Nursing Operating Budgets

Essay Nursing Operating Budgets

Synopsis

The capital budget will be defined. The non-labor operating budget will be explored. The labor budget for a thirty bed telemetry unit with a nurse to patient ratio of 1.6: 1 will be examined. Line items on a capital budget, non-labor operating budget and labor budget will be examined. The elements which compose a staffing mix will be examined. The ramifications of operating with a marginal staff will be examined.

Labor Budget

Research has demonstrated that increased levels of patient staffing are directly related to improved teamwork in health care facilities.  Increased levels of staffing are a causal attribution of the quality of care and lower staff turnover. Lower vacancy rates and staff turnover have been linked to increased levels of patient staffing. Nursing teamwork is directly related to the physical characteristics of the health care facility such as number of beds, case mix index and nurse staffing. The type and level of nurse staffing is related to patient outcomes .The relationships which will be demonstrated in this research paper are the relationship to nurse staffing, nurse teamwork, staff confidence, team orientation, back up, a collective mental model and effective team orientation (Kalisch et al., 2011).

In budgets, the labor costs for a thirty bed telemetry unit, 1.15 FTEs are allocated per nurse staffing personnel. A thirty bed telemetry unit and a 1.6:1 nurse to patient ratio would require thirty RNs, eighteen nursing assistants, one director of nursing and unit secretary. The salary staffing mix is 70% RN, 25% nursing assistants. The shifts would be 60% with rotating shifts (Kalisch et al., 2011).

The approximate salary for a director of nursing is $140,000 per year. The director of nursing is required to have five years of experience in nursing administration, a BSN and critical nursing experience (ihirenursing.com, 2013). The total salary for a registered nurse is between $40, 157 and $79, 759 per year. The duties of RN care are the following: teacher, healer, administrator and counselor. A nimble mind is required in addition to an associate’s degree, a diploma or a bachelor’s degree. Registered nurses with BSN degrees are offered the opportunity to move into management and augment their salary (payscale.com). The annual salary of a nursing assistant is $18,995- $31, 719. The nursing assistant composes approximately 25% of the labor budget for a thirty bed telemetry unit (payscale.com). Unit secretaries and directors of nursing compose approximately 5% of the staffing mix. The unit secretary salary is between $20, 164- $36,362.

Calculating the Labor Budget

In calculating the nursing budget, we must analyze the average daily census (ADC). The ADC is calculated by totaling the number of patients in a year and dividing by the number of days in a year. The ADC is multiplied by the Average Nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD).  This gives us the average NHPPD per year. The average total nursing staff direct care FTEs divided per 2080 hours gives the number of nursing staff direct care FTEs. 2080 divided by the number of productive hours of each FTE gives the percentage of productive hours per FTE. 2080 divided by the number of productive hours gives the actual number of FTEs. Two week  vacation which total eighty hours, ten sick days which total eighty hours, eight holidays which total forty eight hours and two education days must be included. The total staffing budget for a thirty bed telemetry unit, including director of nursing, unit secretary is $2,446,000 (see attached spreadsheet line 8). An example of a line item in the thirty bed telemetry unit nursing budget is benefits for the nursing staff is $611, 500. This is another example of a labor budget line item (hrsonline.org).

Nurse staffing is very important because of the influence that it has upon patient safety and patient perceptions of quality care. Urinary tract infections, shock, upper gastro intestinal hemorrhage and pneumonia are very sensitive to nursing care. The majority of the negative patient outcomes have been documented due to the premise that a negative patient outcome is more likely to be recorded. Lower nurse to patient ratios have been linked to higher incidences of non-fatal adverse patient outcomes. This research has not d3emonstrated that lower nurse staffing levels are associated with increased mortality. Higher nurse staffing is related to a 2% decrease in adverse patient outcomes. Research has demonstrated that a 21% increase in hospital patient acuity between 1991 and 1996. A decline of 14.2% in the ratio of licensed nursing staff to acuity related patient day of care has been realized within the five years from 1991 to 1996. Research has also demonstrated that;

  • 40 % of nursing professionals are unhappy with their working conditions.
  • 35.7 % of nursing professionals classified the quality of care in their health care facility as outstanding.
  • 44.8% of nursing professionals have noticed a decrease in the quality of care at their health care facility.
  • 83 % of nursing professionals reported an increase in the average daily census (ADC).
  • 34.4% of nursing professionals perceive that there is enough RN to supply high quality care.
  • 33.4% believed that their health care facility has enough staff to accomplish the assigned tasks (Stanton, 2012)

A Markov cohort simulation is applied in determining the cost effectiveness of suggested staffing versus median staffing in patients requiring acuity based treatments. The cost effectiveness of suggested staffing versus median staffing is $321,000 per discounted quality of life year gained. This aspect is especially important in patients who require acuity based treatments from the health care facility (Ganz et al., 2005).

Various budgets are applied by health care organizations. These budgets are implemented in order to coordinate the situation of a program or initiative. The operating budget is implemented in order to coordinate to the daily transactions over an accounting period (Danna, 2011). An example of a line item in an operating budget is revenue. A salary operating budget would contain benefits as a line item. Capital budgeting is the method by which the finance team decides whether or not to invest capital resources in particular projects or assets.  An example of a capital budget line item is clinical furnishings (hrs.online.org)

The elements of a capital budget decide which capital equipment will be purchased and which facilities will be renovated, constructed, or rented. These components enable the finance management team to ascertain the depreciation costs which will need to be included in the following accounting period. Depreciation costs compose part of the operating budget. Capital budgeting decisions will be realized before the operating budget finalization. Items which are included in the capital budget are major pieces of clinical and office furnishing. These items include but are not limited to office equipment, X-ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized topographical devices (CT scanners) and positron emission tomography scanners (PET scanners). The facility and fixed improvements (i.e., plumbing and wiring) are also elements of the capital budget (gehealthcare.com).

The operating budget includes the expenses related to equipment (i.e., capital equipment maintenance and financing). Labor and staffing expenditures are also part of the operating budget; In addition, education supplies, medications and printing supplies are elements of the operating budget.

Nursing Operating Budgets
Nursing Operating Budgets

In the strategic planning process, the quantity of capital equipment will be decided. Details which must be considered are the depreciation expense which remains on existing equipment and the objective of the health care facility in its development. The primary purpose of the capital budget is to classify the capital items to be procured in the following accounting period. These items require a capital proposal which must be received six to twelve months prior to acquisition. The department administrator will usually compose the initial draft of the request. This draft will be refined and submitted to the finance managers for viability. The elements of the capital budget are the following;

  • Specifications of the item which requires capital funding.
  • Conditions which require the acquisition and implementation of the capital item.
  • The financial influence of the acquisition on the target market, unit, patients and nursing personnel.
  • Initial price estimates.
  • Decision making standards which approach the strategic mission and objective of the health care organization (gehealthcare.com)

The annual capital and operating budget required by a thirty bed telemetry unit with a nurse to patient ratio of 1.6: 1 can be classified into the capital budget which considers equipment, building and other initiating expenses and the operational budget which will provide for continuing expenses. These continuing expenses may include medical supplies, salary and benefit expense. The establishment of a twenty four hour, seven day a week should include the following line items as capital expenditures.  This is an example of a justification of a line item in the nursing capital budget:  The cost of thirty beds is $212,000. In order to justify the expense of the beds, the following must be considered;

  • Increase in nursing efficiency.
  • Decrease the application of specialty beds.
  • Decrease the number of accidents.

The beds which are to be incorporated in the thirty bed telemetry unit must have the following:

  • Exit notification system.
  • Scale.
  • Inflatable and deflate mattresses.
  • Ability to be adjusted to a ninety degree sitting position.
  • Ability to be raised and lowered from the floor.
  • Ability to automatically disengage the headboard in order to facilitate the administration of CPR.

In a thirty bed telemetry unit, the savings of acquiring thirty beds is $12,645.00. The benefits of this acquisition result in the elimination of two specialty beds which cost $23,400.00. The acquisition of the thirty beds will also result in the reduction of injury to staff and patients (Hardy, 2004).

The expense of new hospital construction programs vary from $900,000.00 to $1,300,000.00 per bed. This strategy must be well considered in order not to bring the health care organization to bankruptcy. If these changes are well implemented, the project is designed to improve the facility’s ability to attract patients, increase long term operational performance and to realize a return on the capital expense (Rich & Hosking, 2013).

Research has demonstrated that increased levels of patient staffing are related to improved teamwork in health care facilities. Increased levels of patient staffing are also related to the quality of care and staff turnover. Lower staff turnover and a lower vacancy rate have been linked to increased levels of patient staffing. Nursing physical teamwork is related to the characteristics of the health care facility. These physical characteristics are: the number of beds, case mix index and nurse staffing. The level and type of patient staffing is directly related to the following;

  • Patient results.
  • Patient safety.
  • Diminishing the patient fall rates.
  • Clinical mistakes
  • Better nursing staff performance (Kalisch et al., 2011)

Hospital

Bed Size

Units In Study

Age > 35   Years

Gender Female %

BSN> Educational   Level

Experience >   2 Years

Occupation  (%RN)

Full Time (%)

Rotating Shift   (%)

1

760

15

51

90

51

72

65

88

60

2

317

12

69

87

31

75

61

82

55

3

304

7

78

92

37

89

59

83

55

4

913

18

54

90

55

69

84

80

59

Total

52

60

89

46

74

70

83

58

The HPPD rates for which the units participated in the survey varied from 6.27 to 21.30. The average was 11.02. The average RN rate was 8.91 with values varying from 3.75 to 20.89. The average skill mix is 0.79 with values varying from 0.53 to 1.00. The average case mix index (CMI) was 2.28 with values varying from 0.83 to 6.93. A positive relationship between the number of hospital beds and the nursing teamwork ratings was established. The higher the level of HPPD, RN HPPD and skill mix, the higher the level of nursing teamwork (Kalisch et al., 2011)

The concept of assisted living is defined as a philosophy which is different from other types of residential care. This system supports autonomy, privacy and respect. Many health care facilities divide their beds into wars or designated areas. The Nursing Home Reform Act is also known as the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA, 1987). This legislative act requires that a health care facility supply a level of care which facilitates the patient “to attain and maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and social wellbeing”. As defined by these legislative acts, the number of square feet required per bed is sixty square feet.

The number of direct care FTEs multiplied by the actual FTEs;

  1. Ascertain the ratio of nursing staff classification to the nursing staff mix. Multiply the percentage of each nursing staff classification.
  2. Ascertain the cost of the nursing staff by entering the salary and benefits for each nursing classification.
  3. Ascertain the ratio of the staff that would be appropriate by shift. Divide this ratio of the staff required by each shift to ascertain the FTEs in each nursing classification.
  4. Ascertain the percentage of full time staff compared to the part time staff. Divide this ratio by the number of FTEs by the full time or part time percentage.

The elements of a capital budget determine which capital equipment will be purchased, which facilities will be renovated, rented or constructed. These components will enable the finance management team to ascertain which capital budget decisions will be made before the operating budget finalization. Items which are included in the capital budget as line items are major clinical furnishings, including office equipment. The facility and fixed improvements are elements of the capital budget (gehealthcare.com). The non-labor operating budget includes the expenses related to equipment, labor and staffing expenditure. Educational supplies, medications, medical supplies and printing supplies compose the operating budget (see lines 10 – 19 on spreadsheet). The annual operating budget includes RNs (70%), technicians (25%) and support staff (5%). In calculating the budget 1.15 FTEs is allocated to each registered nurse (hrsonline.org). Research has demonstrated that increased staffing levels are related to improved teamwork in health care facilities. Increased staffing levels are directly related to the quality of patient care and lower staff turnover. Nursing teamwork is related to the physical characteristics of the health care facility. These characteristics include the number of beds, case mix index and nurse staffing (Kalisch et al., 2011). A Markov- cohort simulation is applied in determining the cost effectiveness of suggested staffing versus median staffing in patients requiring acuity based care. The cost effectiveness of suggested staffing versus median staffing is $321,000.00 per discounted quality of life years gained. This aspect is especially important in patients who require acuity based treatments from the health care facility (Ganz et al., 2005).

Bibliography

Assisted Living Facilities. Encyclopedia of Everyday Law (2013)

Danna, D. (2011) Learning and Mastering the Operating Budget  Strategies for Nurse Managers.com.

Dunham- Taylor, J. (2009) Financial Management for Nurse Managers. Merging the Heart with the   Dollar. Jones and Bartlett Publishers

Ganz, D. (2005) Cost effectiveness of recommended nurse staffing levels for short stay skilled nursing facility patients  BMC Health Serv Res 5:35

GE Health Care Financial Service (n.d.) Capital Analysis Self Tutorial Module 1. How Decisions are Made

Hardy, P. (2004) The impact of nursing care and other health care attributes on hospitalized patient Satisfaction and behavioral intentions Journal of Health Care Management May, 2004

Heart Rhythm Society (2012) Education Women’s Leadership

I Hire Nursing (2013) Director of Nursing Oakland, CA

Kalisch, B. (2011) Nurse Staffing Levels and Teamwork: A cross Sectional Study of Patient Care Units in Acute Care Hospitals Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Vol. 43(1)

Rich, D & Hosking A (2013) First the strategy, then the bricks, 3rd Edition

Stanton, M. (2012) Hospital Nurse Staffing and Quality of Care Research in Action 14 March 2012

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Carbon Footprint

Electrical Power: How to Reduce Consumption during Peak Period with Low Carbon Footprint Energy Technology

The theme of this research paper is the following: Transforming the electricity retailing system to meet future demand, encourage the usage of low carbon footprint energy, thereby contributing to a more sustainable environment for our future. This research paper is composed of four goals: 1). Reduce the rate of electrical energy fluctuation and overall reduction of wholesale privacy by 10%, thereby increasing profit. 2). Reduce peak time demand for electrical power by 5% in 5 years. 3). Reduce electrical power generating operational costs. 4). Increase the ease and reduce the cost to operate PHEV.

Electricity is a secondary source of energy. Electricity is transformed from the combustion of coal and fossil fuels into a secondary source, which can be used and effectively and efficiently transmitted by means of power transmission lines to the consumer. Electricity can also be generated by means of the combustion of biomass. Other primary sources from which electricity is transformed are: natural gas, solar, hydro, geothermal, wind and nuclear sources. The electricity which is generated from the combustion of coal, natural gas, fossil fuels and nuclear sources is non renewable. Electricity is also generated from renewable sources such as: hydropower, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar (need.org 2013).

The cost of generating electricity varies between 2.2 pence per kilowatt hour to 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour. The least expensive means of deriving electrical power is from a combined cycle gas turbine. The most expensive means of deriving electrical energy through combustion is the coal fired integrated gasification combined cycle plant. Open cycle gas turbines which operate on the combustion of natural gas are the most well suited for new electrical generating facilities. The best candidates for fulfilling electrical power generation requisites at peak duty are the open cycle gas turbines. These open cycle gas turbines are adaptive, reliable and are capable of being efficiently ignited when the demand for electricity reaches its peak demand. An open cycle gas turbine can generate electricity at 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour when operate continuously. When operated solely at periods of peak duty, the open cycle gas turbine generates electrical energy at 6.2 pence per kilowatt hour (Royal Academy of Engineering 2012).

The operating cost of renewable energy sources is more expensive than the constant cycle gas turbine, the pulverized fuel steam facility, the circulated fluidized bed steam plant and the integrated gasification combined cycle. Fluctuation of electrical power generation in the renewable energy sources is a limiting factor in the output generation of electrical power. The cost of generation of electrical power varies from 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour to 7.2 pence per kilowatt hour. The cost of generating electrical power is diminished when there is no standby generation from non renewable sources. An onshore wind farm generates electrical energy at a cost of 3.2 pence per kilowatt hour, notwithstanding the standby generation of electrical power from non renewable sources. In the provision of a standby electrical generator operating from non renewable sources, the cost of generating electricity from an onshore wind farm is 5.4 pence per kilowatt hour. The kilowatt hour cost of generating electrical power from wave and marine technologies is consistent at 6.6 pence per kilowatt hour, with or without a standby electrical generation resource (Royal Academy of Engineering 2012).

Carbon Footprint
Carbon Footprint

The analysis of consumer demand for electrical energy requires constant demand data on a monthly, daily and hourly basis. This data may be evaluated by two means: daily and by the maximum or minimum electrical power consumption. The patterns of demand are relatively stable during the months of January through April and October through December. The instability in demand for electrical power occurs between the months of May through September, when consumer demand for electrical power reaches its peak. One method of reducing consumer demand for electrical power is to augment the price per kilowatt hour to the consumer. As the price increases, the demand for consumption of electrical power would be expected to diminish. However, in the short run, large augmentations in the price per kilowatt hour of electrical power only produces small changes in consumer usage. Over a long period of time, consumers have the possibility of adapting their consumption behaviors with regards to domestic appliances, in order to respond to the change in price per kilowatt hour of electrical power (Miller et al. 2002). Demand side management of electrical power consumption may include a variety of venues, inclusive of energy efficiency and conservation. In applying these venues, the impact has been proven to increase the utilization of electrical power efficiently. In California, the savings realized from electrical energy savings and efficiency programs has augmented from 750 MW in 1980 to 3,300MW in 2000. A few recommendations which may assist in the reduction of peak demand for electricity are the following:

  • Residential motivations and expense reductions.
  • Provision of adequate energy saving insulation in residential environments.
  • Residential motivations which include high efficiency lighting (i.e., fluorescent energy saving light bulbs).
  • Provision of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for traffic signals and street lights.
  • Provision of energy efficient cool roofs.
  • Application of real time electrical meters in residential settings.
  • Application of media usage in declaring anticipated electrical shortages (i.e., Stage 1 and Stage 2 emergencies), in order to increase public awareness and voluntary electrical power conservation (Miller et al. 2002).

The implementation of these recommendations has been demonstrated to be effective in the reduction of peak electrical demand. The supply of electrical power must be correctly assessed with respect to consumer electrical demand. This may be demonstrated in the following equation:

Electrical power generating resources + electrical power transfer capabilities > Peak electrical power demand + electrical power reserve (Miller et al. 2013).

Globally, there is an energy transportation paradox. The global transportation sector is wholly dependent upon the combustion of petroleum as a primary energy source. Plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) demonstrate an excellent means by which to diminish global dependency of petroleum for the transportation sector. Plug in hybrid electric vehicles which include hydrogen and fuel cell technology offer a potential to offset a significant quantity of petroleum consumption. These plug in hybrid electric vehicles have the capacity of recharging their energy storage systems with electrical power received from the electrical energy retailers. When fully charged, these vehicles apply the power from the secondary source, being electricity, to mechanical utilization for locomotion. The primary benefit of the PHEV technology is that the vehicles cease to be wholly dependent upon one energy source. These vehicles may deploy a variety of energy mixes which include: coal, natural gas, wind, hydropower and solar energy. The PHEV is an evolution in automotive technology, it allows for the storage of energy and its application to the transmission and wheels of the automobile. The PHEV conceptually operates in two modes: the charge sustaining mode which enables the accumulation of electrical energy and the charge depleting mode which enables the dissemination of electrical energy to mechanical energy in order to provide locomotion for the vehicle. The PHEV are not without obstacles, the energy storage systems significantly increase the vehicles cost. The energy storage systems of the PHEV also present engineering obstacles in the energy storage system’s duty cycle. The PHEV is likely to require one deep recharge per day and is likely to require over 4000 deep recharges over a ten to fifteen year lifetime (Markel & Simpson 2013).

Conclusion

The electrical retailing system is presently undergoing an evolution. The types of electrical generation facilities which were considered in the twentieth century may no longer be feasible. Many electrical generation facilities will not be completed for a variety of reasons. In 2007, the State of Texas had nineteen power generation accords, of which seventeen pertained to wind powered electrical generation facilities. These electrical power accords accounted for 78.6% of the increased  MW capacity dedicated to the regional ERCOT system. In order to comply with the ever increasing demand for electrical power generation, large capital investments will be required in electrical power generation and electrical power transmission. These large capital investments will most likely result in higher electrical power generating costs. The higher electricity prices may result in increased conservation and efficiency methods (Combs 2012). In order to effectively reduce consumer demand for electrical power during peak periods of consumption, the recommendations in this research paper should be implemented simultaneously with the large capital investments being made in electrical power generation and transmission.

Works Cited

Combs, S (2012) Window on State Government Chapter 27 Electricity. Window on State Government Chapter 27 Electricity

Electricity at a Glance, (2013) need.org

Markel, T & Simpson, A (2013) ‘Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Storage Design’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/ CP 540-39614.

Miller,R, Griffin, K, Alvarado, A, Weatherall, R, Rohrer, R, Vidaver, D, Belotsky, A et al. (2013)California Energy Commission 2002- 2012 Electricity Outlook. California Energy Commission

Royal Academy of Engineering (2012) The Cost of Generating Electricity: A Commentary on a Study Carried out by PB Power for the Royal Academy of Engineering. Royal Academy of Engineering

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

According to DSM-IV-TR (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision) personality disorders are defined by maladaptive personality characteristics which begin during early years of life and have serious and consistent effects on functioning (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 2000). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a common reason to visit a psychiatrist (Skodol, Gunderson, Pfohl, Widiger, Livesley & Siever, 2002). BPD affects 2 percent of adults (mostly young women) (Swartz, Blazer, George & Winfield, 1990). Patients with BPD present a high rate of self-injury (without intent of suicide) and a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide (Soloff, Lis, Kelly, Cornelius & Ulrich, 1994).

The patients of BPD are many times in need of mental health services and approximately 20 percent of hospitalizations in the psychiatric department are of BPD patients (Zanarini, Frankenburg, Khera &. Bleichmar, 2001). A patient with depression or bipolar disorder mostly endures the same mood for weeks while a patient with BPD may experience angers (intense bouts), anxiety and depression that may endure for only hours or at the most for a day (Zanarini, Frankenburg, DeLuca, Hennen, Khera & Gunderson, 1998). A study performed by Zanarini & Frankenburg (1997) showed that most of the patients with BPD report a history of neglect, separation (as young children) or abuse. Another study performed by Zanarini (2000) concluded that 40 % to 71% of Borderline Personality Disorder & Attachment Theory.

Origin of Borderline Personality Disorder

Children who have been exposed to psychological and physical neglect, sexual and physical abuse and maltreatment are at risk of developing BPD. The mental trauma faced by these children is due to neglect and abuse by a primary caregiver. This trauma disrupts the normal and healthy development of secure attachment. And as a result these children develop disorganized attachment (anxiety and depression). The children who are neglected are at risk of social rejection, incompetence feeling and social withdrawal. Neurobiological dysfunction can be caused because of abuse and neglect by primary caregiver. In order to develop a capacity of regulating emotions and developing a coherent sense of self the child has a requirement of attachment from the primary caregiver.

Attachment Theory and Borderline Personality Disorder

As per the ethological perspective of John Bowlby (1977, 1980, 1991) BPD can be considered as a condition of significant insecure attachment (with significant oscillations between detachment and attachment & between yearning and longing). The working models present in affect regulation and a lack of coherence (mainly in relationships with others) (Bowlby, 1973). The sorrow of detachment faced in early childhood negatively impacts the psychology of the person and this result in heightened sensitivity to loss and separation. It is also important to note here that since these feelings and thoughts are disconnected to the happenings in early childhood these individuals are unable to understand the reason behind their reaction. Research scholars (Melges & Swartz, 1989) have compared the fluctuations in the behaviour of BPD patients to prickly porcupines – they are of the opinion that patients with BPD are in need of someone but when someone comes close to them they drive themselves away as a result of fear. Thus BPD patients are looking for secure attachment but they fear rejection, anxiety and anger that could result (Bowlby, 1979). Melges and Swartz (1989) are also of the opinion that patients with BPD are preoccupied with regulating space. They do not feel the “invisible elastic” of attachment (Bowlby, 1969, p. 45). Also they are unable to protect themselves from anxiety of separation (Adler & Buie, 1979). The influence of certain types of experiences as related to family can be the cause of separation anxiety (Bowlby, 1988). John Bowlby’s “The seminal developmental theory” for treatment of BPD patients (Bowlby, 1969; Bowlby, 1973; Bowlby, 1980) has gained great attention. Bowlby proposed that human beings face pressures of natural selection in order to evolve behavioural patterns (example, clinging, smiling and proximity seeking ), that evoke in adults the caretaking behaviour (example, soothing, holding and touching).

These behaviours are reciprocal and encourage the development of an affective and enduring tie between caregiver and infant, which forms attachment. It is the result of these parental responses that internal models of the self and others are developed in infants which act as templates in the functioning of relationships later in life (Bowlby, 1973).

The Findings and Proposals of Bowlby the Following Is True In Case Of Attachment (Bowlby, 1973)

1. Model Of Self: The Internal Working Of It Is Related To The Degree Of Acceptance And Love One Has In The Eyes Of Primary Attachment Figures.

2. Model Of Others: The Internal Working Of It Is Related To How Available And Responsive Attachment Figures Are Expected To Be.

Attachment plays a very crucial role in the development of an external environment from which the child develops a safe and secure internal model of the self. Security on the grounds of attachment as perceived by the child results in his or her exploration of the world with confidence; this confidence springs by the availability of the caregiver. Security in attachment thus promises consistent, coherent and positive self-image. It also provides a feeling of being worthy of love and expectation that the important ones to him or her will be responsive and accepting. We here note that Bowlby has presented to the scientific mind the importance and need of attachment as essential to infants and children. Thus, attachment can be considered as an essential ingredient in the production of a psychologically healthy life. Now let us consider BPD patients, it is a case where the security in attachment is absent and there is a split and malevolent representation of self and others (Kernberg, 1967). In the life of BPD patients we usually observe angry, manipulative and needy relationships (Benjamin, 1993).

A number of scientific studies and intellectual thoughts have considered that intolerance of aloneness is the main defining characteristic of BPD and it is essential to note here that the descriptive criteria of DSM are also of the same opinion (Adler & Buie, 1979). Thus, the concepts and theories of attachment in many ways relate to DSM diagnostic criteria. Gunderson (1996) proposed that the early attachment failures actually constitute the cause of intolerance. He noted that in times of distress and sorrow patients with BPD are unable to invoke a “soothing interject” and this is due to unstable and inconsistent attachments to early caregivers. The above proposed scientific thoughts of Gunderson (1996) are same as that of Bowlby’s concept of insecure attachment.

The Scientific Observations Of Gunderson (1996) The Following Points Are True In Case Of Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder:

A Feeling of Insecurity on Grounds Of Attachment, Especially Pertinent To:

  • Plea for Attention
  • Pleas for Help
  • Checking For Proximity
  • Clinging

A Feeling of the Following in Borderline Personality Disorder Patients:

  • Denial Of
  • Dependency Needs
  • Fearfulness About

Based on the comparison of theories of object relations and attachment (Lyons-Ruth & Jacobvitz 1999) distinguished between normal processes (in early development) of separation individualization from the disorganized conflict behaviour (for attachment figures) by toddlers who are at significant risk for development of psychopathology. She identified that in infants the disorganized insecure attachment as a risk factor in the later development of BPD. Thus, we can state that as per the findings of Lycos-Ruth those infants who are victims of insecure attachments during the early years of life are at risk of developing BPD during later years of their life.

Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder

Attachment Therapy

In 1990, ATTACh (Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of children) was created in order to address the need of society and families to deal with critical attachment and bonding issues. ATTACh has cited important principles of attachment therapy and this includes the following:

1. Attachment therapy can be defined as a therapeutic process that is designed with the aim to define, develop and promote reciprocal attachment relationship and that which completely meets the criteria of that therapeutic process as defined and developed by ATTACh.

2. The aim of treatment by attachment therapy is to address the attachment problems and enable patients with healthy attachment relationships.

3. The emphasis in attachment therapy is laid on touch, physical and emotional closeness, reciprocal behaviours, empathy, atonement, communication, playfulness and humour. The attachment and bonding therapists are therefore required to treat with attention to the physical and psychological safety and wellbeing of the children and adults.

4. Family systems approach is of prime importance in attachment therapy. Thus there is need to correct child’s relationship with his or her primary caregiver.

5. It is essential to assess and study the following;

  • Psychological history
  • Educational history
  • Treatment history
  • Medical history
  • Attachment & Social history (including breaks in attachment)
  • Developmental history (including prenatal and birth)
  • Intellectual and Cognitive skills and deficits
  • Family functioning
  • Differential diagnosis (including DSM and ICD diagnoses)

6. Parents and children form the most active group of treatment regimen. Attempts are made to develop healthier patterns of interaction and communication.

7. To assist parents to develop parenting strategies in order to support positive attachments.

8. Description of any shortcomings attachment therapy might have for treating this issue and what else could be fused with attachment therapy to meet these needs.

Criticisms of Attachment Therapy

1) The application of attachment therapy for treatment of patients with BPD is equated with rebirthing or holding therapy and the techniques used to achieve the results are dangerous.

2) During the treatment of patients with BPD the attachment therapists make use of criteria that are even beyond those provided by the DSM-IV-TR (Zeanah 1996; Boris et al 2004). The strong correlation between insecure attachment and pathological parent-child interaction as shown by attachment therapy are beyond the symptoms listed in the DSM criteria (Bowlby 1944, 1973).

3) The attachment therapists many times over diagnose BPD.

  • Almost 87% to 96% of the children, who experience abuse, neglect or both, show an insecure attachment (Crittenden, 1988).
  • Between 50% and 80% of the adopted children have attachment disorder symptoms (Carlson, Cicchetti, Barnett & Braunwald, 1989).
  • Approximately 20% of children living in homeless shelter and nearly two thirds in foster care are identified with attachment disorders (Boris, Wheeler, Heller & Zeanah, 2000).

4) Attachment therapy is not supported with “empirical evidence” While attachment therapy can provide treatment of BPD, studies have revealed the effectiveness of other therapeutic methods as well. These methods have been briefly described below:

1. Psychotherapy

Randomized controlled studies have presented the efficacy of dialectical behaviour therapy and psychodynamic / psychoanalytic therapy (Bateman & Fonagy, 2001). The treatment provided in these trials comprises of three key features;

  • Meetings with an individual therapist (once a week)
  • Group sessions (one or more in a week)
  • Meetings of therapists for supervision or consultation

The psychotherapist’s approaches include a building of a strong therapeutic alliance and monitoring the suicidal or self-destructive behaviours. Other essential component of effective treatment plan for patients with BPD includes managing feelings, promoting reflection action (and not impulsive action), reducing patient’s splitting tendency, and limiting the behaviours related to self-destruction. There is some empirical data that supports individual psychodynamic psychotherapy.

2. Group Therapy

Group therapy for BPD patients is supported with research findings that indicate that it can be helpful (Greene & Cole 1991). Note: However, the benefit of family therapy in the treatment of BPD patients is not evaluated yet with research studies.

Descriptions of how dimensions of cultural context impact the issue you are discussing. How might this inform your treatment? I strongly believe that psychologists should not be racists. Today we are required to treat patients of different ethnic groups and countries during our clinical practice. Even an expression of detachment or neglect can hurt hard the patients with BPD. As discussed above the patients with BPD are in need of love and acceptance, care and attachment, understanding and touch, soothing approach and closeness. If a psychologist will distinguish on the grounds of colour, race, region and country then s/he won’t be able to perform well because for the treatment of BPD patients with attachment therapy it is essential to shower true attachment. Roentsch (1985) defines racism as: “Let there be no misunderstanding. A racist is anyone who accepts the existence of racial collectives”. Amongst doctors there is a belief in the a priori inferiority of non-white (Eysenck, 1990: pp. 215-220). The facts on racism reveal that we divide the world into ‘in-group and out-group’ or ‘us and them’ (Baron and Byrne, 1994: pp. 228-229). An important study first conducted by Clark and Clark (1947, in Baron and Byrne, 1994: 256) showed that a significant proportion of non-white children had internalized the attitudes of white racist. Thus the reaction of non-white adolescents towards white psychologists can be considered to be different from the reaction towards non-white psychologists. These racists’ feelings need to be addressed with maturity and patience. The dealings, behaviour and communication need to be such monitored that the feeling of racism is absent.

Self-issues that may impact a clinician’s conceptualization and treatment of this issue from an attachment perspective. How might one’s cultural context inform what they see and how they see it? What should clinicians be cautious of? Bonus points for examination of your own “self” in relation to treating this issue from an attachment perspective.

During my school times I lost my best friend because of racial differentiation attitude of a teacher. I was very much in harmony with my non-white friend. We had a high level of understanding and we loved spending time together. We were best friends for 3 years. However, my teacher did not like us being friends. She was white and disliked non-white people. Though she did not show it openly but it was obvious by some of her remarks at different times about non-white people. My teacher asked me to quit my friendship with the non-white girl. At first I was very much hurt by my teacher’s approach but then I agreed to it. This is because my teacher said that she will assure that I will get better grades in school if I agreed to what she said. My friend was very much hurt when I broke friendship with her. And after doing this I felt guilty for doing something really wrong. Even several years after quitting friendship with her, I feel sorry for my decision. Actually for some part of my life I had started thinking the way my teacher thought. I use to respect my teachers and had a feeling that they are always right. This is the reason why I started feeling that my teacher’s attitude towards non-white people was right. However, my thoughts have changed to good after leaving school. Now, I am equally friendly towards both non-white and white. I have both non-white and white as my friends. But sometimes the thought that I was once a racist makes me feel guilty. When I recollect that I was once a racist, I lose confidence in dealing with non-white people. I noted this when I was working on the treatment of a BPD patient who was non-white. I need to be more confident in my dealing with non-white people. I need to feel sure that I no more differentiate between non-white and white. I think I will gain this confidence when as a result of my sincere work several non-white BPD patients will get healed.

Describe what the early, middle and ending phases of therapy might look like for treating this issue based on what you have learned. Please also include some possible interventions and assessment methods. Attachment theory has been applied to both children and adults suffering from detachment. Bowlby (1969) formed a lifelong attachment behavioural system which encourages secure attachment. The attachment thus begins with the child’s requirement of secure attachment from the primary caregiver. The behaviour of attachment is organized and revolves around primary care giver. The feelings of attachment are elicited during the period of mental or physical discomfort or stress (1969). As per Bowlby’s (1969) perspective BPD can be considered as a condition of significant insecure attachment. There exists number of oscillations between detachment and attachment. The early childhood experiences of BPD patients are that of detachment, neglect, abuse, separation and loneliness. Thus the systems that mediate the feelings of attachment and positive behaviour are distorted and deactivated. In addition to this BPD patients have intense fear linked with loss and separation. However, since BPD patients do not remember their childhood time when they were neglected and abused they are unable to understand the reason behind their behaviour. I think a therapist is required to develop a secure and genuine attachment relationship with the BPD patients. The patient should feel completely secure in his or her relationship with the therapist. S/he should have no fear of loss or separation as related to relationship with the therapist. Development of a ‘secure’ attachment can help establish happiness in the life of the patient.

BPD patients are in need of love but the fear of loss and separation drives them away from people. It is therefore crucial that this fear of loss and separation should be dealt in the first phase of treatment. The patient with BPD should be counselled in such a manner that s/he starts gaining confidence in building secure relationships. The approach of the therapist should be driven by ‘attachment’ and ‘love’. Thus, while attempting to heal the BPD patient of the fear of separation, the therapist should try to build his or her own place in the heart of the patient. The approach should not only aim to heal the fear but also to open ways for love and attachment. The therapist should make the patient feel that s/he really cares for him. That it is not just a routine responsibility or duty to address the need of the patient. The therapist should show that s/he has started loving the patient and has become attached with him. S/he has started caring for the needs and essential requirements of the patient. A feeling of attachment should spring from within the heart of the therapist and should touch the emotions of the patient. Parents of the patient should be educated on the basics of attachment.

They should be taught the need of touch, eye contact, motion, love, compassion, care and attachment. The issues related to behaviour should be addressed and the pitfalls should be examined. The treatment should include a review of the attachment issues of the parents’. The parents should be educated on good ways to bring up the child. The attachment from parents and primary care taker are essential for answering the need of BPD patients. Gregory C. Keck states that holding the child or adolescent gives rise in an emotional response and intensity that cannot be achieved by any other medicine or therapeutic regimen. Therapist should educate the parents or the primary caretaker to hold the child or adolescent. The therapist should work to build in attachment between the child/adolescent and the parents/primary caretaker. Building of relationship and providing security and affection from parents or primary caretaker should be assured.

The therapist should also spend time to build in attachment between the child/adolescent and himself

The therapist should also work to repair the relationship that has been broken. S/he should try to develop more peaceful and lovable feelings between the child/adolescent and the parents/primary caretaker. The therapist can also do the holding of the child/adolescent and then s/he can transfer the responsibility to the parent or primary caretaker. The therapist is also required to make an important clinical judgment with regard to the suitability of the primary caretaker or parent for such an attachment. Guidance and education as related to the attachment should be provided by the therapist. In addition to holding ‘eye contact’ is an important part of attachment therapy. Eye contact opens the door to the heart of the person and builds attachment.

In conclusion, the therapist should believe in building relationships of attachment. A feeling of security should be the base of such attachments. Broken attachments should be repaired and new attachments should be built-in. The therapist should form attachment of the patient with himself or herself. In addition to this attachment should be built between the parent/primary caretaker and the child or adolescent. Education should be imparted on developing attachment. Today, in the modern days parents find little time for their children. Many times they forget to care for their own child. The child gets hurt each moment by a lot of anxiety, depression, neglect and loneliness. The child loses the charm of attachment and feels that s/he won’t get attachment from anyone. I believe that in order to begin with attachment therapy it is essential for the therapist to first build attachment between himself and the child/adolescent. Therapist should also build in attachment between himself and the parents of the child/adolescent. This is because the parents who feel attachment from the therapist will be more responsive and agreeable to treatment.

Attachment Can Create Wonders in the World of Therapy and Therapeutics

Attachment speaks to the heart and touches the emotions to bring forth a feeling of recovery. I strongly believe that attachment therapy is the best suit for patients with BPD. This is because attachment can repair the broken hearts, the fading hopes, the dying relationships and the detached home. I would strongly recommend attachment therapy as a method of choice for the treatment of patients with BPD. Children and adolescents want someone to speak to their heart, someone who understands their need of attachment and addresses to their requirement of love, touch, care and affection. During all the phases of treatment this should be kept in mind and should be reflected in approach and practice of the therapist.

Conclusion

Attachment theory is a good addition to the knowledge of psychology and its application can be beneficial for the treatment of BPD patients. While dealing with patients of BPD the psychologist should not have racist attitude and his or her approach should be confident.

References

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Baron, R. & Byrne, D. (1994). Social Psychology (7th ed.,). MA: Allyn and Bacon, Boston

Bateman, A. & Fonagy, P. (2001). Treatment of borderline personality disorder with psychoanalytically oriented partial hospitalization: an 18-month follow-up. Am J Psychiatry, 158, 36–42

Benjamin, L. S. (1993). Interpersonal diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders. New York: Guilford

Boris, N. W., Hinshaw-Fuselier, S. S., Smyke, A. T., Scheeringa, M. S., Heller, S. S. & Zeanah,

C. H. (2004). Comparing criteria for attachment disorders: establishing reliability and validity in high-risk samples. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 43(5), 568-77

Boris, N. W., Wheeler, E. E., Heller, S. S. & Zeanah, C. H. (2000). Attachment and developmental psychopathology. Psychiatry, 63, 75-84

Bowlby, J. (1944). Forty-four juvenile thieves: Their characters and home life. International

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Bowlby J. (1969). Attachment and loss. Vol. I: Attachment. New York: Basic Books

Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and Loss. Vol. 2: Separation, Anxiety, and Anger. New York: Basic Books

Bowlby, J. (1979). Psychoanalysis as art and science. International Review of Psycho-analysis, 6(3), 3-14

Bowlby J. (1980). Attachment and Loss. Vol. 3: Sadness and depression. New York: Basic Books

Bowlby, J. (1991). Charles Darwin. New York: W. W. Norton

Carlson, V., Cicchetti, D., Barnett, D. & Braunwald, K. (1989). Finding order in disorganization: Lessons from research in maltreated infants’ attachments to their caregivers

Cicchetti & V. Carlson (Eds.), Child Maltreatment: Theory and research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. New York: Cambridge University Press

Crittenden, P. M. (1988). Relationships at risk. In J. Belsky & T. Nezworski (Eds.), The clinical implications of attachment (pp. 136-174). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (2000). (4th ed.) [text revision] Washington: American Psychiatric Association.

Eysenck, H. J. (1990). Rebel With A Cause. London: W H Allen and Co.

Greene, L. R., Cole, M. B. (1991). Level and form of psychopathology and the structure of group therapy. Int J Group Psychother, 41, 499–521

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Kernberg, O. (1967). Borderline personality organization. J Am Psychoanal Assoc, 15, 641–85

Lyons-Ruth, K. & Jacobvitz, D. (1999). Attachment disorganization: unresolved loss, rational violence, and lapses in behavioral and attentional strategies. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: theory, research, and clinical implications (pp. 520–44). New York: Guilford.

Melges, F. T. & Swartz, M. S. (1989). Oscillations of attachment in borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 146(9), 1115-1120

Roentsch, D. (1985). Racists define Racism. In The Radical Capitalist (USA), 3(4), 2-6

Skodol, A. E., Gunderson, J. G., Pfohl, B., Widiger, T. A., Livesley, W. J. & Siever, L. J. (2002). The borderline diagnosis. I: Psychopathology, comorbidity, and personality structure. Biol Psychiatry, 51, 936-50

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Tips Choosing A Dissertation Topic

Six Tips When Choosing a Dissertation Topic

Choosing a dissertation topic is the first and most important part of the dissertation writing process. You should be interested in the topic and the research needs to be easily readable, fluid, informative, attainable and more importantly to answer the research question posed by the author. There needs to be adequate and readily available facts to comfortably help you accomplish your dissertation research project. Below are six methods which may help you discover a dissertation title and to kick start the writing process and more importantly help you in choosing a dissertation topic.

Choosing a Dissertation Topic
Choosing a Dissertation Topic

1. Make the Topic Interesting and Informative

A lot of researchers and student undertaking a dissertation project of spend months, if not years composing their dissertation. You should choose a topic that you are familiar with and have a good understanding of. If you are not enthusiastic about a topic then there is a high probability that you will waste a lot of research time and effort. Image yourself as the reader and try to make your dissertation stimulating.

2. Attainable and Solvable Dissertation Topics

Can the questions or hypotheses in the dissertation be answered and is the topics too broad with no real relevance to your field of research? If you are about to write a Marketing Dissertation try not to write a dissertation outside of this subject field, make it relevant and informative to individuals within the marketing arena. Make sure you can answer the questions within the time frame set by your university or supervisor, I am aware of so many students failing their dissertation project because they ran out of time, or they hurried their research resulting in a lower grade. Try to break your research into attainable milestones and be realistic when doing this.

3. Be Organized

Organization is so critical when you are looking to start a dissertation project. From experience I suggest you have a well structured electronic filing system on your computer. Create folders to mirror the dissertation chapters, try to keep all your files in one location and make sure to back this up from time to time. Don’t have files located on numerous computers and folder structures as you will lose track and valuable time. Also use folders to keep copies of printouts and photocopied material, this will prove useful when conducting a Literature Review or Appendix Section of the dissertation. Try to identify best days to conduct your research, weekend is a good time as you can reflect on the material gathered during the previous week and you can identify what material you need in the forthcoming weeks.

4. Expand on Existing Material You Have Written

If you intend to write a Business Dissertation take a look at what you have already written in previous modules or classes in degree. You will be surprised on how much you have already written and how relevant the material is to your project. From my experiences of writing dissertations, you can use existing literature already identified in previous modules, this is also true of academic models, structure and you may extend a previous topic you have written about and turn that into your own dissertation topic. Inspiration can be found within oneself.

5. Original and Meaningful Content

There are many dissertation topics and ideas that are interesting, attainable and solvable however, someone else may have already covered the topics you are looking into. It is safe to say that if your dissertation supervisor lectures a class of 200 students on the current global economic environment, a significant number of students will write their dissertation topic relating to this subject area. Try to find gaps in existing research or a void in current knowledge, this will make your research more readable and you will get a lot of satisfaction from it. This will prove useful experience when you leave university and start your career in employment. Groundbreaking dissertation research tends to be unique and highly thought provoking whilst adding a valuable contribution to the subject area.

6.  Relax and Compose Yourself

Lets be honest, dissertations are in-depth and complex to write if you have never written a dissertation or thesis before. You need to gather your thoughts and do not go off on a different tangent when writing your dissertation. Try to visualize who will be reading your dissertation, in reality on a handful of fellow students and your dissertation supervisor will read your dissertation and it is highly unlikely that it will make the cover of The Wall Street Journal. Don’t be afraid to use the writing style you have adopted at university whilst paying careful consideration to your university guidelines. Remember, writing your dissertation is one of the most satisfying aspects of undertaking a degree or professional university qualification. Writing your dissertation can prove enjoyable and you will benefit from a sense of accomplishment once you have completed it.

To summarize, your dissertation must be interesting, relevant to the subject area you are acquainted with and you must answer the questions and hypotheses presented. Be organized, look at your existing writing contributions, don’t be afraid and make sure you complete your dissertation on time. Hopefully, the tips on choosing a dissertation topic will prove useful to you.

What Is A Dissertation

What Is A Dissertation?

Many students ask us the question – What Is A Dissertation?… Well, your dissertation will be the most challenging aspect of your university study. It may also be an unfamiliar mode of assessment that requires you to engage independently with your subject matter, at a level of both breadth and detail that is perhaps not typical of most other forms of assessment. A crucial aspect of all this is to ensure that you are aware of all the elements involved in the dissertation writing process and that you allow yourself adequate time to do your dissertation topic justice. At most universities around the world, a dissertation or thesis is an extended piece of academic writing based on extensive reading of a subject area and independent research at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. Having been the longest established sample dissertations website we are here to assist and support you in preparing your own dissertation project by giving you some general information on how a dissertation is structured and what a dissertation is.

Many of you will be expected to construct and submit your own original idea for a dissertation topic, though students in certain disciplines (e.g. business) may either be given a specific topic, or expected to choose from a list of suitable projects. Nonetheless, it is advisable that you start to think about your choice of dissertation topic at the earliest possible early stage of your final year, if not earlier. Let’s make no mistake about it, your dissertation research project is probably the single most important task you will undertake whilst at university or college, and is often a key indicator of your true capabilities as a student and researcher. In addition to the information contained in this article, you must refer to the instructions and guidelines outlined in your nominated study program. It is worth noting that different subject areas have different expectations, referencing styles and support mechanisms for the dissertation. For example, in some areas you are able to formulate your own dissertation title, whilst in others you will be required to choose from a list of predefined titles. The content and structure of a dissertation can differ across national boundaries and level of study.

What Is A Dissertation
What Is A Dissertation

The structure of an undergraduate dissertation written at a UK university can differ immensely to an undergraduate dissertation written at a North American university. This is due to how learning content is delivered and taught and many words can be used interchangeably. For example a dissertation abstract can be referred to as a dissertation synopsis. Similarly, a dissertation appendix can be referred to as an annexure. Some universities encourage The Harvard System of referencing while other universities prefer citing dissertations using the APA, MLA, Chicago and AAA Styles, the list goes on. Nonetheless, a dissertation is, in essence, a piece of research submitted in support of submission for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author’s research and findings. Never lose sight of this. We at study-aids.co.uk will give an insightful overview to what a dissertation is:

A Dissertation Adheres To Certain Fundamental Principles Of Academic Writing:

  • It is a structured piece of writing that develops a clear line of thought in response to a central question or plan.
  • What Is A Dissertation?… A dissertation is an extended piece of work, usually divided into chapters, and containing a significantly more detailed examination of your subject matter and evidence than is the case for most essays.
  • Because you usually have much more responsibility in choosing your research topic, and for sourcing supporting material, your dissertation provides evidence of your ability to carry out highly independent study and research.
  • You are typically expected to be clear about the methodology you have used to gather and evaluate your evidence. This aspect of producing a dissertation has much greater emphasis than in a typical essay or assignment.
  • Those of you undertaking analysis of quantitative data must similarly ensure that you adhere to the methodological requirements expected within your academic discipline and that you utilise the appropriate software such as SPSS and SYSTAT. You must satisfy yourself as to these requirements within your subject area.

It is highly advisable for you to ask your supervisor where you can find details of any regulations about your dissertation, such as its word count, structure and submission details. You should pay special attention to this. Hopefully, we have answered your question of what is a dissertation.

Dissertation Structure

Abstract

The length of the Abstract should be no more than 300-500 words, but not included in the formal word count.

The purpose of this very short section is to tell the reader something about the contents. About 1/3 of the Abstract should explain what you intended to do (parameters). The other 2/3rds should tell the reader what you did, including recommendations.

The Abstract may duplicate some material included in the Introduction and/or Conclusion

Introduction

The length of the Introduction should be about 10% of the whole dissertation.

The Introduction gives you the opportunity to provide your reader with an overview of the dissertation. Firstly, introduce the topic; secondly, outline the key areas to be covered; and identify your primary aims and objectives.

The background section should be short and securely focused on the topic, real statistical data can be included.

Larger themes, as well as specific topics, should be identified

Literature Review

The length of the Literature review should be about 20% of whole dissertation.

This chapter gives you an opportunity to show the reader that you have learned to analyse and to synthesise the views of others in relation to your own research programme.

The Literature Review is NOT a Book Review. Contents of books and articles are only useful if particular points have some direct relevance to your dissertation. In Literature Review you should compare and contrast ideas, theories and/or views relevant to your proposed research topic. Keep in mind that at least 10 references should be discussed and 3-4 different models or theories or views should be mentioned.

At the end of this chapter, identify the principal research questions to be addressed in the dissertation. These will form the basis of your dissertation in the subsequent chapter on Research Methodology.

Research Methodology

The Research Methodology chapter in length should be about 20% of whole dissertation.

This chapter gives you an opportunity to discuss the research programme that you have designed for your dissertation.

Begin by reviewing briefly some common methods advocated for structuring research programmes.

Then look again at the research questions formulated at the end of the Literature Review. Select the kind of programme best suited for addressing those particular research questions, and discus the reasons prompting your decision.

Discuss the research strategies adopted, the collection procedures selected and the difficulties and/or problems encountered.

Findings and Discussion

You might divide this chapter for two like:

    • Analysis of Findings
    • Discussion

This is the largest and probably the most important part in assessing your research by examiners. The length of this section should be about 30% of the whole dissertation.

The Findings and Discussion chapter gives you an opportunity to discuss your research findings.

Your findings may be derived from the analyses of statistical data, interviews, questionnaires or any viable combination of instruments used for research collection and the measurement of data.

Link important points of this chapter back to principle ideas in the Literature Review with the evidence obtained in your own research.

End this chapter with a brief summary of you findings. This, in turn, should set the scene for the concluding chapter.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Again you can divide this chapter on two smaller parts:

  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations or Recommendations from the future studies

This chapter in lengths should be about 15% of the whole dissertation.

The Conclusions and Recommendations chapter gives you the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of your research programme and to offer recommendations, if desired.

Conclusions can be rather short, because the bulk of the analysis and synthesis of material will probably have taken place in the chapter of Findings and Discussion.

In your Conclusions be sure that all of the questions raised in the Literature Review have been addressed. Weigh the final results of your research against the original aims and objectives of the dissertation. Anomalies, for example, can be important and interesting.

Add recommendations if you desired. Ideas for further research and/or some strategies advocated for better management of the issue or the enterprise are particularly useful.

Bibliography

Not included in the word count

This part of the dissertation gives you the opportunity to show the reader what research sources were used in your dissertation.

All books articles, sources of statistical data and web sites used in the dissertation must be listed in the bibliography. Additional sources consulted should be also be placed in the bibliography

Entries in the Bibliography should be placed in alphabetical order. Web sites, however, should be grouped together separately at the end of the Bibliography.

Appendices

Not included in the word count

This part of the dissertation gives you an opportunity to add interesting research material to your dissertation.

Interview summaries and sample questionnaires, for example, should appear in the Appendices

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