Research paper on critical appraisal

Qualitative Study

Yeh, M. Y., Che, L. H. & Wu, S. M. (2009) An Ongoing Process: How Alcohol-Dependents Free Themselves of Addiction by Way of Progressive Abstinence. BioMed Central Psychiatry, 2009, 9: 76.

Problem Statement

Alcohol-dependence causes emotional and physical problems and has sweeping impacts on employment, family life, crime and violence. It leads to the disruption of family and society. Most of the individuals who are treated for alcoholism are not able to effectively quit alcohol within their treatment programs. By getting the full image of how abstinence is accomplished, then this can help in the process of quitting drinking. Therefore, this research tracks the abstinence processes in disorders of alcohol-dependency by using evidence and results, and also explores the recovery process from the alcohol-dependent’s viewpoint. When alcohol-dependents free themselves from drinking, they eliminate the effects of alcohol-dependence which include disruption of family and society, violence and crime.

Purpose and Research Questions

The purpose of this research is to investigate the recovery process from an alcohol-dependent’s viewpoint by tracking the abstinence processes in alcohol-dependency disorders on the basis of study evidence and results (Yeh et al., 2009). The study has the objective of studying the achievement of abstinence process in Taiwan in entirety so as to draw appropriate conclusions. Some of the questions the study is designed to answer include:
– How can behavioral characteristics be defined and explained from the alcohol-dependent’s viewpoint?
– What are the influencing determinants from the alcohol-dependent’s viewpoint?
– How is abstinence achieved?
– What might cause the process or effort towards abstinence to fail?
– What is the complete picture that describes the process of abandonment or achievement of abstinence?
– What are the factors that dictate if abstinence attempts are successful or not, and behavioral characteristics in instances which are successful?
These purpose and research questions are related to the problem since the results are aimed at assisting hospitals and the community health counselors as well as provide guidelines and reference points for treatment. They assist in understanding the abstinence processes in alcohol-dependent people. This research uses a qualitative design that has two stages. The first stage studies cases in which AA subjects have given up drinking successfully to understand the processes and experiences involved. The second stage studies AA subjects who have repeatedly undergone hospital treatment unsuccessfully so as to better understand the failure causes and the picture of abstinence struggle (Yeh et al., 2009). By using 32 interviewees, the qualitative method used succeeds in answering the research questions.

Literature Review

Conceptual / Theoretical Framework
The researcher does not identify a specific perspective. Instead, the study relies on a two stage qualitative design. These two stages are key in determining the study results and drawing the conclusions. The study manages to find that abstinence is an ongoing progress, and alcohol dependents progressively free themselves from addiction. It is a process which never results or ends in complete recovery. The three stages identified in the fight against alcoholism are indulgence, ambivalence and attempt. For this research, no conceptual framework has been built.


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Yeh, M. Y., Che, L. H. & Wu, S. M. (2009) An Ongoing Process: How Alcohol-Dependents Free Themselves of Addiction by Way of Progressive Abstinence. BioMed Central Psychiatry, 2009, 9: 76.