Critique of a Cochrane Review Meta-Analysis Study Educational and Skills-based Interventions for Preventing Relationship and Dating Violence in Adolescents and Young Adults There is a high rate of violence between young adults in relationships. As this is becoming more prevalent it is important to strengthener’s knowledge base to help prevent this form of violence. A meta-analysis is a process to combine the findings from several independent research studies in a statistical manner.
This method is seed most often to evaluate the rational and useful way associate several research studies to determine effectiveness of an intervention (Crumbier& Davies, 2009). A critique of a study is, “a careful appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of a study’ (Polio & Beck, 2008, p. 123). These show areas of inadequacy and adequacy within a research study and to identify any errors. Within this paper there will be a critique of the Cochrane Review Meta-Analysis, “Educational Skills-based Interventions for Preventing Relationship and Dating Violence in Adolescents and Young Adults. This critique will have several divisions; identification of the level of evidence, describe the search of the literature and the adequacy of the search, description of the replication process, discuss any problems or differences, identify gaps within the literature, discuss any limitations within the study, discuss the strengths of the review, describe the major statistics used to compare the findings, discuss the organization of the major findings, discuss the variables, and identify any steps needed to strengthen the evidence on the topic.
This will help provide a more in-depth understanding of this study about how one an create a public awareness of and develop techniques to prevent this form of violence (Pelmets, Hoffmann, Nurses Habitual, & Seth, 2013). Level of Evidence Within every aspect of research there is a level of evidence present. According to Melvyn (201 1), a meta-analysis or systematic review is a level one on the hierarchy of evidence rating system. Meta-analyses combine several studies to develop a larger study, which gives a greater understanding of the information.
This is why these studies produce the toughest level of evidence for one to follow. Many decisions are notations a high level of evidence (Melvyn, 2011). One can use this level of evidence to help guide and develop new methods for clinical practice. Literature Search There is a high rate of violence within young adults and their significant others, which makes this a concern for the health of the public. The authors of this Cochrane review found several reviews on violence between intimate partners and domestic violence in the adult population, sexual abuse prevention, and violence in children.
There was only one review of young population and ways to prevent violence in young adults who are in a relationship or dating. This review of the literature will be helpful to create a meta-analysis. The researchers limit the data to include randomized controlled studies (Reacts) and quasi-Reacts, which include programs of primary and secondary prevention (Pelmets, Hoffmann, Nurses Habitual, & Seth’, 2013). The researchers considered both published and unpublished works to be included in this meta-analysis. The reviews researched had no restrictions based upon date or language.
Several databases were searched for studies to be included within the analysis. The inclusion criterion was any study with participants that engaged from ages 12 to 18 or 19 to 25. The authors consulted the Cochrane Developmental, Psychological and Learning Difficulties Group, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Ovid Medicine, EMBASSY, CHINCH, Psychology, Sociological Abstracts, Social Sciences Citation Index, ERIC, National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts, meteorites of Controlled Trials, AZTEC, and Workload (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013).
There were several areas searched within the databases for relevant studies to consider, these included relationship violence, dating violence, and injuries related to violence. Adequacy of Literature Search A search of the literature is essential for all research studies. To ensure that there was no relevant information missing the researchers performed hand searches of the available data. Reference lists of essential articles were searched and issues of Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect were manually reviewed for relevant information, which may not have been included within a database.
The researchers from the studies found were contacted individually to ask if they would share any works published, unpublished, or ongoing pertinent to the duty (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). To resolve any disagreements between researchers about the information from the first removal of data the researchers completed repeated a second data extraction process. This was a method to increase the accuracy of the information. After first extraction was completed the studies were divided among the remaining researchers. Then these researchers completed the second data extraction (Pelmets, et. L. , 2013). The researchers of this study exhausted several avenues to confirm the adequacy of the literature search. Description of Replication Process The ability to duplicate a study is essential to the studies validity. The process to replicate the literature search was one tedious in nature. The question asked was within the adolescent group and young adults ages 12 to 18 and 19-26 who have experienced or been involved in any form of violence within a relationship. How this has affected them and what intervention or outcome was developed as a result.
The databases were exhausted of information from the researchers inquiries because of the unrestricted dates used. All of the databases within the researcher’s lists available were searched. The amount of information found on the databases was numerous when replicating the electronically searches. Problems or Differences in the Replication The difficulty with the replication process was that there were an extensive amount of studies, which were found during the numerous database searches. The information was extensive and the extraction in which the researchers chose to use was one that requires the use of several individuals.
There were over 25,000 studies found and the elimination to 95 studies for the meta-analysis could not be replicated. There was no method to identify which studies the researchers identified as essential to complete the hand searches on. The information gathered by these searches were not specifically outlined for comparison. The authors who were individually contacted were not named within the meta-analysis. With the lack of this information available this part of the literature review was unable to be replicated.
Gaps in Literature It is important to include as much information as possible to decrease the missing of available and essential data about a topic. Limiting the gaps within the literature available is important for researchers. The researchers in this meta-analysis attempted to decrease the gaps by not applying any limits on the years in which the information was collected by. They also did not specify the language that the reviews needed to be in. The gap indicated was that from the end of the search years, because the Cochrane Review was published in 2013.
There is a year from 2012 to 2013 where there is no literature within this meta-analysis. As this is a newly identified issue within society, this year gap could be essential to the outcome of the meta-analysis and requires further review. Study Limitations There were several limitations within this meta-analysis. All of the research studies used came from countries with high income earnings. The participants of the studies reviewed were all in a higher economical class. The lack of financial stability is variable that could change the results of a study. There was only one study used from outside North America.
The lack of cultural diversity may have eliminated several studies from the research. This limitation may be because of the terminology used such as “dating” may have eliminated several studies. Several cultures marry at young age so the term dating would be eliminated from those studies or classified under another heading. There was little evidence on the long-term effects of the interventions within the research study. Most studies only follow the study participants for a year. These studies also only indicated a change in the attitudes towards, understanding and awareness of this form of violence.
There was no indication of the changes in the behavior or occurrences of dating violence (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). There was a lack of findings about the health related outcomes in relationship to violence. “The stigma associated with relationship violence may lead to fear of disclosing or reporting the episodes of violence” (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013, p. 21). This stigma may have led to the lack of information available. Strengths of Study There were no specific strengths identified by the researchers within this meta- biases in the research studies used.
Identifying the potential for biases and developing methods for decreasing this bias provided for the researchers to decrease risk. Also if there was more than one outcome within a study, then all of the outcomes are included to help eliminate the risk of biased results (Pelmets, et. L. , 2013). Major Statistics to Compare Findings There were several comparisons made in this study. There were primary comparisons and secondary comparisons. The primary comparisons were the episodes of relationship and dating violence and the episodes of physical injury.
Secondary comparisons include the attitudes, behavior, and knowledge of relationship and dating violence. The education of relationship and dating showed no effect or difference in the decreasing or increasing the risk of this form of violence. Several categories lacked the information reported. As previously indicated his lack of data may be related to the stigma of violence and fear of retaliation from reporting (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). Organization of Major Findings The major findings were organized into two groups, the direct measures and the proxy measures.
The Direct measures were the primary outcomes: the episodes of relationship and dating violence and the episodes of physical injury. This included the effects of the violence on one’s physical and psychological health in comparison to the immediate effect of violence on the individual. The proxy measures were the secondary outcomes: the attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge of relationship and dating violence (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). These findings are prevalent, but the individual may not be able to use the methods provided to them when the actual occurrence of violence takes place.
Variables There are several variables that can be included within the research of this topic. The cultural differences and the relationship to one’s understanding of violence within relationships and dating should be included the review. Many cultures do not recognize violence in the same manner as a culture with a higher socio-economic class (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). These differences are essential to developing methods for these cultures to decrease this violence. Also the fear related to reporting relationship violence is a huge discrepancy or variable that needs to be addressed.
Even though the information gathered provides information for a comparison there is a need for increased data collection. The length of time for follow up after the research studies needs to be longer. This increase in follow up time can help to ensure how the intervention can create a possible change. Addressing these variables could improve the underlying results of the research. Steps to Strengthen the Evidence The evidence in a research study is essential to creating reliable and relevant results for future reference.
There needs to be further research in the understanding of how the interventions can decrease the occurrences of relationship violence. Exploration further into the connection between the approaches, understandings, and abilities to the association of dating violence versus the behaviors towards and the episodes of violence is important (Pelmets, et. Al. , 2013). The need to educate individuals about relationship violence is important but the development interventions to prevent and decrease the violence with this age group is essential. One’s ability to gain strength in the development of evidence and create a better understanding of relationship violence. Creating an improvement in the knowledge about dating violence can help develop new methods to decrease the incidence of violence within the age group. Conclusion The Cochrane review “Educational and skills-based interventions for preventing relationship and dating violence in adolescents and young adults” is a meta-analysis, which indicates there is a significant issue within the adolescent and young adult population and violence within relationships.
The study indicates there continues to be a need for a greater understanding and intervention towards relationship violence. The review process helps identify areas of further investigation needed. For example, the research study indicates the need for an increase in the length of time for follow up after the study. Reviewing research can develop a greater understanding what needs to be done to improve from the previous research and develop pathways to develop new research studies. References Pelmets GLUT, Hoffmann C, Nurse J, Habitual S, Seth’ D.