According to Armbruster et al. (2017), the research manages the sample through a cluster-randomized
intervention trial. However, the alignment of the research process with the standard definitions of a study
design is questionable. What interventions are made to evaluate the association of variables from the
independent parameters? Is the study truly experimental? Are significant interventions applied in an attempt to
trigger a desired or unknown feedback, or is it more observational in nature?
Feldman and Whibey (2015) defines intervention trials as experimental set-ups or designs where in a group
from the samples receives a controlled condition (specific treatment), whereas the other does not. An
interventional study design helps to assess the impact of imposing the altering intervention and to provide
causative arguments as a product.
The reviewed research, however, does not show any applied interventions, rather an observational trait is
clearly evident. In particular, evaluation of adherence of individual conditions to a standard criteria; and
determination of the association of symptoms to the type of existing microorganisms – these objectives were
accomplished through mere observation and record-keeping, without alteration.
Thus, study design should be addressed as a longitudinal approach, instead of an intervention approach.
Appropriate declaration of the design used in a study is important knowledge for readers so that key learning
points can be identified early, as well as to provide a smooth flow of thought for the readers.
With this in mind, it is important for future researchers to identify the study design appropriate for their research
objectives. Questions such as: What is the purpose of my research? What do I need to do to achieve my
objectives (Do I need to conduct experiments, or will observation do, or will I simply review the validity of other
studies?) What are my available resources (i.e. Is primary data available for collection, are other resources
available for comparison?) – need to be asked to effectively formulate a study design that will lead to the
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