The article selected for critique was interested in establishing how a yoga-based intervention provided to overweight and obese study participants over a short duration of time affected their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Yadav, Yadav, Pandey, and Kochar (2016) clearly identified the research problem as the inability of overweight and obese persons to show adequate adherence to long-term lifestyle intervention strategies for obesity, particularly due to perceptions of delayed health benefits and high costs.
Indeed, these authors had realized that most overweight and obese individuals were unable to adhere to the requirements of long-term lifestyle intervention programs despite the serious adverse outcomes associated with obesity, including being a risk factor for many chronic diseases as well as leading to compromised work life and poor self-image. Drawing from these inferences, it is clear that the main driving force for the study was to develop and implement an effective short-term lifestyle intervention strategy with the capacity to ensure cost effectiveness and good adherence rates among overweight and obese individuals. Overall, it is clear that the authors of the article were effective in indicating to the reader what they intended to study in their research.
Yadav et al. (2016) did not make use of a research question and/or hypothesis in their study; however, their main objective was to investigate the outcome of a short-term yoga-based intervention program on HRQOL in patients who could be medically categorized as overweight or obese according the WHO standards. The authors also did not anticipate the potential results of the study, though one of their previous studies had shown a positive correlation between a short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention program and positive health outcomes, such as decreased body weight, diminished risk for chronic diseases, better disease management, early visibility of changes (two weeks after commencement of the intervention), cost-effectiveness, good adherence rates and ease of applicability (could be practiced in home environments).
It is evident from the article that the authors sought to investigate how the intervention could affect or influence HRQOL. Overall, the objective of the study qualifies as being relevant to clinical practice, particularly in terms of improving the health outcomes of overweight and obese persons (Bosewell & Cannon, 2012).
Evaluation of Research Methods
Yadav et al. (2016) did well in reviewing literature sources and synthesizing critical information that helped them to anchor the research problem and identify possible gaps in evidence. Indeed, it can be argued that the synthesized information helped the researchers to develop the research problem while also identifying a suitable technique of data collection that was anchored on the need to show the effect of the short-term yoga-based intervention program on overweight and obese persons (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan, 2007). Overall, the literature review is comprehensive and there is evidence of reliance on primary studies that can be termed as benchmark publications. However, the literature review is not well organized (it does not have its own section) and some of the sources are more than five years old.
The research is relevant as it aims to deal with the issues of adherence and high intervention costs in dealing with obesity among the general population. As demonstrated in the reviewed literature, obesity and other weight-related conditions have serious consequences on HRQOL indicators of individuals and populations; however, existing intervention programs are often unable to achieve the intended outcomes due to low adherence and prohibitive costs.
Yadav et al. (2016) used a quantitative research approach and a prospective pre-test post-test research design to investigate the effect of the short-term yoga-based intervention program in overweight and obese persons. This means that the variables of interest were measured at baseline (pre-test prior to exposure to the intervention) and after 10 days (post-test upon exposure to the short-term intervention program). The selected design was effective in demonstrating if exposure to the intervention had a significant effect on the variables of interest to the study, such as orienting subjects towards healthy lifestyle behaviors with the view to preventing and managing obesity and chronic diseases (Yadav et al., 2016).
The authors used a sample of 279 participants aged 20-60 years, who were of either gender (male or female) and had weight problems (overweight or obese). It is not clear what sampling strategy was used to recruit participants into the study, though the most likely possibility is that the researchers used purposeful sampling strategy to identify overweight/obese subjects before exposing them to the inclusion and exclusion criteria for selection. This way, Yadav et al. (2016) were able to recruit overweight and obese participants who were in alignment with the purpose of the study. Although the sample was adequate, it may be characterized as inappropriate due to the large differences in the age of participants (20-60 years). Most lifestyle diseases are dependent on age, thus the researchers could have come up with a homogenous age group to control for age-related variations.
The study is realistic and practical, particularly against the backdrop of using the established research protocols. The study not only follows the steps of the research process in a logical and consistent manner (Coughlan et al., 2007), but also examines the issues of interest by using objective data and establishing causal relationship between the short-term yoga-based intervention program and improvements in HRQOL (Bosewell & Cannon, 2012). As such, the research study seems practical, particularly in its contribution to clinical practice.
Yadav et al. (2016) argued that the results of the study could be applied in improving the overall perception of quality of life (QOL) and overall health in overweight and obese patients due to the effectiveness of the intervention in stimulating weight loss, which in turn minimizes the risk for chronic diseases by easing stress, inflammation and anxiety.
Specifically, “the current study showed that after this yoga-based lifestyle intervention, overweight and obese participants had significant improvement in the physical, psychological, and environmental domain scores of HRQOL” (Yadav et al., 2016, p. 447). Although the researchers were right in applying the study results in such a manner, it would have been more plausible to connect the results with issues of intervention adherence and cost considerations in order to make an argument that the study results could be applied to obese people who experience difficulties in adhering to available interventions or who face financial difficulties.
The study, in my view, could have been improved by recruiting a homogenous sample group to control for age-related variables that may have interfered with the credibility of the findings. Dealing with overweight or obese individuals in the adolescence age group, for example, could have provided more credible and reliable results than dealing with a heterogeneous sample in terms of age (20-60 years).
Additionally, the authors could have done better to structure the literature review and develop a clearly stated research question that matched the purpose of the study. Research questions and hypotheses allow for the successful deliberation of the research undertaking (Bosewell & Cannon, 2012), hence their importance in determining the direction of the research process. Lastly, it is my view that the researchers could have used an experimental research design in order to develop the capacity to measure the effects of the intervention in the experimental group against the control group.
Lastly, the article is written in a clear and straightforward manner which is devoid of grammatical errors and use of jargon. Further research can be conducted with the view to understanding the long-term effects of the yoga-based intervention program for overweight and obese persons.
The critiqued study was effective in demonstrating that the short-term yoga-based intervention program was not only effective in improving the QOL indicators of overweight and obese individuals, but also enhanced their physical, psychological, and environmental domain scores of HRQOL to enable live more fulfilling and satisfying lives. From personal experiences, it is possible to share the authors’ concern that most overweight and obese individuals drop out of available obesity prevention intervention programs due to their long durations and prohibitive costs.
It is also clear from personal experiences and knowledge that obesity and other weight-related medical issues have the capacity to lower the quality of life of individuals and expose them to other complex health conditions such cardiovascular diseases. As such, the findings discussed in the study will go a long way in increasing adherence to obesity management programs due to the short duration of the program, protecting those who may want to participate in such a program from cost shocks, and increasing their QOL indicators and HRQOL scores.
Bosewell, C., & Cannon, S. (2012). Introduction to nursing research: Incorporating evidence based practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Coughlan, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (2007). Step-by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 1: Quantitative research. British Journal of Nursing, 16(1), 658-663.
Yadav, R., Yadav, R.K., Pandey, R.M., & Kochar, K.P. (2016). Effects of a short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention on health-related quality of life in overweight and obese subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 22(6), 443-449. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0268.