Music as a Stimulus

Department of Counseling

Scientific Merit Review (SMR)

Qualitative Methods Version

 

Scientific Merit Process

Dissertation researchers will use this form to complete the process of scientific merit review (SMR). The goals of this process are to (a) facilitate the planning of a dissertation research project in consultation with your mentor, (b) evaluate scientific merit, and (c) evaluate your proposed methodology. You must obtain scientific merit approval before writing the dissertation proposal. In the Department of Counseling, scientific merit approval satisfies dissertation milestone 5. This form replaces the dissertation worksheet and the school level review of the proposal.

Scientific Merit

The following criteria will be used to establish scientific merit. The purpose of the review will be to evaluate if the study:

  • Advances the scientific knowledge base.
  • Makes a contribution to the field.
  • Meets certain “Hallmarks” of good research methodology.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

You and your mentor should use this form in a step by step way to plan your design and to submit for scientific merit review. Expect that this process will require revisions and reviews so please allocate your time and resources appropriately. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Talk with your mentor about your ideas for your dissertation topic and a possible methodological approach.
  2. Collaborate with your mentor to refine your topic into a specific research project that will add to the existing literature on your topic.
  3. Then, complete the sections on topic and basic methodology (sections 1 & 2) and submit to your mentor for approval.
  4. Collaborate with your mentor until you have mentor approval for the topic and the basic methodology (sections 1 & 2) you plan to use.
  5. After you have received mentor approval for sections 1 & 2, your mentor will submit sections 1 & 2 to your program chair for topic approval.
  6. After you have your Program Chair Approval for your topic, collaborate with your mentor to plan the details of your design. Now is the time for your mentor to seek any input from your dissertation committee about the proposed methodology. If you do have a committee member with methodology expertise, now is the time for your mentor to arrange for a consultation with the dissertation committee members about your research design plans or your mentor may prefer for you to complete the SMR form and submit it to your committee for feedback. The mentor and committee members can decide how they want to work through this step. However, any input on the research design from the Dissertation Committee must occur before the SMR is approved.  The proposal approval is an approval of chapters 1-3 as written. The methodology approval occurs at SMR approval. The Dissertation Committee’s opportunity to provide input on the research methodology occurs before SMR approval is obtained.
  7. After you, your mentor and your committee have agreed on clear plans for the details of the methodology, complete the rest of the form and submit this to your mentor for approval.
  8. Expect that you will go through several revisions.
  9. After you have a polished version, you and your mentor should both review the SMR criteria for each section to make sure you have provided the information needed to demonstrate that you have met each of the criteria.
  10. After you have obtained mentor approval for the SMR, your mentor may want to submit this form to the committee for input. When your mentor feels the form is ready for review, the mentor will submit the form for Scientific Merit Review.
  11. The Scientific merit reviewer will review each item to determine whether or not you have met each of the criteria. You must meet all the criteria to obtain approval. The reviewer will provide feedback on any criteria that you have not met.
  12.  The SMR will be approved, deferred for minor or major revisions, or disapproved.
  13. If the SMR has been deferred, you will need to make the necessary revisions and obtain approval for the revisions from your mentor.
  14. Once you have mentor approval for your revisions, your mentor will submit your SMR for a second review.
  15. You will be notified if your SMR has been approved, deferred for major or minor revisions, or not approved.

16     If a researcher does not pass the scientific merit review on the 3rd attempt, then the case will be referred back to the Mentor,  the Scientific Merit Research Lead and the Program Chair or the Research Chair for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences for review, evaluation and intervention. Interventions might include the recommendation or requirement that the learner take a writing course, take an additional research course, attend the dissertation writer’s retreat or attend a Track 4 colloquia event. The purpose of any intervention would be to help the researcher develop research or writing skills that could help them succeed.

17    Once you obtain SMR approval, proceed to write the dissertation proposal and prepare your IRB application. This should be easy because the methodology sections on the SMR correspond to the sections that are included in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Dissertation Chapter 3 Guide.

18    Scientific Merit approval is required before IRB approval but does not indicate that IRB approval will follow scientific merit approval.

Researchers, please insert your answers to the questions that appear in bold black font, using a black font that is not in bold.  Please insert your answers directly into the expandable boxes that have been provided! Do not write in the sections that are in Capella Red. Reserve this for the Reviewers to respond.

 

SMR Reviewers, please respond to each review question by checking either yes or no. Then, please provide comments, including detailed feedback or recommendations ONLY for items that do NOT meet the criteria. A submission must meet all of the criteria to obtain scientific merit approval. Once you have responded to each section please complete the Scientific Merit Status assessment for this submission and insert your electronic signature and date on the form. If the SMR did not meet all of the criteria, then it should be deferred for minor or major revisions or disapproved. If it has been deferred for Major revisions, you may want to schedule a conference call with the mentor and the researcher to discuss the study. If you would like to require this, please indicate this on the form. If Final Scientific Merit Status (approved or disapproved) has been determined, please also indicate this in the final section on the form and insert your signature and date in the section at the end of the form.

 

Section 1: Learner and Topic Information

1.1 Learner Information

Learner Name:

Learner Email:

Learner Phone number:

Mentor Name:

Mentor Email:

Mentor Phone Number:

Program:

Program Chair:

1.2 Research Question (What do you really want to know? The rest of this form derives from and should constantly be guided by your research question.  Always consider your research question in addressing all following components of this design form.)

 

List the primary research question. A qualitative study should answer the question: What is it like…? (A. Giorgi, personal communication, October 11, 2010). Qualitative studies conducted in the Psychology Department should be led by one open-ended question.  In the Counseling Department, there can be an exception to this rule. For example, a case study or a grounded theory study may have two or three research questions. List the Primary research question. If the study does seek to answer an additional research question or two, list these as well. 

1. What is the role of music therapy in the treatment of sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression?

2. How do adults suffering from sleep disorders and depression experience group and individual music therapy?

3. What are the indicating and contra-indicating factors for music therapy on sleep disorders with these adults suffering from depression?

4. How do participants believe music therapy impacts their overall treatment?

1.3 Proposed Dissertation Title: (Usually a statement based on the research question–short and to the point.)

MUSIC AS A STIMULUS: EFFECTIVENESS OF MUSIC THERAPY INTERVENTION ON SLEEP DISORDERS IN ADULTS SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION

1.4 Research Topic

Describe the specific topic to be studied in a paragraph. (Be certain that the research question relates to the topic.)

Music Therapy (MT) is one of the expressive therapies that are applied in within the perspective of psychotherapy, rehabilitation, counseling, or health care. Music therapy and its various forms of intervention create music stimuli that stimulate the central nervous system processes. Stimulation of such processes will evoke strong memories in the adults with mental disorders as the vibration will dissolve the blockages in nadis, meridians, arteries, veins, or nerves, causing a relieving effect that will intern help to relieve the mental illnesses (Unkefer & Thaut, 2005, p. 23).

1.5 Need for the Study

Describe the need for the study. Provide a rationale or need for studying a particular issue or phenomenon.

The main rationale of this study is the missing link between music therapy intervention on sleeping disorders in adults with depression and its success rating (effectiveness); this was expressed by Crowe and Colwell (2007) in their study that was aimed at identifying effective clinical practices in music therapy application for children, adolescents, and adults with mental disorders. Though they did a good study, they never identified the efficiency/effectiveness of this therapy among adults with depression. There have been several follow-up researches on children and adolescents with mental disorders who are under music therapy but little has been done on adults (Ulrich et al, 2007).

 

 

Section 2: Methodology

2.0 Methodology

 

The qualitative approaches accepted for Counseling are ethnography, case study, grounded theory, phenomenology and generic qualitative research.  Heuristic studies are not encouraged in the Department of Counseling but may be conducted with special permission if the researcher and the mentor have expertise in this methodology. The researcher should submit a letter outlining both the researcher and mentor’s expertise and knowledge in heuristics.  The documentation will be received by the Research Chair or Research Lead and considered. Providing documentation does not guarantee permission.  

 

 

Describe the qualitative methodology (for example phenomenology) and research model (for example Giorgi – empirical phenomenology or Moustakas – transcendental phenomenology) you propose to use.

 

Briefly identify the method(s) will you use to collect the data, such as: open-ended conversational interviews, journaling, letters, pictures, observations, field notes, focus groups – focus groups are only used for ethnography grounded theory, case study and generic qualitative research only.

 

 

 

     The study will make use of an approach based on the phenomenological philosophy so as to enable the researcher to gather reliable and valid results. This approach will be used by the researcher to define the beliefs, assumptions and the nature of reality of this research study. The researcher will analyze every situation in its totality. In order to develop and come up with ideas from the target population, induction will be used during the research process. Additionally, the study sample will be investigated over a given period of time and a natural setting will also be used to implement this research. For this reason, a qualitative induction design will be utilized to achieve the study’s objectives (Easterby, 2008).

This study will utilize questionnaires and interviews as methods of data collection. The researcher will administer the questionnaires to the target respondents online through electronic mails. The questionnaire will be accompanied by consent forms and introductory letters. The researcher will request the respondents to deliver their feedbacks through emails. On the other hand, secondary data will be gathered by performing a thorough document search in books, journals and magazines that contain relevant information to the question under investigation (Schwab, 2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions for Mentors

 

Your submission of the SMR topic section to the Program chair indicates your approval of the mentee’s work. This indicates that you have consulted with the mentee and that you approve of the topic and basic methodology.  Be sure to work with your mentee to fully polish Sections 1 & 2 before submitting it to your specialization chair for topic approval.  Then provide your electronic signature and date and submit it to your specialization chair for topic approval.

 

Mentor Topic Approval

 

 

Mentor Signature ________________________      Date _____________________

 

 

 

 

Program Chairs

 

Please review the sections on dissertation topic and basic methodology (sections 1 & 2) and make a determination as to whether or not this topic is appropriate for the Department of Counseling and the Program area.  If the topic is not approved, please check no and provide comments. If the topic is approved, please check yes, then insert your electronic signature and date the form below.

 

  1. 1.      Program Chairs: Are the dissertation title, topic and basic methodology appropriate for the Counseling Department and the program area? Please comment if not approved.

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Program Chair Comments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Chair Topic Approval

 

Signature ________________________     Date _________________________

 

Next Steps for Learners and Mentors

 

  1. If you did not obtain program chair approval, collaborate with your mentor to make appropriate revisions until you obtain program chair topic approval.
  2. Once Topic approval from your program chair has been obtained, complete the sections on advancing the scientific knowledge base and contributing to research theory (Sections 3 & 4) and collaborate with your mentor until you obtain approval for sections 3 & 4.
  3. Then work with your mentor to agree on the details of how you will conduct the study.
  4. Complete section 5 to describe the details of the methodology. Be sure to provide the step by step detail needed so that someone else would be able to replicate the study.
  5. Expect to go through revisions.
  6. Once you have received approval for the SMR form by your mentor, your mentor will submit the SMR for formal scientific merit review.

 

 

Section 3: Advancing the Scientific Knowledge base

Your study should advance the scientific knowledge base in your field by meeting one or more of these four criteria:

 

  1. A.     The study should address something that is not known or has not been studied before.
  2. B.     The study should be new or different from other studies in some way.
  3. C.     The study should extend prior research on the topic in some way.
  4. D.    The study should fill a gap in the existing literature.

Specifically describe how your research will advance scientific knowledge on your topic by answering all of these 3 questions. Include in-text citations as needed.

3.1 Advancing Scientific Knowledge

Demonstrate how the study (a) will advance the scientific knowledge base; (b) is grounded in the field of counseling; and (c) addresses something that is not known, something that is new or different from prior research, something that extends prior research, or something that fills a gap in the existing literature. Describe precisely how your study will add to the existing body of literature on your topic. It can be a small step forward in a line of current research but it must add to the body of scientific knowledge in your program area and on the topic.

 

To respond to this question you will need to:

  1. Provide a paragraph that describes the background for your study and how your research question relates to the background of the study.
  2. Then, in a second paragraph discuss previous research and demonstrate exactly how answering your research question will advance the scientific knowledge base on this topic. Include in-text citations to demonstrate exactly how this study will fill a gap in the existing literature and place the references in the reference section.

 

 

The recognition of music as a dominant instrument of operation towards wellness for an individual dates back to ancient times. However, music therapy as a professional field application is a recent occurrence. Music therapy began as a field in the 1940s, as several specialists in the field of psychiatry instigated treatment in a more holistic way (Nolan, 2003). Karl Menninger is an example of one of these prominent psychiatrists who intended to meet client needs using a broad variation of modalities. The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression. Another is to identify the obstacles that hinder the success of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression. Finally, through qualitative inquiry via the questionnaire survey, the purpose of this study will be to collect and tabulate available data on music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression.

There is limited available information on success rates of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults with depression; thus, this study will significantly contribute to information boost in this sector. The constant research on how to improve existing and new interventions on mental disorders depends greatly on the available information; therefore, the awareness that will be created by this study will greatly contribute to identification of the weaknesses of music therapy, with the aim of improving its application and finding out other alternatives. Pursuing this topic will avail a deep understanding of clinical psychology scenario and improve the level of comfort when handling sleep disorder cases among adults with depression. Crowe and Colwell (2007) did a study that was aimed at identifying effective clinical practices in music therapy application for children, adolescents, and adults with mental disorders. Though they did a good study, they never identified the efficiency/effectiveness of this therapy among adults with depression. There have been several follow-up researches on children and adolescents with mental disorders who are under music therapy but little has been done on adults (Ulrich et al, 2007).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 Theoretical Implications

 

Describe any theoretical implications that the proposed study may have for understanding phenomena. For example, will the study generate new theory, provide a description of the lived experience of the participants or provide a description of a cultural phenomena?

 

This study seeks to fill the gap that exists in provision of information on effectiveness of music therapy in treating adult depression. It also examines the effectiveness of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression. Another is to identify the obstacles that hinder the success of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults suffering from depression.

 

 

 

3.3 Practical Implications

 

Describe any practical implications that may result from your research.  Specifically, describe any implications the research may have for understanding phenomena for practitioners, the population being studied, or a particular type of work, mental health, educational, community, stakeholders or other setting.

 

Pursuing this topic will avail a deep understanding of clinical psychology scenario and improve the level of comfort when handling sleep disorder cases among adults with depression. It can significantly impact on healthcare provision for those with mental illnesses. The health care professionals can utilize the information generated to improve service delivery and outcome of treatment.

 

 

 

 

Reviewers

3        Does the study advance scientific knowledge in the field and the program area by meeting one or more of these four criteria?

Does the study address something that is not known or has not been studied before?

Is this study new or different from other studies in some way?

Does the study extend prior research on the topic in some way?

Does the study fill a gap in the existing literature?

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

Section 4: Contributions of the Proposed Study to the Field

 

 

4.1 Contributions to the Field

 

Your study should make a contribution to your field based on the approach used to conduct the research:

 

  1. A.     Ethnography – The study should produce a description of some dimensions of a culture.
  2. B.     Case Study – The study should develop a lesson to be learned from the case.
  3. C.     Grounded theory – The study should generate new theory or point to an emergent theory.
  4. D.    Phenomenology – The study should yield a description of the lived experience of the participants.
  5. E.     Heuristics – The study should yield a description of lived experience which includes the experience of the researcher as well as those of the participants. Please see note above under section 2.0. This type of research requires special permission and expertise in this methodology.
  6. F.      Generic Qualitative Research – The study should answer the question using qualitative data.

Describe how your study is grounded in and/or adds to knowledge in the field.

Significance of the Study

 There is limited available information on success rates of music therapy interventions on sleep disorders among adults with depression; thus, this study will significantly contribute to information boost in this sector. The constant research on how to improve existing and new interventions on mental disorders depends greatly on the available information; therefore, the awareness that will be created by this study will greatly contribute to identification of the weaknesses of music therapy, with the aim of improving its application and finding out other alternatives. My study will contribute to increasing the well of information that can be used in healthcare provision.

 

Reviewers

4.1  Does the Research make a contribution to your field in one of these ways?

  • Ethnography – The study should produce a description of some dimensions of a culture.
  • Case Study – The study should develop a lesson to be learned.
  • Grounded theory – The study should generate theory or point to an emergent theory.
  • Phenomenology – The study should yield a description of the lived experience of the participants.
  • Heuristics – The study should yield a description of lived experience which includes the experience of the research as well as those of the participants. This type of research would require special permission and expertise in this methodology.
  • Generic Qualitative Research – The study should answer the research question using qualitative data.

 

_____YES   or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

4.2 Theoretical Foundations

 

Briefly describe the theoretical basis for the study.  Describe the major theory (or theories) that may serve as the foundation for investigating the research topic,  inform the research questions and provide any corresponding citations. 

 

 

Though the research in music therapy and mental disorders is active, the adult factor is missing in these researches. The adult population is very prone to mental illnesses; thus, more research should be done targeting this population. Vick (2003) mentions that research in music therapy should be more specific because it works differently in different groups; this is the essence of this study.  The information so far in this paper mainly gives support to the success of music therapy in relative terms like positive, successful, and improved but more quantitative data is needed so that the percentage of effectiveness of music therapy intervention on mental illnesses can be calculated and known.  There are a lot of research on other interventions on adult mental illnesses like psychoactive drugs, psychotherapy, and anti-depressants but there is minimum research on music therapy as one of the interventions.  It seeks to describe the effectiveness of music therapy as an intervention in mental illness, the impact it will have on the patients and the experience that they will undergo in their encounter with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewers

 

4.2  Is any relevant theoretical basis for the study appropriately described?

 

_____YES   or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

Section 5: Methodology Details

5.1 Purpose of the Study

 

Describe the purpose of the study.

Why are you doing it?  (The answer must be grounded in the literature in what has been done–hasn’t been done or needs to be done.)

 

       How will the methods to be used actually answer the research question?

 

Does the study address something that is not known or has not been studied before?

Is this study new or different from other studies in some way? Does the study extend prior research on the topic in some way? Does the study fill a gap in the existing literature?

 

 

 

The purpose of the study is to identify the effectiveness of music therapy in adults and to identify the obstacles that inhibit use of music therapy in treatment of sleeping disorders in adults with depression.

The study fills the gap of unavailable information on effectiveness of therapy in adults. Literature only exists on several follow-up researches on children and adolescents with mental disorders who are under music therapy, but little has been done on adults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.1  Purpose of the study

Is the purpose of the study clearly stated?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.2 Research  Methodology

 

The qualitative methodologies accepted for psychology and counseling are ethnography, case study, grounded theory, phenomenology, heuristics (with special permission) and generic qualitative research.  Describe the qualitative methodology (for example phenomenology) and research model (for example Giorgi – empirical phenomenology or Moustakas – transcendental phenomenology) you propose to use, supported and referenced by primary sources. Describe in detail the method(s) will you use to collect the data, such as: open-ended conversational interviews, journaling, letters, pictures, observations, field notes and/or focus groups.  Focus groups are only used for ethnography, grounded theory, case study, and generic qualitative research only.

 

Briefly describe how the study will be conducted.  (Describe how you are going to carry out the study.)

This research will be based on the phenomenological methodology. The study will make use of an approach based on the phenomenological philosophy so as to enable the researcher to gather reliable and valid results. This approach will be used by the researcher to define the beliefs, assumptions and the nature of reality of this research study. The researcher will analyze every situation in its totality. In order to develop and come up with ideas from the target population, induction will be used during the research process. Additionally, the study sample will be investigated over a given period of time and a natural setting will also be used to implement this research. For this reason, a qualitative induction design will be utilized to achieve the study’s objectives (Easterby,           2008).

 

5.2  Research Methodology

Does the research design proposed seem appropriate for the research question? Is the research design clearly and accurately described?  Can the design answer the research question?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.3 Population and Sample

 

Describe the characteristics of the larger population from which the sample (study participants) will be drawn. Next describe the sample that will participate in the study and the sample size.  Justify the sample size with support from the literature.

 

The study will be located in a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centers (PSRs). The population selected will focus on adults with mental disorders, who were admitted to the acute psychiatric unit of the PRC. Ages were restricted between 18 to 65 years due to current limitations established by the behavioral health unit (Flick, 2009). The major participants or target population of this study will be selected by psychological therapists, psychiatrists and patients from selected rehabilitation centers that practice the use of music therapy interventions in the treatment of sleep disorders among people with depression. Other qualities of participants include; the presence of already diagnosed mental health condition, the capacity to understand and speak in English, voluntarily admission to the rehabilitation center, and the nonexistence of other active psychotic symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.3  Population and Sample

Are the population and the sample adequately and accurately described? Is the sample size appropriate?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.4 Sampling Procedures

 

Describe how you plan to select the sample. Be sure to list the name of the specific sampling strategy you will use ((e.g. snowball, purposeful, etc). Describe each of the steps from recruitment through contact and screening to consenting to participate in the study. Be sure to describe the site from which you expect to draw your sample and indicate who is authorized to provide permission to use this site.  Describe whether or not the site has an IRB and what do you would need to do to obtain permission. Please avoid recruitment sites which could present a conflict of interest or present the appearance of coercive strategies, such as, proposing employment sites with current clients, patients, students, consumers and so on

 

 The sampling method will be purposeful.

Recruitment-The population will be selected from psychological rehabilitation centers that provide consent.

Screening- The major participants or target population of this study will be selected by psychological therapists, psychiatrists and patients from selected rehabilitation centers that practice the use of music therapy interventions in the treatment of sleep disorders among people with depression.

Participant consent- Once selected the participants will be required to sign a consent form providing permission for the study.

 

 

 

 

5.4 Sampling Procedures

Is participant involvement and participant selection fully described and appropriate for the study?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.5 Data Collection Procedures

 

Describe where and how will you get the data and describe the exact procedure(s) that will be used to collect the data.  This is a step-by-step description of exactly how the research will be conducted. This should read like a recipe for the data collection procedures to be followed in your study. Be sure to include all the necessary details so that someone else will be able to clearly understand how you will obtain your data.

 

The researcher will administer the questionnaires to the target respondents online through electronic mails. The questionnaire will be accompanied by consent forms and introductory letters. The researcher will request the respondents to deliver their feedbacks through emails. On the other hand, secondary data will be gathered by performing a thorough document search in books, journals and magazines that contain relevant information to the question under investigation (Schwab, 2005).

The procedure involved of the following steps:

1. The psychiatrist, the social worker and the music therapist in the rehabilitation center will screen the adults with mental disorders upon admission to the adult psychiatric unit of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centre (PRC). The adults who are allowed to participate in the study must be diagnosed with sleep disorders and depression and then the suitable participants are referred to the researcher.

2. The researcher then conducts an extra informal screening to gauge if the participant meets the standards of the study.

3. Once a potential participant is identified, the researcher meets with the participant and explains to him/her the procedure and purpose of the study.

4. When the consent has been sorted, the patient is incorporated as a participant in the study.

5. Before each session, the researcher creates a session plan with the help of the music therapist and based on the treatment objectives and relevant graph reviews of the participants. A treasured input into this process is also taken from the researcher’s spontaneous logs.

6. 7. After each and every session, the researcher must reflect on what has taken place in the group or individual sessions and make notes on feelings, ideas and thoughts of the participants.

8. Data is collected from the researcher’s reflexive logs and observations during the music therapy sessions. This field data is analyzed after every music therapy session. It is vital to note that this portion of the data is not used to guide the structure of the interviews

9. In case the participants are well off to be discharged by the treatment team, the researcher selects one or two of them and interviews them as they fill the final questionnaire.

10. On completion of all interviews and transcriptions, the transcripts are analyzed.

11. Finally after 12 weeks, the treatment team is interviewed and they will fill the questionnaire for the final data analysis.

 

 

 

 

5.5 Procedure

Does the researcher describe in detail the procedure to be followed in a step-by- step way so that it is completely clear how the research will be conducted? Is the data collection appropriate for the proposed study?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.6 Guiding Interview Questions and Field Testing

 

Describe the interview method will you use and how you will conduct the interviews.  List any guiding interview questions to be used to guide the open-ended qualitative interviews with the participants. Provide a rationale for how and why you are using the interview technique you will use to address the primary research question. Be sure to discuss the results of any field test that was conducted as a part of the process of developing the final version of the guiding interview questions. For the Counseling Department, a field test with a panel of experts is required. This is different from a pilot test. A field test involves asking a panel of experts to review your interview questions to make sure that the questions do focus on the exact research question. You want to ensure that they are appropriate for the topic and population and that they are open ended questions that are appropriate for qualitative inquiry. Please identify 3 to 5 non-Capella faculty field-experts to review your research questions. Please attach your initial interview questions, the field-testing results and your final Guiding interview questions to this application.

 

This study will mainly explore a reliable method and instrument of data collection which will be the use of a questionnaire survey. The use of questionnaires has been acknowledged by many researchers to be a reliable method (Foddy, 1993). This is because the questionnaires are developed under the guidance of the research objectives to ensure that the questions constructed are relevant to the study. In addition, they are user friendly, inexpensive to construct and administer to the research respondents. Robson (1993) established that a well-developed questionnaire assists the researcher in generating uniform answers from various respondents.

The use of open-ended questions also helps the respondents to put across their observations freely because they do not get restricted in any way. The guiding questions include:

1. Did you find the sessions beneficial or a waste of time?

2. Have found you experienced disturbed sleep lately?

3. Do you wake up feeling more rested or tired?

4. Have you developed interest in your surroundings and your friends?

 

 

5.6 Guiding Questions

Are the guiding questions appropriate to be used to facilitate the interviews? Are the guiding questions directly related to the research question and appropriate for the proposed methodology and model to be used in this proposed study?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

5.7 Other Data Collection Procedures

 

For those studies in which alternative data will be collected such as archival data,  medical/psychiatric/substance abuse records or any pre-recorded data, please describe the methods you will use to collect and analyze this alternative data.  Provide a rationale for how and why you are using this alternative data and how you will analyze it.

 

 

Alternative data will be gathered by going through the patient registers and by interviewing the staff at the rehabilitation center. Qualitative data analysis methods will be used to analyze the qualitative data that will be collected. Such methods include the use of tables, graphs and pie-charts (Schwab, 2005). Alternative data will be used to provide an in depth understanding of the therapy conducted and its effectiveness. It will also help to understand the patient’s experience during the sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

5.7 Other Data Colllection Procodures

For studies in which alternative data will be collected, did the researcher describe the alternative data that will be used, describe the methods that will be used to collect the data, analyze the data and provide a rationale for how and why the alternative data will be used?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

5.8 Proposed Data Analyses

 

Provide a step-by-step description of the procedures to be used to conduct the data analysis. Support this process by identification and reference to primary descriptive sources, such as Moustakas, Giorgi, StevickColaizziKeen, Stake Yin, Charmaz, or Braun et al.  Check that that the data analysis process is consistent with the accepted analytical steps for the specific qualitative methodology chosen to conduct this study.

 

For the Department of Counseling, a qualitative software program is recommended to assist with data analysis and data management.  If you plan to use Qualitative data analysis software, list the software you will use and describe how it will be used. Describe how the software will be used at each step to ensure to guard against personal bias in the data analysis procedures.  It is recommended that you plan to have your mentor review the analysis of the first few transcripts to ensure that you are following the proper data analysis procedures and to guard against bias.

 

 

Once I have collected the categorical data using questionnaires and interviews, it will be processed using software programs. For Giorgi the most important thing in a research is to describe. The steps in data analysis are as follows:

Tables, graphs and pie charts will be used in analyzing the data.

1. Understand the data by reading through it as many times as necessary.

2. Identify the key question that the analysis should answer.

3.  Put the data into categories by coding or indexing it.

4. Identify the relationships between the different categories.

5. Interpret the data by integrating the relationships found.

 

 

 

 

 

5.8 Proposed Data Analyses

Is the data analysis that is proposed appropriate? Is there alignment between the research questions, proposed methodology, type or types of data to be collected and proposed data analysis? Is the language used to describe the type of design and data analysis plans consistent throughout?

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

5.9 Role of the Researcher

 

Provide a description of the researcher’s pre-understandings, preconceptions and biases about the topic and about how the researcher will set them aside?

 

 The researcher will be a part time worker at the rehabilitation facility; he will have a strong understanding of the research topic and will make observations as therapy proceeds. The researcher will keep an open mind and report any observations without steering them towards a particular direction. No information will be falsified and the responses of the participants will not be influenced in any way. The researcher is to observe patient confidentiality and will have an unbiased point of view. He will keep the identity of the respondents anonymous and will obtain consent before including them in the study.

 

5.9  Role of the Researcher

Does the researcher describe the process by which he/she will identify and set aside pre-understandings, pre-conceived ideas and biases that could interfere with conducting the proposed study?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

 

5.10 Credibility, Dependability and Transferability

 

5.10 Credibility, Dependability, and Transferability

Present a strategy to ensure credibility, dependability, and transferability in the proposed study. Because the researcher is the primary instrument of research in qualitative studies, describe how you will establish credibility for the research.  Describe the training and experience you have in regards to your methods for collecting and for analyzing your data.  Credibility refers to confidence in the accuracy of the data as reported as well as a systematic and thorough interpretation by the researcher.  Credibility involves carrying out the study in a way that enhances the believability of the findings of the data over time and over conditions. Credibility is assessed by how well you demonstrate your understanding of your research methodology and how well you apply the methodology to data collection and data analysis. Credibility is assessed by how well you demonstrate your understanding of your research methodology and how well you apply the methodology to data collection and data analysis. Describe how you will demonstrate your expertise in regards to your research design.Transferability is demonstrated by showing that the sample fairly represents the target population, as well as by showing that the sample participants have the knowledge, experience, or expertise necessary to provide information that the discipline or field and the target population would find meaningful in regard to the topic. Dependability is demonstrated by providing clear, detailed, and sequential descriptions of all procedures and methods, such that another researcher could repeat each of them faithfully.

 

 

After the study is conducted it will be submitted to peer review. Any scholarly sources will be properly cited. The information that is generated will be sound and reproducible. The researcher will be unbiased and have no vested interests in the results of the study. There shall be no monetary incentives offered to the participants.

 

 

 

5.10          Credibility, Dependability and Transferability

Does the researcher present a strategy to ensure credibility, dependability and transferability in the proposed study?

 

 

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

 

6.0 References

 

Provide references for all citations in APA style. Submit your reference list below.

 

 

 

 

 

Crowe, B. J. & Colwell, C. (Eds.). (2007). Effective clinical practice in music therapy:                                Music therapy for children, adolescents, and adults with mental disorders. Silver      Spring,             MD: American Music Therapy Association

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A. (2008).Management Research: An Introduction,

            2nd Ed. London: Sage Publications. 67-69

Foddy, W. (1993). Constructing questions for interviews & questionnaires. NY: CUP, Cambridge University Press, 1993. 93-100

Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Nolan, P. (2003). “Through music to therapeutic attachment: Psychodynamic music         psychotherapy with a musician with dysthymic disorder”. In S. Hadley (Ed.),     Psychodynamic music therapy: Case studies (pp. 317–338). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona.

Robson, C. (1993). Real World Research. Oxford: Blackwell

Schwab, D. (2005). Research Methods for Organizational Studies. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence         Erlbaum Associates

Unkefer, F. R. & Thaut, H. M. (2005). Music Therapy in the Treatment of Adults with         Mental Disorders: Theoretical Buses and Clinical Intervention. St. Louis: MMB   Music, Inc.

Vick, R. M. (2003). “A brief history of art therapy”. In C. A. Malchiodi (Ed.), Handbook of

        art therapy (pp. 5–15). New York: Guilford Press

 

6.0 References

Has the researcher presented appropriate citations and references in APA style?

 

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments

 

 

 

6.1 Scholarly Writing

Does the Researcher communicate in a scholarly, professional manner that is consistent with the expectations of academia?

 

 

_____YES or____ NO

 

Reviewer Comments:

 

Optional Space for Reviewer Comments

 

This section is not part of determining SMR approval.  This is an optional space for the SMR Reviewer to make note of any practical or ethical concerns. Reviewers are not expected to comment on these issues but they can make comments or recommendations if they believe these may be helpful.  It is recommended that mentors and researchers carefully consider any comments made here as it may help flag issues or problems that need to be addressed before the researcher moves forward or before the study is submitted for ethical review which will be conducted by the IRB.

 

Optional Reviewer Comments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submitting for Scientific Merit Review

 

After you have Mentor approval for the SMR, then your mentor submits the SMR for formal scientific merit review. Mentors, your submission of the SMR to the SMR committee for review indicates your approval of the mentee’s work. This indicates that you have consulted with the mentee on the details of the methodology and that the mentee does have your approval. Before Submitting the SMR, each researcher and mentor should check the information that has been provided with the criteria for obtaining approval for each section of the SMR to make certain that all the necessary information has been included for each section in a clear and concise way. Use this like a check list!

 

Mentors, please sign and date below to indicate that you have approved this topic, reviewed the topic for scientific merit and that you have approved the details of the methodology. Then submit the form to: CompDIssSupport@Capella.edu

 

Mentor SMR Approval

 

 

Signature ________________________      Date _________________________

 

 

 

Department of Counseling

Scientific Merit Review (SMR) Evaluation

 

Scientific Merit Status

 

The Reviewer determines if the scientific Merit Review (SMR) is approved, deferred for minor or major revisions or disapproved. An SMR is approved if the reviewer has been able to answer “YES” to all of the evaluation questions.

 

  1. If any of the items have been checked as “NO”, then the reviewer is asked to comment specifically and provide recommendations.  Most of the time recommendations will lead to the reviewer requesting minor or major revisions. Minor revisions are things like needing to include more detail or issues related to APA style. Major revisions are issues where there are major design flaws, potential ethical concerns or a clear inconsistency in terms of the research questions, the design and the proposed data analysis.  Disapproval occurs if the researcher fails to pass the SMR review on the third attempt or it could occur earlier in the process if it is clear that the study does not have any potential for scientific merit or the study has major ethical or methodological flaws that can’t be corrected. If a researcher does not pass the scientific merit review on the 3rd attempt, then the case will be referred back to the Mentor,  the Scientific Merit Research Lead and the Program Chair or the Research Chair for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences for review, evaluation and intervention. Interventions might include the requirement that the learner take a writing course, take an additional research course, attend the dissertation writer’s retreat or attend a Track 4 colloquia event. The purpose of any intervention would be to help the researcher develop research or writing skills that could help them succeed.

 

 

Directions for Reviewers

 

Please indicate your decision for this review in the correct place (First Review, Second Review, Third Review) and insert your electronic signature and the date below.  If the SMR has a Final Status of “Approved” or “Disapproved”, please be sure indicate this Final Scientific Merit Review status below as well.  If you have deferred the SMR for major revisions, you may want to require a phone conference with the mentor and researcher.

 

First Review

 

______Approved

______Disapproved

______Deferred for Minor Revisions

______Deferred for Major Revisions

_____ Conference call needed with mentor and researcher

 

 

______________________________________________________________________ 

 

Reviewer Name:

Reviewer  signature ______________________  Date______________________

 

Second Review

 

______Approved

______Disapproved

______Deferred for minor revisions

______Deferred for major revisions

______ Conference call needed with mentor and researcher

 

 

 

Reviewer Name:

Reviewer Signature ______________________  Date______________________

 

Third Review

 

______Approved

______ Referred to Research Lead, Research Chair and/or Program Chair for intervention. Interventions might include the recommendation or the requirement that the learner take a writing course, an additional research course, attend the dissertation writer’s retreat or attend a Track 4 colloquia event. The purpose of any intervention would be to help the researcher develop research or writing skills that could help them succeed. 

 

 

Reviewer Name:

Reviewer Signature ______________________  Date______________________

 

 

Final Scientific Merit Review Status

 

__________ Approved   __________   Disapproved  Date__________________

 

Reviewer Signature ______________________ Date______________________

 

This has been a Scientific Merit Review.  Obtaining Scientific Merit approval does not mean you will obtain IRB approval.

 

Once you have obtained scientific merit approval move forward to write your dissertation proposal. It should be easy because the methodology section of the SMR corresponds directly to the sections included in the Psychology Department’s Dissertation Chapter 3 Guide which is also used by Counseling and Public Safety Leadership.

 

If a researcher does not pass the scientific merit review on the 3rd attempt, then the case will be referred to the Research Lead, the Research Chair and/or the Program Chair for review, evaluation and intervention. Researchers, mentors and reviewers should make every attempt possible to resolve issues before the SMR is failed on a 3rd attempt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s