HMG7950 Research Methods in Public Health Assessment 2
Value:40% of final grade unit
Word Limit:3000 words
In this assessment you will write a literature review and proposal to undertake research in a public health topic of your choice. Please consult the lecturer in choosing your topic. You might like to consider choosing the topic from your critical analysis in assessment 2.
If you intend to undertake HMG7430 Minor Thesis in semester 2 then you should choose a topic that you would like to undertake as your research topic for the minor thesis. In this case every effort will be made to support you in the development of a topic that will lead into your Minor Thesis. For students choosing not to undertake the Minor Thesis in semester 2 then you will not turn your actual proposal into a research project. Please note that you need to achieve a grade of Distinction or above in HMG7950 to go on to do the Minor Thesis.
Your research proposal should be a maximum of 3000 words excluding references. Please use the following structure.
Present your logic for your proposal including what has been found in past research studies.
Literature review: This should include at least 10 journal sources, which must be dated after the year 2000. At least FIVE of these sources must be original empirical studies (primary sources). This literature review must include a review of the theoretical perspective/s that you will be basing your hypotheses on as well as a review of relevant research. Make sure to explain each theory and study and clearly state how each applies to your research question/s. i. Review articles and textbooks are a good place to begin your literature search for this section. You can cite review articles but be sure to use primary research sources when discussing individual empirical studies.
Rationale for why you are conducting the research. Make sure to indicate why you believe your proposed research project is important to the field of public health. What questions will it address and attempt to answer? Why is this important?
Research Question and Hypotheses. (10%)
Frame a research question to be investigated and construct a hypothesis or objective that will contribute to answering the research question.
Present a detailed plan of how it is proposed that the study will be carried out. Include a description of the participants, materials, design of the study, and procedure.
Participants. Your proposed participant (or subject) sample.
Study design. Explain why you chose this particular design. What are the benefits and the limitations of the design you chose?
Measures and techniques you will be using. If you are using a measure that has been validated cite the author and describe the measure. Otherwise operationally define all of your measures (dependent variables).
Procedure. Step by step description of where and how the experiment will be conducted so it can be replicated; include description of stimulus observed; state exactly what data will be recorded. Make sure to include the informed consent and debriefing processes.
Ethical Considerations. (10%)
Describe the ethical considerations and how you will account for research related risks.
Explain the potential outcomes of your study and the significance in relation to public health.
All sources cited in your proposal must appear in your reference page. Use Harvard style referencing.
HMG7950 Research Methods in Public Health
Topic: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND DEPRESSION IN INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS IN MELBOURNE
A considerable number of people have migrated to Australia and the Net –Overseas migration was 178,582 in the year 2015-16 (Payne et al. 2019). These migrants are from various backgrounds such as Victorian Italian, Lebanese, and Sri Lankan, and so on (Payne et al., 2019). Recent statistics have also shown that the absences of physical activities in these migrants are the root causes of various health problems (Ashraf et al. 2019). The health problems caused by physical activities spread through a wide range of physical as well as depression. However, the people who belong to these communities are keen on improving their health conditions. This project will find the relationship between physical activity and depression in international migrants in Melbourne.
Background of the Research
This project represents the various data that has been already collected with respect to the absence of Physical Activities in International Migrants in Melbourne (Ashraf et al. 2019). The challenges attributed to migration can deeply impact an individual and could have dire consequences. This particular stud will also try to establish a relation between the multiple levels of depression and various social, demographic migration conditions. Depression is one of the major causes that lead to disability in Melbourne (Ashraf et al. 2019). Various documents and studies related to mental health and migration will be studied for the literature review. They will be used to answer the research questions and fulfil the overall objective of the project.
One of the major causes of depression in the mentioned immigrants is the lack of physical activities (Ashraf et al. 2019). Based on the discussed data the problem statement of the research statement is as follows,
"The lack of physical activity and depression in international migrants in Australia and Melbourne."
Research Aim and Objective
This research will aim to break down the given problem statement into smaller parts. The various reasons due to which the immigrants suffer mental trauma will be studied and the ways in which these reasons can be either eliminated or reduced. Moreover, the reasons due to which these individuals are not able to indulge themselves in physical activities will also be studied.
The objectives of the project are as follows,
Objective 1:To identify the relationship between physical activity and depression in immigrants
Objective 2:To identify the barriers in physical activities and difficulties faced by the immigrants in indulging in physical activities.
Objective 3:To recommend the possible solution to reduce down the depression of the international migrant in Melbourne.
|To identify the relationship between physical activity and depression in immigrants||The objective is specific and aims to find the relation between physical activity and depression||These quantities are statistically dependent and measurable/||The outcome is achievable||The outcomes are realistic||The outcome can be achieved in a stipulated time|
|To identify the barriers in physical activities and difficulties faced by the immigrants in indulging in physical activities.||The barriers will be identified.||The barriers can be measured by conducting interviews||Interviews can be conducted||This is practical||This is not time-consuming|
|To recommend the possible solution to reduce down the depression of the international migrant in Melbourne.||Based on the previous objectives||Can be inferred from previous objectives||The first two objectives are achievable, and this conclusion can be drawn from them.||This is practical, as well.||This is timely|
Table 1: SMART objectives
Source: Created by author
The research plan will be to identify and specify the exact problem statement on which the research and the project will be carried out. This will be followed by a literature review that will deal with similar literature and data will be collected from it. The collected data will be subjected to analysis and recommendations/conclusions will be drawn from the same.
Figure 1: Research plan
Source: Created by author
The relation between physical activity and depression in immigrants
A study conducted by Ashraf et al. (2019) establishes a direct relation between Physical Activity and depression. This study used MASQ (The Migration and Settlement Questionnaire) and RSA (The Resilience Scale for Adults) to collect data for the purpose of the study. This study showed that depression levels are higher in young adults in the age range of 18 – 24. The reasons identified were primarily adolescence as well as migration. These young adults had recently migrated in the country and had some past traumatic events. A number of Syrian refugees were interviewed in the study as well who shared similar experiences.
Another set of participants in the study also showed that unemployed adults suffer from more stress than the unemployed ones. This further reinstates the fact that employment is a major issue that stops these refugees from practising proper health practices and cannot perform healthy physical activities (Ashraf et al. 2019). Another major issue that was identified was “Change in Habitat and Culture”. As mentioned above the majority of the young adults were suffering from depression and the change in environment had a major role to play in it. The children that emigrated from Iran agreed that culture is a major part of the overall change in mindset. According to White et al. (2018), in countries like Iran, children stay with their parents even after they get married, especially the male population. The senses of Individuality in their Australian Counterparts are much higher, and they are sent to do jobs and made to stand on their own at a very young age (White et al. 2018). A lot of Iranian Refugees agreed that are depressed due to separation from their friends and family. A table showing the overall results of the study has been provided below.
Barriers in physical activities and difficulties faced by the immigrants in indulging in physical activities
A study conducted by Payne et al. (2019) found out the various reasons due to which the migrants in Australia are unable to take part in various physical activities. The study has divided the caused in several segregated units. One of these units are as follows,
The study identifies that migration in itself is a major cause of mental trauma. There are multiple factors that are associated with migration. However, the reasons for the migration might be positive and could be educational or career-oriented, but the overall impact could be very negative. Various other studies also show that migration can cause a strong psychological effect which has long-lasting outcomes and can cripple a person for life (Aguiñaga et al. 2018). According to Payne et al. (2019), migration literally changes the overall lifestyle and habits of a person, and this could have strong psychological effects. Some studies have also shown that some past traumatic effects due to which a person is forced to leave a country can have lifelong negative effects on the individual's psychological behaviour. These minute changes slowly give birth to the low level of stresses which are generally ignored by the immigrants (Babatunde-Sowole et al. 2018). More ground research has shown that the initial objective of an immigrant is to establish themselves, and they work as much as possible. In these situations, they completely neglect their health. A lot of migrants are economically backward and have no means to neglect their sources of income and divide their attention into other activities (Payne et al. 2019). This, in turn, creates a high level of mental pressure which can result in various physical diseases and so on. These immigrants simply do not have the means or infrastructure to indulge in physical activities.
Figure 2: Individual Correlations between Socio-Demographic and migration variables depression as well as resilience.
(Source: Ashraf et al. 2019)
The possible solution to reduce down the depression of the international migrants in Melbourne.
As discussed in the studies above the stress levels in the immigrants slowly develops and grows and causes mental dissatisfaction. According to Cho et al. (2018), this sense of unsteadiness can lead to other unwanted and unhealthy effects. Some immigrants start to smoke to avoid exercising and this causes obesity, hypertension as well as hypercholesterolemia. These diseases, however, can also have genetic origins. Smoking and Physical inactivity are the two primary sources of Risks due to personal behaviour (Cho et al. 2018). Majority of the respondents in the studies agreed that smoking helps them calm their nerves, and it is very difficult for them to quit. The respondents in the study also said that they want to invest time in exercising, but it is not practical for them as they spend the majority of their time in working and earning money. A possible solution to the problem is to provide them with opportunities to play and conduct regular sports events at places where refugees are present. The government can also intervene and conduct various seminars on mental health and physical activities.
Research Questions &Hypothesis
In current times, migration all over the world is the highest ever recorded. In the year 2015 more than 244 million people crossed borders internationally and migrated to other countries from their own. Majority of the population has migrated due to reasons such as employment opportunities, higher education, and so on. However, more than 60 million have migrated because either they were forced to do so or the conditions in their country were worsening day by day due to reasons related to violence and political tension.
H1: A plausible hypothesis is that if the government intervenes and provides various facilities related to physical activities and if proper budget is allocated to open physical activity centres to reduce depression, then the mental health of the immigrants can be improved, and depression can be reduced.
To satisfy or discard this hypothesis, the following research questions need to be answered.
1:How physical activity and depression in immigrants are related?
2: What are the barriers in physical activities and difficulties faced by the immigrants in indulging in physical activities?
3:What are the possible solution to reduce down the depression of the international migrant in Melbourne?
The research methodology details the methods to be undertaken during the study. It details the philosophy approach, design and methods for data collection and analysis that the researcher must undertake to reach plausible conclusions (Kumar, 2019).
A study design is often inspired by the research aims and objectives and informed by methodologies used by previous researchers to conduct similar studies. However, apart from these, a study design needs to consider constraints like time and money. The research has the aim of understanding the reasons for lack of physical activity and depression among international immigrants in Melbourne. Thus it requires gathering first-hand data from the migrants. Therefore, the researcher needs to follow a quantitative design by gaining data from primary data sources. Considering this design, the research proposes to use exploratory research method and positivism philosophy as well as using deductive research approach for conducting the research in detail (Mackey and Gass, 2015). The benefit of using positivist philosophy is that it allows for conducting highly structured research using quantitative as well as qualitative research methods, meaning it is flexible. However, the constraint is that positivist philosophy argues in favour of exploring a large sample which cannot be done for this research. The benefit of deductive inference is that if premises or the hypothesis can be determined as true, the conclusion can also be proved as true. It examines the research hypothesis using primary data. Thus it either verifies or falsifies a theory. The benefits of the exploratory design are that data sources need not be well defined, and questions can be open-ended. The limitation of this design is that the inferences are more tentative than concluding (Flick, 2015).
The participants of the study need to be decided in order to gain appropriate reliable and informative data for gaining insight. The research will consider gathering data from primary data sources using primary data collection method. For this study, 50 international immigrants living in Melbourne are proposed as research participants. The research proposes to use simple random sampling technique for conducting the study. This technique would sample 50 immigrants as participants for data collection while avoiding any bias from the study. The study will only consider the variable of being international participants as a criterion for selection. They can belong to any race and gender. However, another important consideration will be age. The research would consider avoiding studying older adults, namely people equal or above the age of 60 or below 18 because for these people lack physical activity and depression can be caused by physical factors and constraints. Moreover, underage people will be avoided for ethical constraints of participation of people under 18. Thus the considered age group for participants will be 18-59 years.
During the data collection and analysis, some specific measures need to be taken in order to ensure that the data is not tampered with or duplicated (Wiek and Lang, 2016). Considering these aspects, the following measures are proposed.
The research involves the dependent and independent variables. The dependent variables of the study are proposed as lack of exercise and depression, while the independent variables of the study are proposed as the reasons that are causing these behaviours among immigrants in Melbourne.
The procedure of the research will follow a step by step process involving steps like developing survey questionnaires, contacting the participants and gaining ethical and informed voluntary consent for participation offline, serving them with the questionnaire and informing them about what they need to do, gathering the answered questionnaire, sorting the data, analysing the data mathematically, representing the data in the form of tables and graphs, forming discussions and developing conclusions. Following is the proposed procedure.
Figure 3: Research Procedure Steps
The researcher proposes to use survey questionnaires as research instruments. The questionnaires will have ten close-ended structured questions with multiple choice answers. For doing the data analysis frequency distribution method is proposed using google sheets or Microsoft excel software. For data representation, frequency tables and clustered graphs are proposed.
The most important part of the research is the ethical consideration which if not detailed and considered results in dooming the research and even invalidating it. With respect to research involving human participants belonging to a specific group the major ethical considerations include not harming the individuality, and dignity of the participants in any possible way, causing no physical, mental or psychological harm to the participants, gaining informed consent prior to participation, protecting the privacy of the participants, ensuring the data security through data protection act, maintaining the anonymity of the participants, avoiding deception or exaggerations, providing any misleading information to the participants or using any uncited information from outside sources during any stage of the research and lastly avoiding any bias (Quinlan et al. 2019). For this research being primary quantitative research, the above mentioned ethical aspects will be considered.
Since this is a proposal, the expected outcomes can be proposed in this part for providing a rough idea to the research council for approval. The research expects to establish a linear relationship between physical activity and depression in immigrants meaning that depression being the cause of loss of physical activity and loss of physical activity contributing to lack of endorphin production leading to more depression among immigrants. The research further expects to identify and detail the specific barriers to physical activity of immigrants, for instance, the regulatory constraints that can prohibit immigrants from joining exercise clubs, gym or participating in sports. Lastly, the research expects to present realistic solutions such as policy improvement or intervention programs to reduce down the depression of the international migrant in Melbourne. These outcomes will likely fulfil the research objectives. The research also expects to verify the research hypothesis through proving the research objectives that states "if the government intervenes and provides various facilities related to physical activities, and if proper budget is allocated to open physical activity centres to reduce depression, then the mental health of the immigrants can be improved, and depression can be reduced."
Most graduate and postgraduate level research involves some constraints. This research also includes three major constraints, namely budgetary constraint, time limitation and limitation to data access. The research is unfunded; thus, all expenses need to be bared by the researcher. Thus the research needs to be completed under as low budget as possible for which the researcher cannot access data from paid sites and sources for doing detail background research. Thus the research will rely only on databases accessible for free. Next, the research needs to be completed under a limited timeline of 4 weeks. Lastly, the research needs to conduct a study on 50 migrants and finding the data sources willing to participate could be difficult if not impossible. For this, the number of participants can be reduced during the final data presentation depending on the number of participants who participated willingly.
|Activities||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Doing background research|
|Finalising research aims, objectives, hypothesis and research questions|
|Developing survey questionnaires|
|Contacting the participants and gaining ethical and informed voluntary consent for participation offline|
|Serving them with the questionnaire|
|Debriefing the participants about the process|
|Gathering the answered questionnaire,|
|Sorting the data, analysing the data mathematically,|
|Representing the data in the form of tables and graphs,|
The researcher proposes to complete the study within 4 weeks duration, meaning the maximum length of the study would not be more than 30 days. This needs to avoid project overdue.