Problem Identification Methods and Techniques in Health Research

 Understanding the problem in research

The problem is not something imaginative or as if there is a problem.  According to Gall, and Gall (2003), research problems usually determine the final value of research more than any other factor.  The process of finding research problems and studying them is an important step in professional development.  

In searching for research problems, keep in mind some of the possible benefits of conducting research. Meanwhile, according to Creswell (2015) is a problem, controversy, or educational problem that guides the need to carry out research.  

According to Sugiyono (2011) problems can be interpreted as deviations between what should be and what actually happened, between theory and practice, between rules and implementation, and between plans and implementation.

Based on this understanding, the research problem is a question or statement that states a situation that requires solving through research.  More specifically, the research problem is a question that asks about the relationship between research variables.  

Another understanding shows that the problem is a gap between das solen and das science.  Problems can also be said to be the gap between theory and practice.

According to Sugiyono (2011), the source of the problem comes from, namely, there are deviations between experience and reality, there are deviations between what has been planned and reality, there are complaints and there is competition.

1. The urgency of the problem in research

The problem is something that is important and central in research.  Important, because research is impossible to do without problems.  It is said to be central because, in almost all stages of research, such as background problems, research objectives, theoretical studies, preparation of research instruments, conclusions, suggestions, and so on, they will lead to problems that have been formulated beforehand.

According to Creswell (2015), examining research problems so that we can help policymakers when they make policies, help teachers and school officials to solve practical problems, help college administrators when they need to make decisions, and provide researchers with a deeper understanding.  on various educational issues.  

From a research point of view, defining the research problem in research is important because it is a preparation for the whole research.  Without knowing the research problem, readers do not know why the research is important and why they need to read it.

2. Criteria for problems in research

Research that will be carried out always starts with a problem so as to obtain data that can be used to solve problems.  In writing about the research problem, the author states it as a single sentence or several sentences in the research report.

According to Creswell (2015) to find research problems in a study, ask yourself the following questions:

  •  What issue, problem or controversy does the researcher want to address?
  •  What controversy gave rise to the need to conduct this research?
  •  What problem is addressed "behind" this research?
  •  Are there sentences like "The problem addressed in this research is ...?

The most important consideration in conducting research is determining the exact problem in the research.  According to Creswell (2015), the problem in research has criteria that are feasible or can be researched are

 1. Can you get access to people and places?

To research a problem, the researcher needs to get permission to enter a place and to involve people at the research site (eg access to a primary school to study minors).  This access often requires multilevel approval from schools, such as district administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and students.  

In addition, projects implemented by educational institutions that receive federal funding (mostly colleges and universities) need to obtain institutional review approval to ensure that researchers protect the rights of participants.  Your ability to gain access to people and places can help determine whether you can research the issue.

2. Can you find time, find resources, and use your skills?

Even if you can gain access to the people and places needed for your research, your ability to research the issue will also depend on your time, resources, and research skills.

3. Time

When planning a study, the researcher should anticipate the time required for data collection and data analysis.  Qualitative research usually takes more time than quantitative research.  because of the long data collection process at the research site and the process of analyzing detailed sentences and words.  

Regardless of the approach used, you can measure the amount of time required for data collection by reviewing similar studies, contacting the researchers, and asking more experienced researchers.  Developing a timeline for research helps you assess whether you can complete your research in the time available.

 4. Resources

Researchers need resources such as funds for equipment, participants, and individuals transcribing interviews.  Researchers need to budget and get advice from other experienced people about whether the estimated expenditures are realistic.  

Other resources may also be needed, such as mailing labels, postage, statistical programs, or audiovisual tools.  Depending on the need for these resources, researchers may need to limit the scope of the project, explore available funding to support the project, or research the project in stages as funding becomes available.

 5. Skills

 Researcher skills also affect the overall assessment of whether research on a problem is real.  Researchers need to acquire certain research skills in order to research a problem effectively – skills acquired through lectures, training, and previous research experience.  For those involved in quantitative research, these skills require using computers, implementing statistical programs, or creating tables to present information.  The skills required for qualitative researchers include the ability to write detailed stories, synthesize information into broad themes, and use computer programs to enter and analyze the words of participants in research.

 There are five ways to assess whether a researcher should research a problem:

a. Examine the problem if the research will fill a gap or void in the existing literature.  A study fills the void by covering topics that have not been addressed in the published literature.

b. Examining the problem if the research replicates previous research but examines different participants and different research locations.  

The value of research increases if the results can apply more broadly to many people than just the realm in which the initial research took place.  This type of research is very important in quantitative experiments.  In quantitative research on the ethical climate, for example, previous research conducted at liberal arts colleges could be tested (or replicated) elsewhere, for example at community colleges or large research universities.  Information from such research will provide new knowledge.

c. Examine the problem if the research expands on previous research or examines the topic more closely. 

 A good research problem to research is one for which you are expanding your research into a new topic or field or simply carrying out some more research at a deeper and more thorough level to understand the topic.

d. Examining the problem of research gives a voice to people who should not be voiced, not listened to, or rejected in society.  

The research adds to knowledge by presenting the ideas and words of marginalized people (eg, the homeless, women, or racial groups). Research the problem if your research provides practical information.  

By examining these issues, your research may enable the identification of new techniques or technologies, recognition of the value of historical or current practices, or the need to change current teaching practices (Creswell, 2015)

The difference between the research problem and other parts of the research.

Research problems need to be distinguished and recognized as distinct steps because they represent the problems addressed in the research.  In the following brief definitions, According to Creswell (2015) the differences between the parts of this study:

  1. A research topic is a broad subject that is addressed by research.  Maria, for example, tried to research gun ownership by students at school.
  2. A research problem is a general educational issue, problem, or controversy addressed in research, which narrows the topic.  The problem Maria is dealing with is the increase in school violence caused, in part, by gun ownership.

The purpose of the research is the main intention or purpose of the research used to deal with the problem.  Maria might state her research intent as follows: "The intent of my research is to identify factors that influence the extent to which students carry weapons in high school".

Research questions narrow the intent to specific questions that the researcher wants to answer in his research.  Maria might ask, "How do peers influence students to carry weapons?"

The difference between quantitative and qualitative research problems According to Creswell (2015), there are differences between quantitative and qualitative research problems, namely:

  •  Measuring variables
  •  Assess the impact of these variables on results
  •  Test theory or broad explanation
  •  Applying results to a large number of people
  •  Learn about individual views
  •  Assess the process from time to time
  •  Generate theory based on participant perspective, ·
  •  Get detailed information about some people or places of research

According to Sugiyo (2011), there is a fundamental difference between quantitative problems and qualitative problems, namely that quantitative research to be solved research must be clear, specific, and considered unchanged, while qualitative research carried out by researchers is still dim, even dark, and complex.

Identification of statements about research problems Based on the opinion of Creswell (2015) the statement about the problem includes research problems that include four other aspects, namely:

1. Topics

An educational topic is a subject that the researcher wishes to tackle in research and that creates initial interest for the reader.  This approach can too quickly narrow the topic unnecessarily and lose readers who have never researched or read about plagiarism.  Instead, I could start with the broader topic of dishonesty on campus and the need to explore the values ​​students learn while studying at college.  

A good narrative hook has the following special characteristics: it makes the reader pay attention, elicits an emotional response or attitude response, arouses interest, and encourages the reader to continue reading.  A convincing narrative hook might include one or more of the following types of information:

  • Statistical data (e.g., "More than 50% of the adult population is currently depressed.")
  • Provocative questions (e.g., "Why is the school policy against smoking in high school not being enforced?")
  • A clear need to carry out research (e.g., Suspension by schools is attracting increasing attention among scholars in the field of teacher education.")
  • Research intent or intent (e.g., "The intent of this study is to examine how clients interpret the therapist-client relationship.")

2. Research problems

Narrow the topic to a specific research problem or issue.  Research problems are educational issues, problems, or controversies studied by researchers.  The author can present it as a single sentence or several short sentences.  Justify the importance of the problem by citing evidence from:

  •  Researchers and other experts as reported in the literature
  •  Experiences that others have at work
  •  Personal experience

 3. Justification of the importance of the problem as found in previous research and in practice

  •  Justification in Literature Based on Research and Other Experts
  •  Justification Based on Workplace Experience or Personal Experience

 4. Deficiency in existing knowledge of the problem.

Deficiencies in the literature may be part of the justification for the research problem, it is useful to mention some deficiencies in the literature or existing practice.  A deficiency in evidence means that the researcher's prior literature or practical experience does not address the research problem in a robust manner.  Deficiencies in practice mean that educators have not identified good and workable solutions for schools or other areas of education.

 5. Audiences that will benefit from research on the problem

Audiences in the “statement of the matter” section need to be identified.  This consists of individuals and groups who will read and potentially benefit from the information provided in the study.  These audiences will vary depending on the nature of the research, but some of the audiences educators often consider include researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and individuals participating in research.

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