January 25, 2009



1.0  Title

The working title of the research is initially drafted as – Diabetes Treatment in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK. West Yorkshire is a metropolitan country in the United Kingdom (UK). It is divided into five local government districts including the Cardeldale and Kirklees and the Cities of Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford. This research will consider the City of Bradford as the location. Bradford has a total population of 493, 100. The case that will be addressed is diabetes treatment in the district. Diabetes is a syndrome of disordered metabolism causing hyperglycemia in patients.  

2.0  Overview

Diabetes is increasingly becoming a primary health challenge in the UK. According to Diabetes UK, there are over 2 million people who are diagnosed with diabetes while there are estimated 750, 000 who are affected but are not yet aware of the condition as well. In the Yorkshire, particularly there are 200, 000 people diagnosed and 55, 000 who have the condition but are not yet diagnosed; in West Yorkshire, 53% of the population was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996.  Previous studies indicate that the prevalence of diabetes in Bradford is concentrated in children and Asian dwellers (Feltbower et al 2003; Gorman et al 2004). However, in August 2008, Diabetes UK revealed that more than one in nine deaths among 20 to 79-year-olds in the region is attributed to diabetes mellitus. The Bradford region was revealed to have the highest percentage of diabetes-related deaths wherein 13.22% of the death toll belongs to the age group mentioned. As such, diabetes was perceived to be a significant contributor in mortality and morbidity in Bradford district. True enough, diabetes can be fatal in a number of ways as it could cause several complications that might affect the functionality of an affected individual. Lomax (2008) maintains that the data shows that adults under 80 years old with diabetes are more likely to die compared to the people without diabetes. Diabetic women are at a greater risk of death compared to that of the males.

3.0  Statement of the Problem

The problem that will be addressed in this research is how diabetes is being managed in Bradford. In essence, how local clinics maintain the quality of life of the diabetic patients will be addressed. In lieu with this, the following specific questions will be addressed.

1)     How people are diagnosed with diabetes? What are the activities of local Bradford government and health institutions in determining who among the population are affected by diabetes?

2)     For the people diagnosed with diabetes, how diabetic patients are treated? What are the primary treatment activities available in Bradford?

3)     How does the local government ensure prompt access to treatment and support?

4)     How diabetic patients are provided with continuing care and support?

4.0  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this research is to find out what is the best treatment for diabetes for people living in Bradford district more particularly. To accomplish such aim, the following specific research objectives will be dealt with.

§         To analyse the diabetic management plan through evaluating the available treatment for the diabetic patients

§         To evaluate the access and support schemes to treatment among the diabetic community

§         To explore the nature and dynamics of treatments available for diabetic patients

§         To investigate the role of Bradford local government and local health facilities 

5.0  Research Plan

Interpretivism is the necessary research philosophy for this study because it allows searching the 'details of the situation to understand the reality or perhaps a reality working behind them'. The research strategy to be used is exploratory research because it aims to know more about the phenomenon of diabetes in Bradford district. Exploratory research will enable the study to look at the problem in both descriptive and exploratory manner. This approach is a preferred mean of finding out "what is happening to seek new insights" or "to ask questions or to assess phenomena in a new light." This study will use the principal ways of conducting exploratory research, which include: literature search; talking to experts about the subject and conducting interview (Saunders et al 2003).

My research will operate within the cross-sectional design, as I will be collecting data on more than one case, using semi-structured interviews, structured observation, and document analysis. The benefit of this would be that Ì would be able to focus on the breath and depth of the research. Moreover, by exploring the breath of the topic, I am increasing my validity and the truthfulness of my research, and thereby minimize the confounding variables. Survey method will be most plausible for this research. One of its purpose is to describe, e.g., to count the frequency of some event or to assess the distribution of some variables such as proportion of the population of different age groups, sex, religion, castes and languages, knowledge, attitude and adaption of practices about particular issues, and other information of similar nature about the population (Commonwealth of Learning, 2000).

A semi-structured questionnaire will be developed and it will be used as the survey tool for the study. Accordingly, semi-structured interviews provide the researcher the opportunity to 'probe' answers, which can be done in instances where there is a need or want for the interviewees to explain further or build on their responses. I aim to use questionnaire in the local diabetic clinic based, which is based in the local hospital to carry out this research. I will look at all genders and ethnic groups. Age range will be 18 to 65 years. A semi-structured questionnaire will be used for this study.

6.0  Ethical Considerations

The project will abide by the regulations outlined in the University's Ethical Approval Process which identifies ethics procedure policies and principles. This means that ethics approval will be sought for all questionnaires and interview questions. For this research, I will complete the ethics checklist and, as the nature of my research does not answer "yes" to any seven of the questions in the checklist, I will sign the form and give it to my supervisor.

The research will include primary data, but it will not include any personal information on individuals, so Data Protection Act does not apply for this situation. The respondents of the survey will be able to choose whether to identify them or stay anonymous. Before sending out the questionnaires and doing interviews, I will check them with my supervisor. Participation consent forms and interview consent forms will be also accomplished. The vulnerability of participants will be ensure and protected through conforming to the ethical requirements of obtaining consents. It will involve the provision to participants of information at their level of comprehension and the exercise of voluntary choice to participate. The recruitment process will protect human participants from being coerced or improperly influenced. I will ensure that the data will be kept confidentially. I will establish with the data providers the use of my data and will ask their permission in case of publishing data. Before getting interviews recorded, I will ensure if it is acceptable by person to be interviewed.

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