"Group Psychotherapy in Women With a History of Sexual Abuse: What Did They Find Helpful?" Article Critique
The problem of sexual violence is very acute in the United States. According to the statistics presented by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (2009), 1 out of 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Women with a history of sexual abuse are encouraged to take part in group psychotherapy, which is considered to be an effective tool to address their psychosocial wellbeing. In their article Group Psychotherapy in Women with a History of Sexual Abuse: What Did They Find Helpful? Sayin et al (2013) report on prospective cohort study conducted among forty-seven women with a history of childhood and/or adult sexual abuse. The present paper analyses the article in terms of research methodology, and concludes that it corresponds to the tasks assigned to the study, and triggers valuable insights into designing effective therapy in women with a history of sexual abuse.In order to validate the thesis, the paper approaches the feasibility of quantitative research and prospective cohort study as a data collection instrument to address the effects of group therapy in women with a history of sexual abuse.
Quantitative study, a type of research that explains phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods (Creswell, 1994) is associated with many advantages. The most evident advantages of quantitative research design are the possibility to cover larger sample and present numerical results that are considered to be more objective. Both advantages are evident in the study conducted by Sayin et al (2013). The researchers were able to collect a fairly large sample including forty-seven women with a history of childhood and/or adulthood sexual abuse who agreed to participate in 12-session group therapy. The sampling is representative, which allows making statements. The reliability of statements is further reinforced by numerical representation of data. It for example was possible to assert that group therapy was effective to address anxiety in women with a history of sexual abuse. The assertion was based on comparison between pre-therapy mean anxiety score (15.45) and post-therapy mean anxiety score (4.32).
Quantitative research involves a range of methods, and prospective cohort study best meets the fits the tasks assigned to the study. Experts at National Cancer Institute define this data collection tool as “A research study that follows over time of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristics…and compares them for a particular outcome.” Bookwala et al (2011) attribute the major advantage of prospective cohort study to its offering “the advantage of measuring outcomes in the real world without the ethical and logistical constraints faced by randomized control trials” (p. 291). In order to prove that the research of Sayin et al (2013) benefited from prospective cohort study, it is required to approach the process of data collection. The women who agreed to take …