Research methodTo gain my secondary information I used such sources as the Internet, books and midwifery journals. My secondary information will consist of the benefits of breast-feeding for the mother and baby, the benefits of bottle-feeding for the mother and baby as well as statistics on breast-feeding. All information that I have gained for my secondary data is all reliable, because it has come from recommended sites, books and journals that have been approved from the Government or from hospitals and doctors themselves.There are many research methods used to gain information, but it is important to use the right one to ensure that you get the best results possible. One method that is used is experiment; this is where you play an active part in an experiment over a period of time. The advantages of this are that it is a powerful research method and that it establishes a cause and an effect and it can be replicated easily.

The disadvantages are that it can take a lot of time, it is difficult to find willing participants and there is a bigger risk of human error. I chose not to use this as my research method, because to do an experiment to would take anything from 2-6 months, which is time I do not have. It could also be classed as being intrusive watching a mother breast feed, which may be a big ethical problem, and because of that it will be hard to find willing participants.Another method of research is direct observation; this is where you are in a setting and you observe what is going on and you do not partake init. There are many good advantages to direct observing, such as, it enables you to see and hear everything that is going on, it can be easy to record, and you do not have a physical effect on the observation. The disadvantages are it can be very time consuming, your presence may have a physiological effect on the people/person being observed and you do not get reliable information. It is hard to get valid results because it is hard to replicate and different people may interrupt things differently to yourself.

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I did not chose this method because it would be hard and time consuming to get people’s permission to observe them this may be due to ethical issues surrounding my chosen topic. People may feel it is wrong to observe a mother breast-feeding her baby.Participant observation is another of the research methods used, this is where you actively are involved in the observation. The advantages are that it enables you to get an in-depth study, it enables understanding of person/persons behaviour and you are able to see, hear and be involved. The disadvantages are that it can be very time consuming, there is a possibility of you getting too involved and losing your objective and that your findings may not be generalised because you are only watching a selected few.

The main reason I did not chose this as my research method is, because I would not be allowed to be actively involved in a mother breast-feeding her child.A structured interview is where you interview a person and ask set questions to them. The advantages are it can be replicated easily with different people, because you have set questions, the questions can be explained and the answer can be recorded.

The disadvantages are the interviewees may lie, the answers can lack depth and the choice of answers can be limited. I chose not to do a structured interview because it is a small sample of answers and it is possible that my social characteristics may influence the interviewees’ answers. This is because I wish to prove my hypothesis I may have an some of my characteristics may show that, such as the way I speak or look at them when asking a question. This would leave my results as unreliable because I personal effected them. Another method of researching is an unstructured interview, which is where an interview is conducted on the topic area and it has no set questions. The advantages are the topic is explored in depth, you are able to explore people opinions and it is good for handling sensitive topics. The disadvantages are it can be difficult to compare answers, it is easy to get off the subject area and that the interviewee may lie.

I did not choose to do this method because it is very difficult to analyse answers, it can be very time consuming and it is difficult to record the answers.My chosen method of research is a questionnaire, to test my hypothesis. I chose a questionnaire because it can reach a large amount of people and it is reliable and easy to replicate.

Another reason is it can be easily changed into statistical data by using graphs and tables. An advantage is that the questionnaire can be anonymous, which is good, because my topic can be a sensitive topic for some people. Being able to stay anonymous may encourage more people to participate, because it means that their views and opinions can not be referenced back to them and they may feel more inclined to answer truthfully. Another benefit is that my questionnaire can be taken away to do in the participants own leisure time. This is a benefit because my targeted groups, mothers, are very busy people and being able to take the questionnaire away means they feel no pressure to feel it in quickly, hopefully leading to a bigger response rate and more truthful answers. The only disadvantages are that there may be a low response rate because of my topic area (Breast-feeding V bottle feeding); the women may feel some questions are too personal or they are not comfortable answering them due to beliefs and their own ethical morals.

I am ensuring that I do a pilot of my questionnaire to see what response rate I get, and to get feedback on any questions that people feel could be changed, adapted or taken out. By doing this I am ensuring that my questionnaire will be as successful as it can be. Another problem may be that my answers may lack depth. To over come this I have added many open questions on my questionnaire so that participants can answer exactly how they want to. It important to gain in-depth answers on my topic, because it is classed as a big issue that many people have strong beliefs and feelings about, and it is important for them to be included in the questionnaire.I have chosen to place my questionnaire in my local hospital, on the maternity ward where I am currently doing a work placement. I have asked the hospitals permission and the staff’s permission to do so.

I have agreed to show them the questionnaire before I hand it out, to ensure that it meets their standard and the questions I have asked do not disrespect them, the hospital or the participants in any way. The questionnaires will be handed out to mothers on the ward and a batch of questionnaires will be left on show at the entrance of the ward for people to pick up. A box will be left in the staff room where the finished questionnaires will be kept until I pick them up.

Hopefully by handing out questionnaires and leaving them for people to take I will get a big response rate and it will be very generalised. While conducting my research I will have to consider certain ethical issues, such as confidentiality. Every questionnaire will have a note highlighted on it explaining that every questionnaire that is filled in is kept completely confidential, hopefully by stating this fact it will reassure people to fill one in. I also have to be sensitive to people’s feelings and beliefs, and to ensure that I do not offend anyone.

I will have to show that I understand that my topic area can be a sensitive topic for people to talk about or read about, I can do this by not forcing people to do my questionnaire if they feel it is not something they want to participate in. It is important that I stay non-judgemental, as this may affect people’s answers or may affect the participation BibliographyAspects of reserach, S.D Smith, 2003, PecanHow to!, K.T Haper, 2000, Lonsdale


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