Sample Education Paper on Quantitative Research Article Analysis Report

Quantitative Research Article Analysis Report

Coleman, P. K. (2011). Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(3), 180-186.

Kind of Study

            Initiated by Priscilla K. Coleman, a Professor of human development and family studies at the University of Bowling Green State, the study assumed the qualitative research criteria. The title Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009 consisted of an evaluation of 22 independent studies and 36 quantifications of the outcome, which included a total of 877,181participants, and among these, 163,831 had undergone an abortion. The study took into consideration the pre-existing mental health issues present before abortion was carried out (Coleman, 2011).

Context the Research was Conducted

            The research prevented bias because it employed strict inclusion criteria. The researchers included every available active study with evidence; weaker were ones left out. More specifically, the rules of inclusion consisted of a sample size of 100 or more participants and the utilization of comparison group. The comparison groups involved women who had not undergone an abortion and had their unplanned pregnancies delivered. The study also used the strategy for control of variables, which was likely to influence factors such as demographics, violence, and mental health problems (Coleman, 2011).

General Purpose of the Study

            The general aim of the study was to determine the relationship between abortion and the signs of adverse mental health with the effects quantified based on the comparison groups results.  Besides, the research study aimed at computing the population-attributable risk (PAR) figures for each result as a secondary objective.  Questions raised from these goals include whether abortions are likely to lead to mental problems and whether the comparison groups faced a similar experience.

Relevance of Research Questions

Attempts aimed at answering research questions add something new to what is already known because they focus on providing the biggest quantitative estimates of the mental risks, which are linked to abortion.  The findings of the investigation revealed that abortion was linked to a 34% increase in anxiety disorders, 37% risks of depression, 110 % risk of alcohol abuse, and 220% risk of marijuana and substance abuse.  Moreover, the percentage associated with suicidal thoughts and tendencies was 155%. The significance of this study is that it offers assurance to healthcare providers regarding mental health risks and abortion, which enables them to establish accurate case conceptualization and avoid misdiagnosis.  Furthermore, based on the data collected and reviewed from the 22 studies, the outcomes of the meta-analytic reviews of abortion and mental health show that the latter is highly associated with abortion.  It means that the study and the previous works of literature linking abortion to mental health were consistent (Coleman, 2011).  The overall results indicated that women who have experienced abortion were at an 81% risk of developing mental health issues and almost 10% of the occurrences of mental health problem were attributable to abortion.Over the years, there have been works of literature that highlight the impacts of pregnancies delivered at a time when a woman develops a mental health issue. Information from these literature works is in line with that presented in this study. For instance, while evaluating suicidal tendencies, Gissler et al. (1996) indicated that the suicidal rates of women were 11.3 for every population of 100,000 whereas only 5.9 percent were linked to birth.  Several other studies done in different countries across the world showed reduced rates of suicide after birth as compared to other women in the general population.  Regarding suicide, further research needs to assess the precise nature of the protective effect concept systematically. The step will help to establish the degree to which the protective effect has on the unplanned pregnancies that are carried to full-term.  Besides, there will be an evaluation of the likely protective effects of giving birth concerning other mental health variables.

Research Population

            The study focused on a total of 877,181women who had undergone an abortion as well as those who had not undergone the same. Of the total participant population, 163,831 had undergone an abortion. The study consisted of a comparison group involving women who had experienced no abortion and had either unintended or planned pregnancies delivered. The variables tested included abortion and the effect it has on mental health.

Major Steps in Performing the Study

            Coleman utilized various systematic approaches in her research before settling on the ideal results.  The first step involved the identification of the 22 articles and journals from the Medline and PsycINFO databases published between 1995 and 2009. As a way of settling comfortably for the articles, specific inclusion criteria were used. For instance, the rule for the selection demanded that every study has a sample of 100 or more participants. Secondly, the existence of a comparison group consisting of women who never aborted or given birth to planned or unplanned pregnancy. Thirdly, the selection was checked for one or more mental health variables such as alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Moreover, the study used the rules of extracting and synthesizing information as recommended to limit overrepresentation of certain samples and statistical variations in the effects. This was aimed at ensuring a careful and unbiased selection of the results to improve variability in the outcomes.

Data Recorded and Used for Analysis

            Different types of data were used and recorded for the analysis.  For instance, within the 22 selected articles, in case the researchers indicated one effect per variable for demographic groups, combined odds ratio was calculated to limit favoring certain studies.  Secondly, in case the studies had additional comparison groups, the selection rules were introduced to provide more strength and ensure articulation in the comparison. In instances where independent and separate results were acquired based on one variable for more than one abortion instance, the outcome specific to one abortion incidence is selected to enhance sampling from a homogeneous population. In other situations, there was the use of the same variable and sample in two or more publications with the researcher opting for data in a recent publication. Moreover, in case many groups used a similar data set, both sets of the resulting data are used when differences in the sample clearly defined.

Data Analysis

            Data analysis was based on a statistical assessment.  One major method employed was the use of Meta-analysis, which deployed the use of Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 2.0 (Biostat, www.meta-analysis.com).  Different meta-analyses were calculated using the socio-demographic heterogeneity of the samples. The study used the combined odds ratio gotten from the 36 effects identified from the articles.  Moreover, there was an additional use of two subgroups with odd ratios, which were based on the comparison group with kinds of mental health problems. For the third variables, altered odd ratios controlling the third variables were utilized in the random effects of the analysis.  Lastly, PAR fractions were calculated using pooled odd ratios gotten from random effects analysis. The formula used to calculate the PAR percentages was 100× (Px (OR–1))/ (1 + Px (OR–1)). In this case, Px was treated as the estimate of the population exposure, and it was derived from c / (c + d). The c represented the number of women who aborted but did not have mental issues, and d was the number of women who never experience abortion and did display any mental health concerns.

Results

            Based on the statistical analyses of the data received from the 22 studies, the outcomes of the meta-analytic reviews of abortion and mental health show that the latter is highly associated with abortion.  It means that the study and the previous pieces of literature linking abortion to mental health were consistent.  The overall results indicated that women who have experienced abortion were at an 81% risk of developing mental health issues and almost 10% of the occurrences of mental health problem were attributable to abortion. The result answers the research question by indicating that the relationship between abortion and the signs of adverse mental health was positive and that women who aborted were likely to develop mental health issue.

Author’s Conclusion

            The author’s conclusions are that women who aborted with those within the comparison group were found to register almost the same rates of developing mental health issues.  Typically, the outcomes challenge the general assumption and belief that having women who have successfully delivered unplanned pregnancies will give the most efficient control group for studies exploring abortion effects on the development of mental health.  However, the utilization of a control group who have had no pregnancy as well as delivery in the past seems useful because most women have been known to develop postpartum depression and anxiety immediately after giving birth.  From a more logical perspective, a control group of women who are not pregnant would be easy to access than those who have in the past delivered unplanned pregnancies (Coleman, 2011).

Cautions Raised by the Author about Study Interpretation

            A caution raised by the author regarding the interpretation of the study is the avoidance of the belief that having women who have successfully delivered unplanned pregnancies will give the most efficient control group for studies exploring abortion effects on the development of mental health.

Perspective of Interest in the Report

            An interesting perspective learned from the study was the possibility of integrating the results of more than 20 scholarly or journal articles to come up with a substantiated and quantifiable result, especially when dependent variables are involved (Coleman, 2011).

Limitations of the Study

            A limitation of the study is that it is in-depth as it covered studies done within fifteen years. The research also ignored studies that did not have comparison groups. A further quantitative review should be conducted on the sets of literature lacking comparison groups. Another limitation is its inconsistency in the control variables, demographic characteristics, and the duration used in conducting procedures as well as follow-up evaluation.

Implications for Teaching/Learning

            The research’s findings are significant in practitioners’ exploration and understanding of the mental health of women as well as assisting them to come up with sound decisions that enhance their health conditions.

                                                                Reference

Coleman, P. K. (2011). Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–2009. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199(3), 180-186.