Ethical issues should be a primary concern of any research in nursing and medicine. It is considered that “the welfare of any participant within a research study should take precedence over the advancement of science” (Greany et al., 2012, p. 38). Thus, ethical principles should be regarded at any stage of research. First of all, it is necessary to obtain patients’ consent to participate in research and provide personal data and health history for analysis (Beck, 2013).
The participants will be informed on the nature of the research, rules of recruitment and withdrawal, privacy concerns, and their possible beneficence (Greany et al., 2012). It is necessary to provide involvement and positive feedback from patients which are the integral components of valid research results. The CHF patients who agree to participate will receive an informed consent to sign. In addition, they are promised that privacy and confidentiality will be protected. The data provided for the analysis will not be used elsewhere and participants’ identities will not be disclosed in the presentation of the results.
Apart from the general ethical considerations mentioned above, this research implies the protection of human rights. It is connected with the fact that the study includes a health experiment since it is aimed to discover a correlation between the number of patients with congestive heart failure on a diet and their readmission rates. The primary concern of researchers is to do no harm. The current study is safe for the participants because it presupposes following a healthy diet. The patients who follow the instructions are expected to benefit from the participation. Thus, the worst-case scenario can be no positive change in patients’ readmission rates. In addition, patients’ right to freedom is guaranteed. Any participant can withdraw the experiment at any time.
Limitations of the Study
Despite reliability and validity, the study can have some limitations. First of all, the results can be influenced by extraneous variables. In the current research, they include comorbid diseases and conditions in addition to congestive heart failure; the lifestyle of participants; their attitude towards medicine; and finally the behavior of the researcher.
Secondly, the study results can be influenced by the lack of objectivity in treating the issue of a healthy diet. However, this limitation can be avoided with proper control from researchers and healthcare providers over participants and providing them with all necessary information. Finally, the sample can be a limitation. Since it will be selected from certain hospitals and should meet strict demands on age and BMI, the research maybe not applicable to patients from other regions or those younger than forty.
Implications for Practice
The research will have some implications for practice. Firstly, in the case a strong correlation is discovered between the number of patients with congestive heart failure on a diet and their readmission rates, a healthy diet can be included as an obligatory component of CHF treatment strategy in hospitals. In complex with medical treatment, it will contribute to patients’ well-being. Secondly, it should be considered as an element of nursing education. It can help to empower nurses to provide CHF patients with the information necessary for their better outcomes. Nurses can spread knowledge on a healthy diet and thus educate patients suffering from congestive heart failure to reduce their readmission to hospitals.
Beck, C.T. (Ed.). (2013). Routledge international handbook of qualitative nursing research. New York, NY: Routledge.
Greany, A.-M., Sheehy, A., Heffernan, C., Murphy, J., Mhaolrunaigh, S.N., Heffernan, E., & Brown, H. (2012). Research ethics application: A guide for the novice researcher. British Journal of Nursing, 21(1), 38-43.