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.
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