Assignments 2

Single Research: Advantages and Disadvantages Institute Single designs have been used since the dawn of research history and various research studies have been made to conclusion using this simple yet flexible design, thus mostly used in behavioral sciences due to its focus on behavior of the subject being tested under different circumstances. The paper will explore the definition as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the single-subject designs.Key words: research, single-subject research design, advantages, disadvantagesSingle-Subject Research: Advantages and Disadvantages Many researchers have used the single-subject design due to its advantage over other kinds of design and many studies have proven how effectively this design can be used. According to one source, the main advantage of the single-subject approach is its focus on controlling error variance, by focusing on the behavior of the individual subject, potential sources of error are identified and controlled (Francis, 2011, p. 387). Another source holds the design’s flexibility as an advantage and explains that the development of the research design is very dynamic and will depend on the subject’s response (Walker et al., 2005). Another advantage of the design is that it requires a relatively large period of observation giving the researcher more time to analyze and, thus, decreasing the chances of nuances in behavior that might be missed compared to short term designs (Francis, 2011, p. 387). Furthermore, from the design name itself, researchers can establish cause-and-effect relationship between treatment and behavior even by using a single subject only or lower sample size, thus, maximizing the time, cost and effort to conduct this kind of design (Walker et al., 2005). On the contrary, Janos cited that the limitations of the single-subject research design can be related to the generalization of the conclusions and the methodological and statistical assumptions that are typically needed for inferential statistical tests (2005, p. 550-551). Utilization of a single subject provides limited support for conclusions due to limited available data for inferential tests. This results to an increase in difficulty in terms of the evaluation of the validity of the assumptions which is the case for studies with small sample sizes. Reprove simply defined the design pitfall with its absence of statistical controls and reliance on visual inspection of data (2006, p. 20). Thus, the validity of the outcome can be questionable without supporting statistical data. Even with all these limitations though, effects on the studied subject can still be accurately and validly tested using a single-subject design (Janos 2005, p. 550-551). A valid sample of the single-subject design is if there is a change in compliance for old-aged patients on multiple drug therapy with the introduction of a new reminder system. Compliance to drug therapy is very important and at the same time difficult especially for old people having to take multiple kinds of medications that even personal caregivers tend to forget. Advantageously speaking, this single-subject research design would only have to cover few subjects for comparison to clearly define the effectiveness of a new reminder system. Also the time span to effectively record compliance can be measured in multiple ways by the use of the patient’s support system, recording and also clinical examinations (i.e. HgA1c determination for patients with oral hypoglycemic). The conduction of the study can be done in a shorter time of observation period compared to other designs and not to mention the considerable cost it can only take. On the other hand, the greater disadvantage of the study is related to the willingness of the subjects to undergo the procedure, the honesty in giving insights on the outcome and the probability of losing subjects over time considering the subject’s age and temperance with the study. Since the conduction is on a personal level compliance the result also vary per subject and the validity of the result does not really cover the totality of the senile population. ReferencesFrancis, A. (2011). EMBA research methods. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Janos J.E. (2005). Use of the single subject design for practice based primary care research. Post Grad Medical Journal, (81), 549-551.Walker B., Shippen M.E., Alberto P., Houchins, D.E. amp. Cihak, D.F. (2005). Using the Expressive Writing Program to Improve the Writing Skills of High School Students with Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 20(3), 175-183.