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Research Ethics and Validity in Health and Medicine Case Study

Research Ethics and Validity in Health and Medicine Case Study


Title: Examining the Effects of a New Pharmaceutical Drug on Elderly Patients with Hypertension

Summary of the Research Study: The research study aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of a newly developed pharmaceutical drug for treating hypertension in elderly patients. The study utilized a randomized controlled trial design, with participants being randomly assigned to either the experimental group receiving the new drug or the control group receiving a placebo. Blood pressure measurements and various health indicators were monitored over a 6-month period.

Possible Ethical Issues:

  1. Informed Consent: Ethical concerns may arise regarding the informed consent process, especially among elderly patients who might have limited capacity to fully understand the study’s implications. The study should ensure that participants are provided with clear and understandable information about the research, its risks, benefits, and their rights to withdrawal.
  2. Equitable Sampling: If the study does not have a diverse and representative sample of elderly patients, it could result in biased outcomes and limit the generalizability of the findings. Ensuring an equitable sampling method is crucial to avoid potential biases.
  3. Conflicts of Interest: Ethical concerns might arise if the researchers have financial or professional ties to the pharmaceutical company developing the new drug. These conflicts of interest could impact the objectivity and credibility of the research findings.

Influence of Ethical Concerns on Research Outcomes: The identified ethical concerns could influence the research outcomes by introducing bias, affecting the validity of the study’s results. If participants do not fully comprehend the study due to inadequate informed consent processes, their engagement and compliance might be compromised. Biased sampling could lead to overestimation or underestimation of the drug’s effects, and conflicts of interest might introduce potential biases in data analysis and interpretation.

Validity in the Research Study: Internal Validity: This refers to the degree to which the study accurately measures the effects of the new drug on hypertension. Ethical concerns such as biased sampling and conflicts of interest could threaten internal validity by introducing systematic errors that distort the relationship between the drug and its effects.

External Validity: This concerns the generalizability of the study’s findings to a broader population. Biased sampling could threaten external validity, as findings might not be applicable to a wider range of elderly patients with different characteristics.

Research Bias and Validity: Research bias, stemming from conflicts of interest or biased sampling, can distort the research process and threaten both internal and external validity. Design validity ensures that the research design accurately measures what it intends to, while instrumentation validity ensures that measurement tools are accurate and consistent. Bias can compromise both of these forms of validity.

External Influences on Health Care Research: Stakeholders, such as pharmaceutical companies, policymakers, and advocacy groups, can externally influence health care research by funding studies, shaping research questions, and even potentially influencing the interpretation and presentation of results. This influence can impact the objectivity and credibility of the research.

In conclusion, ethical concerns in research studies, such as informed consent, equitable sampling, and conflicts of interest, can significantly impact research outcomes and validity. Addressing these concerns is essential to ensure the integrity and reliability of research findings, especially in sensitive areas like health care research. Additionally, understanding validity concepts and guarding against research bias are vital to producing meaningful and accurate results. External influences from stakeholders further emphasize the importance of maintaining ethical standards and transparency in health care research.

Research Ethics and Validity in Health and Medicine Case Study



Locate one peer-reviewed research study with possible ethical concerns. You may use a research study you identified in the Week 2 Annotated Bibliography assignment if appropriate but not the same article used in the Week 3 Learning Team assignment.

When you select your article, consider the possible ethical issues in the research process: sampling, methodology, data collection, etc. The focus should be on the research study, not the health issue.

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which you:

  • Summarize the research study.
  • Identify possible ethical issues within the research study.
  • Explain how the ethical concerns can influence the research outcomes.
  • Define validity as it relates to the research study.
  • Hint: Review previous learning activities for key validity concepts, including internal and external validity and associated threats to validity.
  • Discuss the importance of research design validity and how research bias can impact validity.
  • Hint: Research how design validity and instrumentation validity are different concepts.
  • Discuss how stakeholders can externally influence health care research.
  • Include possible ethical concerns.

Cite at least 3 peer-reviewed scholarly references.

Format your assignment and references according to APA guidelines.

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