavy smoking, and their income.
The literature review is on page one just below the abstract part of the research paper.
The specific variables that were under investigation were financial incentives and cessation of smoking (the numbers f those who were willing to quit).
Citation number 23; Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs — United States, 1995–1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2002; 51:300-3. This is a secondary source of data whereby the results it contained had been collected by another individual at a previous date but was handy to the nature and set up of the research at hand (MacArthur, Graham & Fitzgerald, 2006).
GAP: they saw that from previous studies on financial incentives and smoking cessation in work environment have not revealed if such incentives have had any significant effects concerning the cessation rates on smoking and that these publications did not have an explanation as to why. Therefore this research was tailored to find out all about these variables and thus close the gaps that existed in these papers.
The study design used in this paper was experimental whereby an experiment was made so as to look into the hypotheses and the problem at hand. Various experiments were done so as to get into a conclusive end and find out if the hypotheses held true or not.
This study design was appropriate as there was no other way in which the data and findings collected would have been found using another type of study. A lot of variables were unknown thus making experimental the only way to conduct this study.
Threats too internal validity were controlled for instance cheating which was measured by complete abstinence was monitored by biochemical means which confirmed this by a negative outcome of a cotinine test which was performed on a saliva or urine sample.
Reverting of smokers to their ways after the incentive and research being disrupted.
There would have been follow ups of up to two years which would mean that the study recipients would not change their ways or if changed, the note would be made.
Protection of Human Subjects in Research
The researchers did not outline the steps they took on protecting their subjects and this was a lapse on their part. This is necessary because these recipients’ privacy, lives and health are on the hands of the researchers and therefore they are responsible for them in the duration of the study.
Population, Sample, and Setting
The population for this study was the working class and employees of a large multinational that was based in the USA. They were specifically smoker.
The sample was selected from surveys that asked about their smoking habits and volunteers from the study selected and interviewed.
The sample represents the population of this study as it was taken at random locations of the firm representing all the workers.
The study took place in the workplace of these individuals with tests done in a laboratory.
Data collection INSTRUMENT
Lab tests were used to collect data and also initially there was the use of surveys.
They said that the tests they used were those of saliva and urine testing on nicotine. They tested nicotine to determine the levels in blood and also to know those who had abstained from it.
Their system was calibrated in that they gave intervals in which the respondents or the test subjects were to be without taking even a single puff of a cigarette from 3 to 6 months up to a year and the monetary incentive that was put into place was measured too. For those who dropped there was also their calibration for instance an interview after 7 days of forfeiture
Data analysis procedures
Descriptive statistics is the name that is given to the investigation of data which helps explain, show or summarize data in a consequential way such that there is the emergence of patterns.
In this study, there was the use of measures of central tendencies like mean, mode and median.
Inferential statistics allows researchers to draw conclusions from sets of data that might not be straight away obvious to them. There was the use of Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence and also the Cochran–Mantel Haenszel test.
In the study there was the mention of Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel test. This is a technique that gives out an estimate of an involvement between an exposure and a result after adjustment for or taking into consideration the confounding. The test is used with a dichotomous result variable and a dichotomous risk factor. The researcher used this as their variables were two and they were related as mentioned above.
The study was conducted and first hand data was used in this case and at the same time there was the collection of secondary data to augment the primary data that was collected. Thus made it foolproof.
The major limitation in this study is that they did not collect data for all genders and therefore it was biased towards the male gender. This therefore did not give the data or results for the whole population.
Bias means that the study was in favor of a certain group or the results were influenced. The study was not biased as all the funding or support bodies were research institutes dedicated to tobacco and other health issues research. For instance, if there was a tobacco firm in the funding of the study, we could have said there was bias.
- MacArthur, C., Graham, S., & Fitzgerald, J. (2006). Handbook of writing research. New York: Guilford Press.