August 12, 2013
Analysis Part I
Richard Balon, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, at Wayne State University School of Medicine, wrote an article titled “By Whom and How is the Quality Of Research Data Collection Assured and Checked?” As co-investigator on the well-known and widely used rating scales, he was being phoned by a man hired by the pharmaceutical company sponsoring the trial. The man proceeded to ask him questions like, “Why did you rate this item this way’, ‘Did you consider the influence of this or that’, ‘What was the clinical context of your decision about this score’. Balon began to think about the data that he neglected to think about when he would collect it from the patients. The phone call basically made him think about the quality of data collection and who controls it. He also pondered if the quality control was good, how was the quality control being conducted by the pharmaceutical companies? Is all data collected the same way and so forth. Balon realized that there were issues with the data collection personnel and the quality control of data collection.
The Problem The author had several questions about the data that was being collected by the pharmaceutical companies but there were two main questions that he wanted answered: Can data be collected in various ways and does it matter who collects the data? He also wanted to know who checks the quality of data collection and how? It is understood that it is important for health administrators to understand the answer to such questions considering the fact that they are the main people in the health care field that collect information from patients every time there is a new patient.
Study Purpose The title of the article tells what the main research question is. By who and how is the quality of research data collection assured and checked? It is evident that this is why the author wrote the article.
Hypotheses. When it comes to the data and whether it is collected in various ways or if it matters who collects the data, the author had a hypothesis. Balon thought that experienced, well-educated clinicians would get better results from data collecting than lay interviewers or trained assistants. He came to this conclusion because he figured that some clinicians-investigators that are experienced, will not always collect good quality data. They may rush without delivering a good interview and not getting the results needed. They may even ask questions not even really thinking about the end results. This is something that the author himself admitted to, saying that when he rated patients, he never thought about the rating. He felt that retraining investigators and having good control of data collection was important. The study showed that there was no good data addressing the problem.
Another hypothesis that Balon had was concerning who checks the quality of of data collected and also how is checked. He believed that studies that were funded work to random drug testing and that high quality data should have come out of all research studies. The research communities should have implemented or started some type of quality control of the data that is and was being collected that is similar to what the pharmaceutical companies use. Some wondered by this would be so. According to the article, Balon, R. (Pg. 334), “It is the likelihood of obtaining lower quality data much different in pharmaceutical industry sponsored studies than in non-industry funded studies? If we consider the scope of the monetary gain,