Introduction Of Researching Health and Social Care
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Various researches based on health and social care practices have the requirement of various appropriate and relevant research methods along with proper sources of evidence for carrying out the research. The report emphasizes two articles, ‘Families and caring amongst older people in South Asian communities in the UK: a pilot study’ by Victor et al. (2012), and ‘Inequalities in quality of life among older people from different ethnic groups’ by Moriarty and Butt (2004), and both of these focus on the caring and social networks among the older people as well as their inequalities that exist in the quality of life within them counselling different segments of ethnic groups and communities which are moreover minorities in the United Kingdom and has been facing major discrimination over the years which has brought the various issues related to their Health Family and social networks into question. The report has evaluated the various methods that have been used in the article for understanding the context of inequalities as well as highlighting the importance of families and Health and care within the older people of contrasting ethnic minority groups. The report further highlights the various ethical and legal considerations that have been abided by both the authors in their research and data collection processes along with providing the proper information regarding all the consent and permission that has been taken from the various candidates among whom the survey was carried out. The report finally concludes with the highlighting of various similarities and dissimilarities among both the articles along with highlighting their various positive prospects brought about by these articles.
Both of the articles majorly focus on the caring within the older people along with the inequalities that exist among them regarding the quality of life. Moriarty and Butt (2004), in the article highlight the various inequalities that have been existing in the quality of life within the older people coming from various ethnic groups and the research data that has been used is from a cross-sectional survey conducted with 250 White British, Chinese, Asian, Black African and Black Caribbean people who were in the age group of 55 or more and while living in Scotland and England. The research method used in the collection of data was through various face-to-face interviews in the preferred languages of the participants by utilizing a semi-structured schedule. Victor et al. (2012), at the same time in his article, outlines the increasing voice of older people in Britain for the development of various health and care services following the requirements of the older individuals coming from different ethnic minority communities such as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi people residing in the United Kingdom. The author has drawn the research data from a small survey conducted within a diverse group of 20 men and women who were moreover Pakistani and Bangladeshi, residing in the UK who were in the age group of 50 or more along with exploring the experience of different dimensions of the care and support within the participants regarding the social networks and family lives they had. The data drawn from semi-structured preliminary interviews highlight the fact that family is the most significant element in the provision of support and care for older people of ethnic minorities.
Moriarty and Butt (2004), believe that the quality of life has been drawing immense attention in media as well as various official policy documents but despite all these facts, people are yet to put proper emphasis on the term. The quality of life is generally assessed by people in terms of comparison between their experience and their expectations and the concept is often criticized for being focused on the health and economic related aspects, neglecting the perception of people about themselves and their definition of quality of life. The author has highlighted the gerontological method of research for assessing the quality of life through the dominant approaches in old age, which were inclined in treating old age people as homogeneous groups, and the differences based on ethnicity, gender, and age were generally ignored in their case. Further, the article highlights the results obtained from a study that was funded within the Economic and Social Research Council Growing Older Programme which emphasized the various inequalities in the quality of life among various people in the age group of 55 or above coming from contrasting ethnic groups.
The study held significant relevance in context to the various initiatives of the British government such as the National Service Framework for Older People and Better Government for Older People which had the objective of enhancing the health along with social care services for the older people along with promoting racial equality as well as the consistent ethnic monitoring by utilizing the 'Race Relations Amendment Act (2000)' and 'Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order (2001)'. Victor et al. (2012), at the same time, has prioritized the significance of considering the 'future of old age' in the UK for the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in the research since various disadvantages are experienced by these communities in the UK as compared to other minorities in terms of financial as well as material resources along with significant levels of emotional stress special in case of women. These minority populations are also prone to higher morbidity rates for various chronic heart diseases as well as cancer and other respiratory disorders which limits their lifespan resulting in the growing necessity of the requirement of proper care and support which can be provided through formal statutory services or various informal care networks which are family-based and in some cases, an integration of these sources. Moriarty and Butt (2004), at the same time, highlight a different set of problems which are faced by the groups and communities which are involved in the survey such as the Black Caribbean, Black Africans, and the Asians struggling with differences in gender along with the socio-economic circumstances as well as the ethnicity which gives rise to various inequalities in the context of health and income affecting the quality of life ultimately.
The research further emphasizes the expectations of the contrasting ethnic groups regarding the patterns of social support and the results outline various similarities rather than differences among them. Above all, the research throws light on the various studies which have examined the various inequalities existing in health and income as an impact of racism and being a constant competition in between the established quality of life models related to health and the recently developed models providing more attention to the subjective experiences which have resulted to few specific attempts in integrating the complementary evidence.
Victor et al. (2012), in addition to identifying the diversity as well as the heterogeneous nature of the old age and later life experience, also outlines the challenges for the services which include voluntary, statutory as well as private for development of a framework in his research. The framework is significant in assessing the requirements as well as the proper delivery of various services reflecting the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity among the older population of Europe and the UK. This is a result of the increase in the relative and absolute numbers of older people coming from contrasting minority backgrounds. The author moreover focuses on two significantly relevant policy drivers, emphasizing the delivery of care services to the nearest possible location of users instead of institutional settings and focusing on the service users being active candidates in the care process which reflects the role of social and other health and social care workers and professionals in dealing with not just the client but also with their family and various social networks. A few research and surveys were initially done for examining the caring and family relationships of the elders of South Asia who are not identified from the contacts with the voluntary and statutory agencies and not even identified for having significant caring ties. This article moreover focused on highlighting the understanding as well as experience of support and care for the older people from Bangladesh in Pakistani Origins under the context of social networks and family while the article of Moriarty and Butt (2004) focuses on the understanding of the inequalities existing in the quality of life among the older people of Asian, Black Caribbean, Black African, Chinese and White British origin. Moriarty and Butt (2004), at the same time, has highlighted the lack of research in the comparison of the quality of life among the older population coming from various contrasting ethnic groups which shows the various complexities that are existent in defining ethnicity along with the debate regarding its usefulness as a significant concept. The article also brings into the picture, a few existing surveys comparing the older Chinese, Indian and Malay people in Singapore suggesting the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) which was influenced by the socio-economic status and ethnicity. The better quality of HRQoL was related to the enhanced levels of support from the family while the lower quality of HRQoL was related to the poor health of the older people.
The article also highlights another study which had compared the Iranian and the non-Iranian Australians along with the people immigrating to Australia from various parts of Iran and it was found that Iranian possessed the lowest objective regarding the quality of life while all the 3 groups were similar in subjective well-being. A few studies and surveys were also undertaken in the United States suggesting the African Americans have experienced a lower quality of life towards the end of their life and the reason was the absence of appreciation of the cultural preferences. While another study in the United Kingdom regarding the Asian-Pakistani, Asian-Indian, Black Caribbean and the white people came off to the conclusion that there are moreover six factors that influence the quality of life of these people which were the having time, income as well as total wealth, individual health, independence, having a role and support networks. Among the four groups in the study, the white people had the most health and wealth scores along with the highest incomes and at the same time, the Asian Pakistani were having the best scores in the context of local amenity qualities along with the social support.
Moriarty and Butt (2004), in their research method for achieving the sample which would allow the analysis through ethnicity along with avoiding any kind of criticism, have chosen the family resource survey (FRS) respondents list for deriving the frame of the sampling. The FRS has been consistent in providing data for various secondary analyses including answering specific questions at the request of various departments of the government for Research Organisation but this research has been the first of its kind for using FRS as a sampling frame in the projects which has been undertaken by different organizations. The report focused on the matching of gender, age, and geographical location of sample regarding the FRS respondents coming from various contrasting minority ethnic groups having a comparatively smaller sample consisting of white FRS respondents. This was a significantly tough process since this required the written consent from all the FRS participants which resulted in 172 total candidates, out of which only half of them belong to minority ethnic groups and had given permissions for their names and address information to be given for the research. This resulted in a very small sample obtained by the authors and also reflected the inability of them to format the participants as they had planned. This shortfall resulted in the authors contacting everyone belonging to a minority ethnic group along with sub-samples of the white respondents who were a part of the FRS sample.
They were successful in contacting almost 68 people belonging to minority ethnic groups who had attended the community centres or had lived in various sheltered accommodations and the settings generally comprised of four major community centres out of which to wear for the Chinese people and one was for the Black Caribbean and the last one was for the Asians and the three sheltered housing schemes were housing the Black Caribbean, Asians, and the Chinese people respectively. Both the authors were flexible in the interview languages since the participants were not necessarily born in Britain which led to the different choices of languages. Almost 5 pilot interviews had been conducted in Chinese, English, Urdu and Punjabi languages. Victor et al. (2012), at the same time, reported their data through the 20 initial interviews who played the role of their preliminary study accompanied by a semi-structured guide for the interview which was developed based on various key research questions along with the existing literature regarding the issue.
The guide was beneficial in exploring the various dimensions of the participants which included their social identities as well as the levels of participation in various local and transnational communities along with their perceptions as well as experience regarding family life, locality, social networks, and places, and lastly the own ideas and experiences of 'care' and 'support' of the candidates in the interview. For making the participant comfortable regarding the interview, they were undertaken according to the language preferred by the participants and the main motive was to record the interviews which also required the consent of the participants and that was taken through the proper paperwork. Along with the interviews field notes were also being kept for supplementing the recording and they were intended for documenting the details of the methodology along with the various minor details in the interview accompanied by the various details of substantive content within the interview. Among the 20 pilot interviews 19 of them were undertaken in the home languages of the participants while only one was undertaken in English and they ranged from 40 minutes to almost 1 hour 35 minutes with every participant devoting almost 1 hour on average for the interview. One of the drawbacks was that various participants had declined the recording of the interviews and among the 20 participants, only 2 agreed on having the interview recorded. Due to the involvement of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, most of the interview notes were in Urdu or Sylheti and these factors outline the diverse nature of the interviews as well as the diverse nature of the participants which provided the author with a much broader range for their research.
Moriarty and Butt (2004), use the final method of sampling which is snowballing by utilizing personal contact of the interviewers resulting in almost 34 interviews involving the Black Caribbean accompanied by other such ethnic groups which resulted in having 203 people within 173 households for the last sample, among which measure it was recruited by using FRS while one third came from the server settings and the remaining where through snowballing. The interviews consisted of several open as well as closed questions and the close questions were outlined for facilitating the comparisons with the nationally representative data which was derived from the University of Question Bank holding questionnaires for various logical social services having a nationally representative sample as well as are conducted through large and professional survey organizations.
The research used various standardized questions based on religion, caring responsibilities, ethnicity, health status, household structures as well as employment from the existing service including the population census as well as the General Household Survey. The questions regarding ethnicity included the self-identification of the ethnic groups of the participants from the categories of the United Kingdom 2001 population census which was being recommended by the Office for National statistics. Documentation and grouping was assigned by utilizing the 'Standard Occupational Classification 2000' (SOC 2000) while also following a significant review for the social classifications of the government through the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification which has been utilized in the official statistics and service for recording the social-economic status. Various open questions had been used for gathering information on a topic such as health, social support, access to transport, housing quality as well as neighbourhood environment along with making the participants comfortable by asking them about the definition of ethnicity in their perspective as well as its importance according to them along with adding questions regarding their experiences of racism as well as their migration history. The interview was finally concluded by asking the older population about the good and bad things existing in their lives along with their experience of aging. The overall experience of the interview was also asked as feedback to the participants, since making them comfortable throughout the interview was an important part of knowing their perspective as well as their experiences appropriately. Victor et al. (2012), in the article, highlighted the interview guide which included biographical questions such as asking about the significant events in the life of the candidate along with similar questions regarding the migration history as well as their reason for migration.
The interview also included a General overview of the priorities and concerns of the candidate at present along with getting an overview regarding their everyday life. Various questions based on the family life as well as their social networks and locality including their friends as well as neighbours and acquaintances along with information regarding their visiting places in the local community were also asked. As the interview progressed further, various questions regarding the care, support, and health such as the history of illness or the undergoing of any present treatment were also included. The interviews were finally concluded with understanding the positive aspects of their migration to the United Kingdom from Bangladesh or Pakistan. The author overall worked with the belief that the importance and the originality of the data made the various small limitations acceptable such as there were a limited number of recorded interviews along with the narrative that had emerged from the remaining 18 interviews. The authors used the Atlast, for the systematic coding and analysis of the data and the coding process included different stages moving from key topics of interest like social networks, family, care, and support to more specific topics.
Victor et al. (2012), clarifies regarding the ethical approval which was taken for the whole study by the university is sponsoring it along with taking the written consent from the participants who were a part of the study regarding the recording of the interviews as well as other aspect and the documented information of the participants assured the confidentiality, as well as the details, were provided regarding the contact information in case there was a need for further information. The field notes were significantly edited for removing any identifying information for ensuring anonymity, as well as the confidentiality of the participants and pseudonyms, were provided to the participants in the main study in terms of the broad age group as well as gender. Moriarty and Butt (2004), also maintained the ethical and legal aspect in their research, and similar to the other research they also took consent from the participants before taping the interviews and the responses to the open-ended questions. Alongside that, the FRS was also having a consent procedure which prevented the release of any information from the interviews without having a written consent from every participant of the FRS, which resulted in the researchers taking written permission for the name and address to be given from almost 172 candidates. Both the researchers have kept in mind the various ethics that involve the principles of confidentiality and privacy along with the principles of risk minimization and precaution as well as non-exploitation.
Both the articles were similar in a lot of dimensions excluding the methods used in the research and interviews as well as the population targeted by the articles. While the article by Moriarty and Butt (2004), targeted the quality of life of the contrasting ethnic groups residing in the United Kingdom including Asian black Caribbean black Africans white British as well as the Chinese people aged above 55, at the same time the other article by Victor et al. (2012), was more focused on the Pakistani and Bangladeshi community of older population and their requirement of care and support in the UK. The first article was a more widespread one interviewing almost 200 people while the latter included a small but diverse population of 20 Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women of the age group of 50 and above. Both the authors face significant challenges in their research along with facing major problems regarding the consent of recording the interviews but are ultimately successful in completing the research to a certain possible level along with rating to cover up the gaps in the future articles. The articles eventually conclude with suggestions regarding the improvement in understanding the disadvantages which contribute to the inferior treatment of the ethnic groups along with various inequalities in health and income. Both the articles overall have maintained the various ethical and legal principles while conducting their research in their respective areas.
Moriarty, J. and Butt, J., 2004. Inequalities in quality of life among older people from different ethnic groups. Ageing & Society, 24(5), pp.729-753.
Victor, C.R., Martin, W. and Zubair, M., 2012. Families and caring amongst older people in South Asian communities in the UK: a pilot study. European Journal of Social Work, 15(1), pp.81-96.