Authors Names, Credentials and Affiliation
Josely Pinto de Moura is a Brazilian medical doctor and a professor at the University of São Paulo. She has been teaching at several other universities in the country. She is an accomplished author and has worked with other medical scholars to publish over 8 scholarly articles. She is specialized in sexually transmitted diseases. Alex Sandro Antonio Silva Ferreira is a medical doctor and a professor affiliated with Federal University of Pernambuco, often known as UFPE in Brazil. He is also an accomplished author of medical journals on reproductive health and sexually transmitted diseases.
Why the Study Was Chosen and its Aim
The article was chosen for this study because of a number of factors. One of the main reasons why it was considered appropriate is the relevance of the topic in the article. HIV remains a major problem not only in Brazil but also in South American nations and the rest of the world. Syphilis and hepatitis are also major sexually transmitted diseases which have affected a significant number of people in the region. The depth of investigation that the authors conducted also made their article relevant for this research. The aim of their article was to identify the seroprevalence of syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B and C in the care of patients in the Itinerant TCC of the Ambulatory Clinical Teaching Unit. They succeeded in determining the prevalence of the diseases among the targeted population at the facility that participated in the research. They were also able to explain the severity of the problem in the facility.
Sample Size and Description
In this quantitative, descriptive, retrospective research, the authors relied on data that was already available at ACTU database. The authors did not involve human participants in the study. Instead, it relied on information that the healthcare facility had collected from its patients for a period of two year. They obtained a registration of 1125 users of the Itinerant TCC service. The size of the sample used was considered large enough to provide a clear picture of what was under investigation and to give an effective representation of the entire population. At the same time, it was small enough for the researcher to process the data presented and draw a conclusion from it given the fact that data was already available at the database of the participating institution.
Instruments Used in the Study
In this study, the researchers did not collect primary data from a sample of respondents. Information used in the article was primarily obtained from the TCC Itinerant database that had been stored from 2017 to 2019. It meant that using an instruments such as a questionnaire to collect data was unnecessary. Secondary data was obtained from books and scholarly journal articles available in various databases. To facilitate their analysis, it is evident that the authors used Excel spreadsheet to compute and process their data. The outcome of their analysis was presented in form of tables to make it easy for the readers to understand the statistics about the prevalence of the selected sexually transmitted diseases.
Protection of Participants
Protection of human participants is often one of the major ethical requirements in every study. Participants need to be protected from humiliation or direct attack by those who may have contrary opinion to their views. In this study, the authors relied on secondary data that was already available at the institution’s database. However, the information presented contained personal details of the patients such as their names, address, places of work, members of the immediate family, and other sensitive information that could easily help in identifying them. It was necessary to ensure that such sensitive data is protected and remains inaccessible. As such, the researchers did not use any personal detail of patients whose data formed the basis of the study.
How Data Was Collected
The researchers noted that the area of the study that focused on sexually transmitted diseases is a sensitive topic and many people would not want to be part of it. As such, they decided that the most effective way of collecting the sensitive data was to rely on an already existing database at a local referral hospital. They were able to obtain consent from the authorities at the facility and were then granted access to the database. They obtained information about the soroprevalence of syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis among 1125 subjects treated at the facility within a period of two years. The information obtained from the database was supported by data from secondary sources. Secondary data was obtained from books and scholarly journals.
Tables in the Article
The results from the analysis were presented in tables. Table 1 used use to show the prevalence of HIV in the database of the participating facility. Table 3 showed incidences of positive outcome for hepatitis C while table 4 indicated prevalence of syphilis. The last table indicated the incidence of positive results in the itinerant TCC of the ACTU. The outcome show that syphilis is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country, affecting 63 out of the 1125 participants or 5.6% of the population. HIV is the least prevalent STD among the three tested, affecting only 5 out of the 1125 people tested or 0.44% of the entire population. The study showed that of the 1125 people sampled, 79 of them had at least one of the STDs under study.
How Data Was Analyzed
In this quantitative, descriptive, retrospective study, data obtained from the ACTU database was analyzed statistically. The researcher obtained the information and then fed the data into Excel spreadsheet. Given the fact that the focus of the study was to determine the prevalence of the disease, the analysis focused on determining the modal values. It involves identifying the number of those who tested positive for each of the sexually transmitted diseases that were studied. The outcome of the analysis was presented in tables. Each of the diseases had a table that showed the number of those who were tested and those who had each of the diseases every month from January to December.
One of the diseases that the research focused on was HIV. As shown in Table 1 above, cases of HIV infections is significantly uncommon in Brazil. From January to May, only one case of the disease had been reported. The number increased to three in June after more tests were done. Two more cases were reported in the month of August when a large sample of 228 patients was analyzed. From the month of September to December, there were no more incidences of the disease. Of the 1125 patients who visited the facility that year, only 1125 tested positive of the disease, which represents 0.44% of the total population (Moura & Ferreira, 2019). It means that the country is making a good progress in fighting the spread of the virus.
Hepatitis C is a common problem among drug addicts who share needles. The researchers were interested in determining the prevalence of this problem among the sampled population. Just like HIV, hepatitis C’s prevalence is significantly low in the country. From January to June, none of the tested patients had the disease. Two tested positive of the disease in July, another 4 in August because of the large sample size, and one more was recorded in November. The total number of those who tested positive of the virus was 7 out of the 1125 people or 0.62% of the entire population (Moura & Ferreira, 2019). It is an indication that the country is making a good progress in its effort to eradicate this disease.
Syphilis was the third virus whose prevalence the researchers were interested in determining. Of the three diseases, it was the most common problem among those who were tested at the facility. As shown in Table 4 above, whenever a sample of patients were tested, irrespective of the size of the sample, there was at least 1 positive case. Out of the total population of 1125 participants, 63 of them or 5.6% of the total population tested positive for the virus (Moura & Ferreira, 2019). The months of November and October recorded the highest incidences at 8.88% and 8.24% respectively. The research findings show that syphilis remains a major problem among adults who are sexually active in the country.
Using Results in Nursing Practice
Information obtained from this article is essential in nursing practice. The results helps in understanding the prevalence of each of the diseases in the country. It s clear that syphilis is a common sexually transmitted disease. As a nurse, one has to be ready to handle many patients who suffer from such complications. Some of these patients may not be willing to get tested for any of these conditions because of the stigma associated with them. A nurse should know how to help such patients and convince them of the benefits of being tested. They should know that the outcome of their tests will remain confidential. The results also shows how nurses can share critical data about prevalence of specific diseases in the community.
Weaknesses of the Study
It is important to note that the article has some weaknesses worth discussing at this stage. One of the issues is that there is no detailed explanation about authors qualifications, credentials, and institutional affiliation. It makes it difficult for a reader to determine the authority of the authors to make such reports. It is also evident that there is a limited explanation about the institution from which data was obtained. It would have been appropriate for the researcher to explain the specific department responsible for the collection of the data, the goal, and how data was collected. Although the authors made an effort to eliminate grammatical a structural errors in the paper, the numbering of their tables had a mistake. From Table 1, they went to Table 3, and there is no Table 2 anywhere else in the paper.
Overall Opinion of the Study
Sexually transmitted diseases still pose a major concern in the health sector in Brazil and around the world. Barrow et al. (202) explains that the topic remains sensitive and many people tend to avoid it because of cultural issues and stigma. However, the researchers did a good job and were able to collect information that shows the prevalence of each of the three diseases in the country. Their study shows that although the country is making a good progress to fight HIV and hepatitis C, syphilis remains to be a major concern, especially among the sexually active adults. In their study, the scholars remained objective and did not allow their personal opinions to influence the outcome of their investigation. Although the article has a few weaknesses, as discussed in the previous slide, it is an informative document that can be helpful to nursing practitioners.
Barrow, R., Ahmed, F., Bolan, G., & Workowski, K. (2020). Recommendations for providing quality sexually transmitted diseases clinical services, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68(5), 1-20.
Moura, J., & Ferreira, A. (2019). Soroprevalence in itinerant tests for syphilis, HIV and hepatitis. Journal of Nursing Federal University of Pernambuco Online, 13(1), 1-10. Web.