Research Ethics Case Study

Research Ethics
Research Ethics

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Research Ethics

In Coleman’s article Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009 (2011), the writer of the article intended to carry out a quantitative synthesis which would be vital in providing a clear illustration to clinicians about the connection between abortion and mental well-being. The author sought to use the quantitative method to determine the extent of the connection between abortion and the various pointers of adversarial mental health. The fact that the researcher used sample populations is a clear indication that the quantitative method was used for this research.

Research method

The sample used for the research included 22 studies, 36 measurements of effects and 877, 181 participants. One of the aspects that emerge is that the author made sure that there was the utilization of multiple studies which were relevant and met specific criteria. The writer indicated that studies were acknowledged using the Medline and PsycInfo databases.

Moreover, the studies were to have a sample size of 100 participants or more, utilized a comparison cluster, had one or multiple mental health outcome variables and used odds ratios to demonstrate effects noticed to facilitate calculation of readily translatable assembled odds ratios and PAR statistics. As seen, the primary population that was focused on was pregnant women those who wished to have an abortion and those who did not. However, the author does not indicate whether there was the legitimacy of other sources written by researchers who had conducted researches focused on the connection between mental health and abortion.

Research Ethics

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Through the statistical analysis, it can be derived that the writer had there was a specific formula that was used to come up with the most accurate results possible. Looking at the ethical issues, it is evident that there were no moral or ethical issues that were documented. This can be said to be fueled by the fact that the author used previous researches conducted and as such, there was no need to include names of participants but rather just required the use of overall statistics obtained. Therefore, the rights of participants were well protected.


Coleman was quite thorough in the research and was able to identify some limitations of the research. One of the constraints documented by the researcher is that the review was not comprehensive since only a 15-year publication window was scrutinized. Also, there was no analysis of comparison groups.

The other limitation stipulated is that the study is that there was a deprivation of consistency in control variables, demographic features of the samples, the duration between processes and follows up valuations, and notable difference in how results were measured.


After careful examination of the article, several aspects emerge. One of them is that the author was quite systematic in the provision of quantitative data. This is one of the compelling aspects of the article. Coleman is quite methodical in presenting data using graphs and tables. This goes a long way in illustrating to the reader that whatever is stipulated in the article has been carefully examined and is well detailed.

Research Ethics

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Through these tables and diagrams, one is also able to see the various sources used by the author. The author is also quite accurate and ensures that those who get a chance to go through the article know the formula that was used for the research.  Furthermore, the fact that the author used 22 studies by other researchers is an indication that Coleman wanted to be accurate in conclusions. One of the weaknesses of the article is that the author does not give an individual analysis of the sources that were used.


Coleman, P. K. (2011). Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995–20091(199), 180-186. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077230

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