Making Sense of a New Technology in Clinical Practice

What is the purpose of this research?

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The article written by Pals et al. (2015) focuses on the identification of the users’ perception of technologies used for risk assessment. In particular, attention is paid to the discussion of the usefulness of the Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy (CAN) that measures heart rate and tests its variability.

What is the research question (or questions)? This may be implicit or explicit.

The researchers wanted to find out if the CAN is perceived as a useful technology by both patients and physicians. Pals et al. (2015) wondered if it is easy for healthcare professionals to communicate test results to the patients and use them for the development of appropriate treatment strategies.

Give a complete description of the research design of this study.

The researchers conducted a qualitative research study that was focused on the identification of patient and physician perceptions of the CAN. In this way, the focus is on people’s ideas and personal conclusions.

What is the population (sample) for this study?

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The sample includes the representatives of the specialist diabetes clinic. Both physicians who used CAN and patients diagnosed with it are enrolled. There were 31 physicians and 13 patients, in particular.

Was the sampling approach adequate for the research design that was selected and explain why?

The sampling approach was appropriate for the qualitative research study because it would be rather difficult to get in touch with a large number of participants, especially if they represent different locations.

Describe the data collection procedure.

Data were collected in three steps. There were 8 observations of medical consultations, 10 interviews with patients who were tested with the help of the CAN, and 9 interviews with physicians who shared results obtained due to the CAN.

How were the data analyzed?

Content analysis was used to discuss the sample’s intentions and interpretations. Obtained data were separated into statements and actions and sorted into categories that were compared to identify common themes. The iterative approach core domains were identified.

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Discuss the limitations found in the study?

The study had a small sample size, which affected the possibility to use it for diverse populations adversely. Central concepts identified by researchers were difficult to distinguish from one another. Finally, no comparison with other technologies, such as heart rate variability measurement, was made (Chen et al., 2016).

Discuss the authors’ conclusions. Do you feel these conclusions are based on the data that they collected?

The authors conclude that the use of the CAN test can be accompanied by challenges, as information communicated to patients is not enough to ensure their understanding, which was revealed during the data collection step.

How does this advance knowledge in the field?

Pals et al. (2015) findings can benefit the field, urging the improvement of patient-physician communication, as they provide evidence of its drawbacks. In addition to that, they identify challenges associated with the implementation of a new risk assessment tool so that they can be treated proactively in the future.


Pals, R. S., Hansen, U. M., Johansen, C. B., Hansen, C. S., Jørgensen, M. E., Fleischer, J., & Willaing, I. (2015). Making sense of a new technology in clinical practice: a qualitative study of patient and physician perspectives. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1), 1-10. Web.

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Velayutham, S. G., Chandra, S. R., Bharath, S., & Shankar, R. G. (2017). Quantitative balance and gait measurement in patients with frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer diseases: A pilot study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 39(2), 176-182. Web.

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