Policy Analysis On Strategies To Improve Mental Health Of Middle Aged Women Assessment 3 Answer

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Question :

Subject Code and TitlePUBH6008: Capstone A: Applied Research Project in Public Health
AssessmentAssessment 3: Research proposal
Individual/GroupGroup (groups of 3-6 students)
Length2,000 words
Learning OutcomesThis assessment addresses the following learning outcomes:

  1. Integrate and apply their knowledge and skills in public health
  2. Develop research skills and apply these to a public health issue
  3. Conduct a small literature review which critically analyses key issues on a public health research topic
  4. Define and justify a research question, based on the literature/public health issue, and outline its significance
7. Understand the principles of ethics and apply these to a research proposal


By the end of Module 6, students will submit their full research proposal. This must include:

  • Introductory background including a statement of the public health problem
  • A background literature review
  • Aims of your research, including the research question or hypothesis
  • A rationale/justification of your research question or hypothesis indicating the significance of the project (research merit)
  • Research design, methodology and methods
  • A description of the type of data being gathered and from which sources.
  • Justification of your study design, including your methodology, methods of sampling and data collection methods
  • How you plan to analyse the research
  • Any relevant ethical considerations
  • How you plan to communicate and disseminate the research
  • A list of references used
  • Your GANTT chart describing the tasks and time-frames for your project

Students will also receive marks for regular guidance meetings with their facilitator throughout the trimester.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Clarity of research problem and rationale provided for its significance (15%)
  • Critical and comprehensive review of the literature (15%)
  • Justification of research design and methods, including ethical considerations (30%)
  • Logical and clear program plan using the GANTT chart method (10%)
  • Regular communication with and attendance at meetings with facilitator (10%)
  • General assessment criteria (20%):
    • Provides a lucid introduction
    • Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues
    • Shows ability to interpret relevant information and literature in relation to chosen topic
    • Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts
    • Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings
    • Justifies any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments and not merely assertions
    • Provides a conclusion or summary
    • Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar:
      • Complies with academic standards of legibility, referencing and bibliographical details (including reference list)
      • Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction
      • Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research
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Answer :

Applied research project in public health


Assessment 3: Research Proposal


The study put stress on analysing policies regarding strategies for enhancing middle-aged women’s mental health and identifying the determinants of women’s mental health. Hypertension, anxiety, depression, osteoarthritis, asthma and hyperlipidaemia are the most common chronic health issues in Australians (Plaut, 2018). Women of middle-aged in the country are affected by mental disorders that lead to disability and the maximum problem of non-fatal illness. 3.5 million women who represent 43% of all Australian women have experienced mental disease at some point in time. Australian women tend to experience more signs of mental disorder comparing to men in the last year (22% women comparing to 18% men). The mental health conditions that women are facing in Australia include anxiety disorders, affective disorders like depression, eating disorder, deliberate self-harm, perinatal depression and multimorbid physical condition (VU, 2019). Thus, women are experiencing psychological illness more to men that demands the implementation of a comprehensive approach and strategies for addressing the public health issue immediately.  

Literature review

Women and mental health

Mental health is considered as one of the National Health priorities of Australia. The World Health Organisation has recognised depression as the second most significant reason for disability attuned life years gone globally. The consequence of depression and other types of mental health issues is high in social, personal, economic and healthcare terms. Although the number of young people suffering from poor mental health is higher comparing to middle-aged women, however, the percentage of middle-aged women suffering from psychological issues is significant as well that needs an immediate response of the policymakers (White et al. 2019). According to Rosellini et al. (2017), gender is an essential factor in mental illness and mental health. The pattern of psychiatric disorder and psychological suffering are distinctive from that in men. Women have a higher mean level of adopting disorders, while men have expressing disorders. Gender differences take place precisely in the rates of public mental illness in which women lead.

Determinants of women mental health

Levula, Wilson & Harré (2016) has highlighted gender inequalities a significant factor in mental health. Mental illnesses related to the substantial burden of disability and mobility. Lifetime occurrence rates for any psychiatric disorder are higher and increasing in current cronies and affect almost half the population. The movement linked to psychological distress has obtained significantly more consideration compared to the gender-specific determinants and instruments that encourage and guard mental health and enhance flexibility to stress and difficulty. 

Gender decides the different control and power women and men have on the socioeconomic factors of their lives and psychological health, their social status, and treatment in the community and their vulnerability and revelation to mental health problems. Gender differences take place precisely in the rates of common mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and some grievances. This illnesses in which women lead affect around 1 in 3 people within the society and establish a severe public health issue. Unipolar depression estimated to be the 2nd major determinant of worldwide disability burden by 2020, is double as healthy in women. Depression is not just the mostly occurred mental health issue in women but can be more stubborn in women comparing to men (WHO, 2019). 

In the words of Compton & Shim (2015), social determinants differ around the life and affect people at various gender, stages ages in specific ways. Social inequalities are an influential factor that determines the mental health of women. For example, women are susceptible to the high occurrence of sexual violence and post-traumatic stress disorder. It condenses women the most top single group of individuals affected by the illness. 

Strategies to improve women’s mental health

For improving the mental health of women, mental health organisations need partnering with other organisations and need involving psychiatrists from different parts of the world for addressing modern challenges. The expert knowledge of the psychiatrists is essential for encouraging good health and providing comprehensive health care (Rovito et al. 2017). 

Research aim and research questions

The research aims to analyse the polices on strategies to promote the mental health of middle-aged women and identify the factors that determine women's mental health.

The questions derived from the research aim include:

  • What is mental health?
  • What are the factors behind the poor mental health of women in Australia?
  • What are the strategies of promoting the mental health of middle-aged women of Australia?
  • What are the determinants of women’s mental health in Australia? 

The rationale of the research

Evidence reveals that specific psychological illness is more predominant in women. Hence, most of the users of mental health service are women, and they would like a wide variety of treatment opportunities than are present recently. It is an acknowledged fact that the mental health requirements of women are profoundly different from that of men and hence need various responses. Up to now, the perceptions from indication have typically not been interpreted into typical health practices or policies. Lack of acknowledgement of gender at the policy level and in the offering of health services is equal to avoiding essential factors in both the progression and development of illness and in developing defensive and active interferences, diagnoses and treatments. It has severe suggestions for the health of the country, paying to the sub-optimal result of mental health action for women, nevertheless rising investment in services of all types in current years (VU, 2019). As middle-aged women are suffering more from mental illness due to social and demographic factors, the topic is selected here for carrying out the policy analysis of the strategies that are implemented for dealing with the public health issue. After recognising the factors determine the mental health of women, the effectiveness of the approach can be analysed, and a more sustainable plan can be developed further. Thus, the significance of the research lies in examining the extent to which the policies regarding women's mental health are impactful.

Research design and methodology

Research philosophy refers to the belief about the process of collecting, analysing and using data. Among positivism, interpretivism and realism, interpretivism will be selected for this research. According to Padilla-Díaz (2015), interpretivism resists that by subjective interpretation of and interference can that truth be understood entirely. The study of occurrence in their actual environment is central to the interpretivism philosophy accompanied by the appreciation that scientists cannot evade affecting those incidents they study. 


Therefore, the research will apply the interpretivism philosophy, as it allows the researcher to conduct a deeper level of analysis on the research topic. Thus, using the philosophy, the researcher can carry out an in-depth study of the factors determining the mental health of middle-aged women and the effectiveness of the strategies for improving the mental health of women in Australia. Hence, a more reliable research outcome can be expected.

As commented by Alase (2017), the research approach refers to plan and process comprising of steps of broad assumptions to the detailed process of data gathering, analysis and explanation. Among the deductive and inductive approach, the researcher will apply the inducive approach here. The inductive approach begins with the opinion and theories suggested at the end of the research as an outcome of the observation.


Hence, by using the inductive approach, the researcher can observe the patterns and find out the similarities and regularities in the observed data for concluding. The inductive approach will allow the researcher to evaluate the collected secondary data on women’s mental health in Australia for recognising the resemblances in different sources so that an ultimate opinion can be developed regarding the effectiveness of the strategies to promote women's mental health in the nation. It will help in identifying the gaps in the strategy through policy analysis.

In the words of Jahn et al. (2018), the research design is an outline of techniques and methods selected for logically integrating different elements of research, so that the research problem can be solved efficiently. Among different types of research designs, the explanatory design seems to be fit with the current research requirement. In the explanatory design, the thoughts and ideas of the researcher are essential as it mainly relies on their predisposition about a specific topic. 


The explanatory research design is selected, as it will help the researcher offering a greater insight into the women’s mental health, strategies to improve mental health and the factors influence mental health. By applying the explanatory design, the researcher can have a new insight into the mental health issues faced by Australian women. For analysing the effectiveness of the strategies, the researcher needs to consider different related factors that the explanatory design will facilitate. 

The description of data type and sources

Considering the convenience and need of the researcher, it is decided to collect and analyse secondary data only. The secondary data will be collected from different government websites and journals. The government websites are reliable sources that ensure the authenticity of the collected data. Rothwell et al. (2019) stated that it is time-effective to use secondary data. Moreover, as the data is already used in prior researches, it facilitates further research in the same area. 

Hence, the researcher will collect secondary data on women's mental health and develop a theme for analysis and interpretation.

Data collection method 

Secondary data on the mental health of women will be collected from the websites and journals for having a better insight and understanding of the subject area. The coding technique will be used for defining the data. As stated by Stuckey (2015), coding refers to the method of recognising a space in the data items, seeking and identifying concepts and identifying links between them. 

From the data, the researcher will identify various keywords based on which theme will be developed and analysed. 

Plan for analysing the research

As mentioned before, the coding method will be used for analysing the collected data. First, different preliminary themes will be developed. It is a structural process, according to which the data analysis will be conducted. Therefore, a coding structure will be prepared after analysing different academic journals and websites related to women's mental health and its determinants. The focus will be on Australia, and no software will be used for the purpose of coding. The coding is based on the aim of the research, and hence, the themes are developed accordingly, such as sexual abuse, gender inequality, social inequality, community development, and so forth.

Ethical consideration

As stated by Roberts (2015), using secondary data is an extremely ethical practice. It improves the worth of any investment in gathering data and ensures the replicability of the research findings.

Therefore, in the current research, the researcher will de-identify the data and consent of research subjects can be reputed reasonably. The researcher will ensure that the data are collected from authentic sources and are not manipulated. 

Plan for communication and disseminating the research

After completing the research proposal and obtaining approval from the tutor, the main research project will be developed and submitted to the university. Then based on the university decision, the final research project will be published and disseminated in the university website that can be accessible by the readers. 

Gantt chart

1st-3rd week
4th-6th week
7th-9th week
10th-12th week
13th-15th week
16th-18th week 
19th-21st week
Topic selection

Literature review

Selection of research methods

Collection of secondary data

Coding and developing the theme

Carrying out analysis

Result interpretation 

Final report 


Table 1: Gantt chart 

(Source: Self-developed)

For conducting the research within a specific time and completing it correctly, a time-table is developed. The Gantt chart will help to trace the progress in the research work and will help to complete all the tasks serially within the decided timeframe, which is necessary for the successful completion of the study. After selecting the research topic, the researcher has conducted a literature review for gaining an in-depth understanding on women’s mental health. Next, the research methods are selected, and justifications are provided. Next, the researcher will collect the data and analyse them using coding technique. Further, the research result will be interpreted and presented in a logical manner.