Dissertation Writers: The reporting of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa



ABC/123 Version X


Dissertation Writers: The reporting of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Questions to Prompt Critical Thinking

HCS/465 Version 5


Week Three Learning Team Assignment

Questions to Prompt Critical Thinking


1. Define the problem.

a. What is the problem identified in your chosen article?

Example: The Ebola outbreak and its prevalence in West African nations.

b. Why is it a problem?

Example: Ebola is a disease that is contracted from… Its symptoms are… (x)

amount of people die each year… This is a problem because…

c. What is the problem that the article or study is trying to resolve?

Example: Ebola has spread among the West African people because of… This research

seeks to identify solutions that will prevent it from spreading among the African people.

d. Why is the problem important for health care administrators to study?

The research article may not identify a specific reason the research is important to health

care administrators. That is okay. Write about why a health care administrator would want to

study this topic. How could knowledge of this topic help you as a health care administrator?

Example: As an assistant manager of a nursing home, I know that many of the residents

have watched the news reports on the Ebola outbreak in Africa and its potential outbreak in

the United States. Since I know little about the disease and knowing the concern that the

reporting of this disease has brought on the residents of the nursing home, I felt that it was

my responsibility to know more about the disease and how to prevent its spread. Providing

the residents with this knowledge can go a long way toward calming their fears and

enabling them and their caregivers to take measures to prevent any outbreak.

2. Identify the purpose.

a. What is the purpose of the study?

b. What is the author trying to accomplish in this paper?

If the answers to these questions are not expressly stated in the article, consider its entirety

and then write what you think the answers are.

Example: The purpose of the study was to create awareness of the Ebola outbreak, to provide statistical data to give an accurate account of the scope of the outbreak, and to identify known methods to minimize exposure, recognize symptoms, and prevent outbreaks.

3. Identify the hypothesis or research question.

a. Was a hypothesis or research questions given in the article? If so what? If not, why?

b. Was the initial hypothesis confirmed or the initial research questions answered or was it disproved by the research?

Example: The initial hypothesis made by the author stated that “though Ebola is unfamiliar to

most people, it is familiar to the medical community and measures have been established to

prevent exposure and treatments to support patients.” The research provided by the author

identifies clearly the origin of the disease and how it is contracted and spread among people.

The research explains in depth the living conditions that exist in the West African nations and

why the disease is so prevalent. It further identifies and explains existing research conducted

by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that confirms the medical

community’s awareness of the disease and established protocol to prevent it. The evidence

provided by the author leads me to believe that the initial hypothesis is valid.

4. Study the variables.

a. What are the independent and dependent study variables?

Independent variables represent ‘inputs’ and can have any value. Dependent variables

represent ‘outputs’ or ‘effects.’

Example: The study collected data that observed changes in the number of people becoming

infected by the Ebola virus by varying amounts of education/awareness being facilitated by

the American Red Cross. The amount of attention given by the American Red Cross is an

independent variable while the number of people who were or were not infected after public

awareness efforts is a dependent variable.


a. Was the research qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods? Why and why not?

b. How was the data collected?

c. What populations or samples were studied?

d. How were the populations or samples selected?

e. How long did the study take?

f. What type of statistical analysis was used?

Example: The research used by the author was qualitative data taken from data collected by

the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The data was collected over a five-year

period with help from six West African governments. The data tracked 100 residents from

each country and monitored the spread of the disease among the citizens. His analysis of the

data was not applied directly rather it is used to infer that his original hypothesis is correct.


a. Is the research article valid?

b. Is the data used dependable?

c. Is the research article relevant?

d. Why should people know about this research?

e. How could you as a health care administrator use the information within this article?

Example: The reporting of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa caused panic among world

citizens, but also brought awareness of its cause and measure that can be taken to prevent

its spread. The research conducted by the author… As a health care administrator, I can use

the information within this

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