The main aim of the outcome evaluation for the Ambassador Rounds program is to identify areas that need improvement as regards the care services offered at the nursing home facility. Specifically, the assessment seeks to determine residents’ satisfaction with the care services proposed and specify whether there have been significant improvements in the residents’ living conditions in the course of the program implementation. As a result, in order to conduct a meaningful evaluation, two groups of participants will be surveyed on a weekly basis in the course of the Ambassador Rounds program practical realization. They include residents and the staff at the facility.
Owing to the fact that the Ambassador Rounds program is designed to last for a period of four weeks with assessments being made on a weekly basis, a longitudinal research design will be the most appropriate research model for the summative evaluation. The mentioned type of analysis entails studying the same set of participants repeatedly in the course of pre-determined time duration (Bailey, 2008). In this case, the residents’ views and perceptions will be surveyed on a weekly basis for a term of four weeks in order to determine whether there will be any significant changes with respect to their satisfaction level and perceived living conditions. There is no doubt that the nature of the program fits with the longitudinal research design, specifically because of the periodic assessments conducted on a weekly basis. In addition, the chosen kind of design will enable the tracking of changes in the course of the program, which will also be instrumental in evaluating its effectiveness.
Internal validity threats that are common in quantitative studies are mainly concerned with how the research is set up as well as the selection of its participants (Bryman, 2012). Longitudinal research design is particularly susceptible to a number of internal validity threats. Some of those that are likely to be observed in this case include the selection bias, the Hawthorne Effect, and the selection treatment interaction. Selection bias takes place when there is a non-random assignment of participants. The Hawthorne Effect occurs when the subjects’ attitudes towards what is being investigated are likely to have an effect on the manner in which they behave. For instance, if participants are made to be aware the study seeks to improve their living conditions, they are likely to be biased concerning their attitudes. Selection treatment interaction is related to the researcher’s ability to generalize the findings of the survey beyond just the groups that took part in the study.
The longitudinal research design will try to deal with the identified internal validity threats using a number of measures. In order to overcome the selection bias, the research design will make use of random sampling. The Hawthorne Effect will be addressed by making sure that the participants are not aware of the objectives of the study (Bailey, 2008). Lastly, the threat of the selection treatment interaction will be coped with by checking that the sample selected is the most representative, which will be achieved using the random sampling.
The preferred sampling strategy for the outcome evaluation is random sampling. Under this approach, every member of the population has an equal probability of being chosen to take part in the research. In addition, the sampling process is usually done using a single step whereby each participant is chosen without considering other members within the population of interest. The specific simple random sampling technique that will be used in the outcome evaluation is a computer-aided random selection. This implies that members of the population in the nursing facility database will be ordered, and a computer program instructed to make, say 80 random selections that will be studied using the Ambassador Rounds program. The rationale underpinning the choice of the mentioned sampling strategy draws upon the fact that an unbiased sample plays a critical role in making conclusive inferences from the findings of the research. In addition, the unprejudiced sample can enable the researcher to generalize the obtained results (Seale, 2004). Another reason for the use of the random sampling strategy relates to the ease with which the sample can be assembled, and to the fact that random sampling increases the representativeness of the sample with regard to the population being studied.
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In any social research, the unit of analysis describes the “who” or “what” that is being analyzed (Bailey, 2008). In this outcome evaluation, the unit of analysis will be comprised of individuals who are the residents and staff at the nursing home facility. The skilled nursing facility offers care services to adult residents, particularly older people residing there. As a result, it is imperative for the nursing home facility to make sure that its residents’ needs are fully met, and that their living conditions are good. Basing on this premise, the Ambassador Rounds program assesses the residents’ perception and satisfaction with a number of aspects associated with their living conditions or stay at the facility. Similarly, the staff (Ambassador) making the survey has to provide his/her evaluation of the residents’ living conditions. To this end, residents and staff at the facility will make the unit of analysis in the summative evaluation for the Ambassador Rounds program.
The sampling strategy and the research design adopted for the outcome evaluation is susceptible to the external threats validity. There is no doubt that generalizing the survey findings to include all nursing homes in the United States will be needed. Nevertheless, this will not be feasible because of the fact that all the participants taking part in the Ambassador Rounds program are from one facility, which implies that the findings of the outcome evaluation will be specific only to the facility on the basis of which the research was conducted. Therefore, inferences that relate to the state of nursing homes in the United States cannot be made using the obtained results of the outcome evaluation.
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