HBS108 – Task 2 Interpreting and Evaluating Health Evidence

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HBS108 -Interpreting and Evaluating Health Evidence

1,200 words, 30% of total assessment, due Friday 7 September by 5.00 PM (AEST)
This assignment draws on Topics 4, 5, 6 and 7. It requires you to access, understand, interpret and
report on findings from qualitative and quantitative research studies.
You are required to access and read the following resources and answer questions based on their
content:
Gopinath, B, Liew, G, Kifley, A, Flood, V, Joachim, N, Lewis, J, Hodgson, J & Mitchell, P
2018, ‘Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular
degeneration’, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 108, pp. 1–7.
Logan, T 2018, An orange a day keeps the macular degeneration away, early research
finds, media release, 18 July, ABC News South West WA, retrieved 18 July 2018,
<http://www.abc.net.au/news>.
Topics 4, 5, 6 and 7 (and especially the online tutorial activities and sessions associated with each
topic) will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to successfully complete this
assignment.
Important Note
The marks allocated for each question do not necessarily reflect the number of words required to
answer the question. For example, some questions worth 2 or 3 marks can be answered in a few
words, though others might require one or two sentences. If you are struggling to stay within the
word count it is recommended that, if it is possible to answer a question in a few words, you do so in
order to save words for those questions that require more text to answer. For brief answers, the
following format is acceptable: Q. 5 (i): Random sampling.
Using the skills you developed in Topic 2, locate the journal article referenced below. Read the
article carefully before answering Questions 1–9.
Gopinath, B, Liew, G, Kifley, A, Flood, V, Joachim, N, Lewis, J, Hodgson, J & Mitchell, P
2018, ‘Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular
degeneration’, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 108, pp. 1–7.
Q. 1.
(i) Identify the study design used in this study and briefly explain (in your own words) how this
specific study design was used to carry out this piece of research. (4 marks)
(ii) Identify the independent and dependent variable(s) in this study. You must be specific with
your answers to get full marks. (2 marks)
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(iii) Use paraphrasing to explain what the objective of this study was in your own words. For this
question you are expected to demonstrate a clear understanding of the objective/aim of the
study. (2 marks)
Q. 2.
The methods section of the study states:
“Dietary data were collected with the use of a 145-item self-administered food-frequency
questionnaire (FFQ)…Participants used a 9-category frequency scale to indicate the usual
frequency of consumption of individual food items during the past year,” (Gopinath et al.
2018, p. 2)
(iv) Describe two types of bias which could be at play given the above situation. (NOTE: You have
been introduced to two types of bias in this unit, however, you may have to use credible
sources such as reputable websites or textbooks to investigate other types of bias to inform
your answers to this question). (4 marks)
(v) Based on what we have learned about scales of measurement in this unit, name the scale of
measurement used by implementing a ‘9-category frequency scale’ and briefly justify your
answer. (2 marks)
Q. 3.
(i) “In exploratory analyses, we assessed associations with the prevalence and 15-y incidence of
AMD, which were the primary endpoints,” (Gopinath et al. 2018, p.3).
Using credible sources such as reputable websites or textbooks investigate the meaning of
the terms ‘incidence’ and ‘prevalence’ in the context of health research and explain what
they mean in relation to this study regarding AMD. (4 marks)
(ii) In the statistical analysis section of the paper the authors describe how they controlled for a
number of confounding factors. Name three of the factors the factors they controlled for in
this study. (3 marks)
(iii) Select one of the factors you identified for Q. 3 (ii) above and using the triangle model
(which is explained in the unit content) describe how the factor you selected meets the
three criteria for a potential confounding factor with respect to this AMD related study. You
should provide a simple triangle model which is appropriately labelled and use this as an aid
to explain the how the chosen factor meets the three criteria to be a potential confounding
factor. (6 marks)
‘Table 2: Associations between flavonoid intake and the prevalence of AMD in the Blue Mountains
Eye Study’ (Gopinath et al. 2018, p.4) shows the association between levels of intake of flavonoids
and the prevalence of AMD. Participants in the highest quartile had the highest intake of total
flavonoids compared with those in the lowest quartile who had the lowest intake of flavonoids. Odds
ratios and confidence intervals are the key statistics used to present the data in this table. The first
quartile for each flavonoid group is used as the reference or baseline data and this has an odds ratio
of 1, this represents a standard or baseline level of risk of AMD. Please study the table carefully
before answering the following questions.
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Q. 4.
(i) Based on the data regarding ‘All flavonoids’ in the ‘Any AMD’ column, identify the odds
ratios for each of the second, third and fourth quartiles. (3 marks)
(ii) Based on what you have learned about odds ratios in HBS108, clearly explain in your own
words what these three odds ratio values [from Q. 4 (i)] tell us about the prevalence of AMD
and ‘All flavonoids’ consumption in the study participants. (3 marks)
(iii) Based on the confidence intervals (CIs) attached to each of the three odds ratios respectively
[from Q. 4 (i)] are these particular study findings considered statistically significant? Use
what you have learned about statistical significance and CIs in this unit to explain how you
interpreted the CIs. The relevant CIs must be stated in your response to this question.
(5 marks)
(iv) Write a statement explaining what statistical significance means in the context of AMD
prevalence and ‘All flavonoids’ consumption in this study. (3 marks)
Q. 5.
(i) Based on the data regarding ‘Total flavanones’ in the ‘Any AMD’ column identify the odds
ratio which relates to the fourth quartile and explain what this odds ratio tells us in the
context of these study findings. (3 marks)
(ii) Based on the data regarding ‘Total flavanones’ in the ‘Any AMD’ column identify the CI
associated with the odds ratio of the fourth quartile and explain what this CI tells us in the
context of these study findings. (3 marks)
Q. 6.
“Our study suggests that the consumption of oranges (a key contributor to total flavanones) is
inversely and independently associated with both the prevalence and incidence of late AMD,”
(Gopinath et al. 2018, p.5). Explain in detail what is meant by the phrase “inversely associated”
within the context of this specific statement about oranges and AMD. (4 marks)
Q. 7.
The following article was written in light of the findings of the study by Gopinath et al. (2018):
Logan, T 2018, An orange a day keeps the macular degeneration away, early research
finds, media release, 18 July, ABC News South West WA, retrieved 18 July 2018,
<http://www.abc.net.au/news>.
Discuss in detail the accuracy of the title of the above media release in relation to the findings of the
research study by Gopinath et al. (2018). NOTE: You should use this question as an opportunity to
demonstrate your understanding of the skills and concepts taught in HBS108. It is essential that you
support your answers by backing them up with specific pieces of evidence from the results and
discussion sections of the research study. At least three and distinct well explained reasons must be
provided as a rationale for this answer. (9 marks)
Q. 8.
Apply the Bradford-Hill test to identify if causation could be a possibility based on this study
between dietary flavonoids and AMD. For this question you should provide a very detailed response
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to each of the criteria/questions of the Bradford-Hill test using specific information from the study to
support each of your responses. (20 marks)
Q. 9.
Using your responses to questions 7 and 8 to inform detailed answers for the following set of
questions:
(i) Propose a suitable study design for future research into dietary flavonoids and AMD.
(1 mark)
(ii) Explain, with specific details, how your proposed study [from Q. 9 (i)] could make a valuable
contribution or advancement to the existing body of evidence on dietary flavonoids and
AMD. Your answer should be backed up with reference to your responses to Q. 7 & 8.
(4 marks)
(iii) Explain any practical or ethical challenges researchers would have to consider when carrying
out the research study you suggested for Q. 9 (i). (5 marks)
Note: 10 marks will be awarded for writing, grammar, presentation and referencing
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How to structure your assignment
This assignment should take the form of a structured report (i.e. a question/answer format) rather
than an “essay” and should be approached with a formal scientific writing style (i.e. full sentence
structure). Please note you are not expected to re-write the questions in your assignment as this
would be an unwise use of your word count. Please use appropriate section and question numbers
to label your answers clearly.
Assignment Title – Top of the first page (please do not submit a cover page)
Student name & ID – Either as a footer OR under the assignment title
COMPULSORY: Label all responses to questions with the appropriate question number
Font – 12 point, Times New Roman
Line Spacing – 2
Margins – Normal
Borders – None
Use of references
Include all references cited in your assignment (including those that you are instructed to locate and
use) in a reference list at the end of the assignment, using the Deakin-Harvard (i.e. author-date)
referencing style. If you refer to any additional data not included in these sources, you must
reference these additional sources of data too. Remember that, as covered in Topic 2, references are
not restricted to academic journals, and can include books and reports from reputable websites.
Information about the Deakin-Harvard referencing style is available here:
http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/study-support/referencing/harvard
Word limit
The word limit for the assignment is 1,200 words (excluding the reference list but including in-text
citations and headings). You are permitted a 10% margin over the word limit, but words over 1,320
will not be assessed. This is done to ensure equity among students—it is unfair if students who
exceed the word limit get higher grades (due to including extra material over the word count) than
students who comply with the limit. Also, concise writing that states the key points without being
unnecessarily verbose is an important report-writing skill that you can demonstrate in your
assignment!
Using the TurnItIn Originality check and Assignment Submission
Before submitting your assignment you should check the originality of your work (excluding the
abstracts as these will impact on your TurnItIn score) by using TurnItIn. In Week 4 there was a
PowerPoint presentation shown during your HBS108 lecture that covered this process. You should
ensure that your answers to the assignment questions are written in your own words. It is NOT
acceptable in this assignment to answer questions using ‘blocks’ of text taken from the references
provided (though the occasional word or technical term is acceptable). Your lecturer will also show
you how to submit your assignment online via Moodle.
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Reference List
Gopinath, B, Liew, G, Kifley, A, Flood, V, Joachim, N, Lewis, J, Hodgson, J & Mitchell, P 2018, ‘Dietary
flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration’, The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 108, pp. 1–7.