Web activities

These activities include brainstorming activities, further reading, weblinks to external sites, and enable you to examine and relect upon the methods of both real-world studies and the methods chosen by fictional nursing and midwifery students introduced in chapter one.

Activity 21.1: Strategies for Ensuring Validity and Reliability 

The following paper provides more detailed discussion about strategies to promote validity and reliability:

Dunne, C.L., Fraser, J. and Gardner, G.E. (2014) Women’s perceptions of social support during labour: Development, reliability and validity of the Birth Companion Support Questionnaire, Midwifery 30(1): 847–852.

Activity 21.2: Examples of Pilot Studies

For examples of published pilot studies read:

Anderson, V. Chaboyer, W. Gillespie, B. and Fenwick, J. (2014) The use of negative pressure wound therapy dressing in obese women undergoing caesarean section: a pilot study, Evidence Based Midwifery 12(1): 23–28.


Booth, R.G. (2014) Happiness, stress, a bit of vulgarity, and lots of discursive conversation: A pilot study examining nursing students' tweets about nursing education posted to Twitter, Nurse Education Today, Nurse Education Today 35(2): 322–327.

Activity 21.3: How to Evaluate the Fidelity of a Study

You are going to conduct interviews with a group of researchers to support the evaluation of a study’s fidelity. What sorts of topics might you cover in the interview? 

Activity 21.4: Examples of Evaluating a Study’s Fidelity 

For examples of papers which explore the fidelity of a study read:

Lawton, J. Jenkins, N. Darbyshire, J.L. Holman, R.R. Farmer, A.J. Hallowell, N. (2011) Challenges of maintaining research protocol fidelity in a clinical care setting: A qualitative study of the experiences and views of patients and staff participating in a randomized controlled trial, Trials, http://www.trialsjournal.com/content/12/1/108

Teague, G.B. Mueser, K.T. and Rapp, C.A. (2012) Advances in measurement for mental health services research: four measures, Psychiatric Services 63(8): 765–771.

Activity 21.5: Strategies for Ensuring Rigour

The following paper provides more detailed discussion about strategies to promote the rigour of a qualitative study:

Houghton, C. Casey, D. Shaw, D. and Murphy, K. (2013) Rigour in qualitative case-study research, Nurse Researcher 20(4): 12–17.

Darawsheh, W. (2014) Reflexivity in research, promoting rigour, reliability and validity in qualitative research, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 21(12): 560–568.

Activity 21.6: Applying Rigour to Your Own Studies

Jasmine and Charles from the class of 2016 are considering strategies to promote the rigour of their studies.

Jasmine plans to use a questionnaire to measure participant perineal discomfort. Suggest five strategies she could employ to promote the rigour of this aspect of her study.

Possible strategies she could use:

  • Conduct a pilot study
  • Assess the study’s fidelity
  • Establish the content and face validity of the questionnaire by having it scrutinised by experts in the field, Jasmine’s research supervisor, colleagues, peers or people with the same characteristics as the participants in the proposed study
  • Use previously validated questionnaire
  • Ensure the questionnaire has clear and comprehensive instructions to the participant
  • Assess the reliability of the questionnaire using statistics
  • Facilitate the return of the data collection tool.

Charles plans to conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews with teenage girls about their anorexia. Suggest five strategies he could employ to promote the rigour of this aspect of his study.

Possible strategies he could use:

  • Using an audit trail
  • Being reflexive by reflecting throughout the study using a contemporaneously recorded reflective diary
  • Recruiting participants and collecting data until data saturation is achieved
  • Having the topic guide scrutinised by experts in the field, by his research supervisor, and by colleagues or peers
  • Involve participants in checking the analysed data
  • Standardising the transcription process
  • Auditing interviews transcribed by a third party to confirm accuracy.