Statistics show that loss of mobility is among the leading causes of disability in Canada. Scooters and wheelchairs are among the most used to compensate for the loss of mobility. However, there is inadequate data to show the extent to which scooters and wheelchairs are used by Canadians to overcome mobility challenges. Smith et al. (2016) conducted a study to determine the prevalence of use of wheelchairs and scooters among the Canadians while exploring key demographic features of wheelchair and scooters users. The study used a cross-sectional national survey that obtained data from scooters and wheelchairs users from community-dwellers. Although the study is one of its kind and presented significantly valuable results, it has many shortcomings as well as strengths. These are best understood by looking at its reliability, validity, methods and instruments of research used, applicability of the findings to physical therapy practice, and potential benefits of the study.
Reliability and Validity
Reliability and validity are significant attributes of a research study. They determine the extent to which the results can be trusted and verified and applied to a general population or to a practical situation. Several factors affect the reliability and validity attributes. They include the methods of data collection, the sample used, and methods of data analysis. Therefore, these factors can be examined in Smith et al. (2016) study to determine the validity and reliability of the findings. One of the factors affecting the validity of the data obtained is the method of data collection. The scholars used phone interviews to obtain answers from the respondents. As noted by xxxxx, one-on-one interviews are more effective when obtaining data than phone interviews because the interviewer can assess the non-verbal cues of the respondent such as facial expressions to determine the honesty of their answers. In addition, respondents are more compelled to give more truthful and honest answers during a one-on-one interview than during a phone interview. This is because the interviewer has the opportunity of establishing a personal relationship and rapport with the respondent.
Another factor that discredits the validity and reliability of the study is the sample population used for the study. According to xxxxx, the sample population chosen is significant because it determines whether the results can be generalized across the large population. A big sample size has high significance levels hence more reliable results. The methods used to select the sample are fundamental to obtaining the appropriate research population. The methods used should focus on ensuring that the sample size reflects best represents the larger population that the researcher hopes to investigate. In this case, the researcher investigated the people with mobility disability in Canada and how often they used wheelchairs and scooters. Therefore, the sample population used should be reflective of this population. However, a review of the article shows that the researchers only used respondents living in the community. They intentionally excluded those living in residential areas and group-based settings. The inclusion of only a part of the population puts the validity and reliability of the findings into question. It would be faulty to generalize such findings across the disabled population in Canada.
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