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Research Summary And Ethical Considerations

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By Author: Sherry Roberts
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Summary of the Study
The study follows a mixed research approach and intended to investigate the effect of Vitamins E and C on the Cognitive performance among the elderly in Iran. The researchers identify that the older people are usually on the verge of progressive loss of cognitive brain function. It occurs through several etiologies that lead to a decline in memory, judgment, decision making, learning, executive functioning, and other mental activities. The symptoms of the problem cause significant distress or impairment in Social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The condition called Dementia may lead to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that affects the memory, attention, speech, decision making, and the psychomotor functions. The main cause of the problem is unclear, but many researchers associate it with oxidative stress. Thus, the use of antioxidant vitamins that include Vitamins E is an effective lipophilic chain-breaking antioxidant. Vitamin C is a potential water-soluble antioxidant that can reduce neuronal damage and improve the cognitive performance (Alavi Naeini, Elmadfa, et.al, 2014).
The study design used is randomized controlled clinical trial with 761 volunteers, and exclusion criteria helped ti identify those with MCI. The study involved the use of 256 elderly participants with mild cognitive Impairment aged between 60 to 75 years. They received 300 mg of vitamin E plus 400 mg of vitamin C or placebo daily for one year. Data presentation involved the use of standard error of the mean for the quantitative variables and numbering for the qualitative variables. Repeated measures analysis of Variance helped in analyzing the data as the main statistical method. The assessment of sphericity was through the use of Mauchly’s sphericity test as a prerequisite assumption. Independent T-test helped to conduct the comparisons between the groups. Chi-square tested the difference between the proportions used. SPSS was effective in data analysis (Alavi Naeini, Elmadfa, et.al, 2014).
The results indicated that antioxidant supplements reduced the malondialdehyde level and raised the total antioxidant capacity and glutathione. However, no significant difference between the antioxidant supplementation and the control group without the intervention was evident. According to the study findings, there was an improvement in the oxidative stress biomarkers, but the antioxidant supplements did not enhance the cognitive performance.
The study had several limitations. The most significant was the use of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) questionnaire as the main tool for cognitive assessment. It may have the effect of reducing the chances of detecting the small changes in cognitive abilities. The participants could also become familiar with the questions in the test after the initial evaluation. It affects the efficacy of the test. However, the study had strengths arising from conducting a cognitive evaluation at three-time points, use of large sample size, long study period, and measurement of the oxidative stress biomarkers throughout the study.
Ways of using the findings in Nursing Practice
The clinical and epidemiological studies conducted do not provide the answer to whether the antioxidants help to improve the cognitive performance or not. However, the present study shows the effect of the antioxidants on cognitive function. The findings from the study indicate that even though there were alterations in the oxidative stress markers, they did not show any significant effect on the cognitive function.
The findings are essential for use in nursing practice in which the practitioner nurses can make informed decisions on effective methods of handling problems in cognitive function. A further research is necessary on establishing more efficient cognitive evaluation tools and more diverse antioxidant types to clarify the likely antioxidant-oxidative stress cognition interactions. The study is of importance to nursing practice since complementary medicine use is becoming popular with multivitamins being the commonly used vitamin supplement. Enough intakes of vitamins and nutrient concentrations are essential for optimal health and cognitive functioning. However, scientific consensus lacks as to whether multivitamin use prevents or improves mental functioning.
Nurses understand that Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects the cells from damage due to oxidative stress from the free radicals. Thus, the use of Vitamin E has a close association with better cognitive performance and prevents or delays cognitive decline (Fata, Weber, Mohajeri, 2014). Thus, the study helps the nurses in practice to understand the real effects of the Vitamins they use in handling cognitive function problems for the aged persons. Thus, the nurses should consider reviewing the effectiveness of the antioxidants in handling cognitive performance problems. The study has essential information that impacts the nursing practice.
Ethical Considerations associated with the conduct of the Study
Every researcher must consider the potential ethical concerns that may arise in their study. The ethical considerations vary depending on the type of the study and the data collected. For the present study, the study participants were human subjects whose privacy and confidentiality should be a major priority. The author identifies that the study protocol was under the guidelines outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki. The study followed all the procedures involving human subjects and approved by the Ethics Committee at the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. The participants had to sign the consent forms provided by the researchers as a fulfillment of the ethical considerations.
Informed consent requires that every participant understand the terms of the research, the data collected, and the use of the data collected. The participants sign the consent forms as proof that they agree to abide by the provisions and will not raise any issues to the use of their data. Also, the forms certify that the study is valid, and the findings are reliable (Oberle & Allen, 2006).
Other ethical considerations entail the maintenance of privacy and confidentiality of the information given by the human subjects (Oberle & Allen, 2006). The researchers ought not to reveal the details of the participants in data presentation to avoid breaching the concerns. The data should remain anonymous unless under conditions that are unavoidable or helpful to the participant. The approval of the research by the Ethics Committee shows that the researchers considered most of the likely ethical concerns throughout the study.
The study selected for the essay regards the investigation of the effect of Vitamin E and C on Cognitive performance among the elderly. The findings indicate that there is the limited effect of the antioxidants on the cognitive function depending on the biomarkers used. However, the literature shows that antioxidants like Vitamin E have an effect on cognitive performance. Thus, the study helps the nurses in practice to make informed decisions when using Vitamins in handling cognitive functioning problems. The ethical considerations in the study involve informed consent, and data privacy and confidentiality due to the use of human subjects.

Alavi Naeini, A., Elmadfa, I., Djazayery, A., Barekatain, M., Aghaye Ghazvini, M., Djalali, M., & Feizi, A. (2014). The effect of antioxidant vitamins E and C on cognitive performance of the elderly with mild cognitive impairment in Isfahan, Iran: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal Of Nutrition, 53(5), 1255-1262. doi:10.1007/s00394-013-0628-1
La Fata, G., Weber, P., & Mohajeri, M. H. (2014). Effects of Vitamin E on Cognitive Performance during Ageing and in Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrients, 6(12), 5453–5472. Ethical Considerations for Nurses in Clinical Trials: Nursing Ethics, 13(2), 180-186. doi:10.1191/0969733006ne836oa

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in professional writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from writing services online.

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Author is associated with MeldaResearch.Com which is a global Custom Essay Writing and Term Paper Writing Company. If you would like help in Research Papers and Term Paper Help you can visit Custom Writing Service

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