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Validity and reliability form the major component of research articles. Reliability refers to the degree of stability and consistency that is projected by the results of a given research. Validity, on the other hand, assesses the accuracy of a research intervention. It is a metric that is engaged to determine whether due processes were followed in the determination of the research results. The two metrics serve to define and measure the degree of falsification and bias in research processes. The article The Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale: Validity and Reliability in Adult Intensive Care Unit Patients was intended to test the validity of the Richmond-Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) instrument employed in the intensive care units. This sample essay investigates.

In the article, Sessler et al. (2002) attempt to determine the reliability and validity of RASS in a broad spectrum. The research examines these metrics on the RASS on patients in adult intensive care units in hospitals. It further assesses the reliability of nurses after the administration of the RASS intervention. The research is a culmination of the need to determine the efficiency of the sedatives, which are given to patients. Inadequate sedation poses a threat to the health of patients in the intensive care units. The RASS framework is a sedation scoring tool that determines the efficiency of the sedations on the patient.

The research methodology was divided into two different segments, which were conducted at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals. The institution is a 750-bed urban-care teaching facility under the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems (Sessler, et al., 2002). Phase one entailed the evaluation of patients from the ICU, neuroscience ICU, cardiac surgery ICU, medical respiratory ICU, and the coronary ICU. The evaluation excluded patients that projected impaired hearing, impaired visual acuity, that were non-English speaking, and the ones with airborne isolation precautions (Sessler, et al., 2002).

The second phase involved the evaluation of inter-rater reliability implementation of the RASS framework in the hospital. In the subsequent evaluation, nurses conducted RASS testing on ICU patients under the administration of a regulator. The nurses mainly tested and recorded the scores. The nurse educators observed and recorded the RASS score. In addition, the methodology also involved data collection. The age, gender, clinical data, dosage, and program of administration of sedative interventions were recorded within 8 hours of the administration of RASS. In the statistical analysis segment, the researchers used interclass correlation coefficient and weighted K to test for inter-rater reliability (Sessler, et al., 2002). [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

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In phase 1, 958 RASS scores were collected. The RASS scores were in the range of -5 to +3. 43% of the tested patients fell in the range of -5 to -1on the RASS score (Sessler, et al., 2002). 44% of the patients fell in the 0 segment of the RASS score. The remaining 10% fell in the +1 to +3 RASS score range. This range constitutes the agitation range. Mechanically ventilated patients projected a lower RASS score compared to non-ventilated patients. In phase 2 of the research, the mean RASS score collected by the nurse educator on 30 patients was -1.18 plus or minus 1.69 (Sessler, et al., 2002). Alternatively, the bedside nurses recorded a mean of -1.14 plus or minus 1.69. Patients with mechanical ventilation projected a lower RASS score than their counterparts.

The results of the research indicate an excellent inter-rater reliability for RASS among all of the adult ICU patients (Sessler, et al., 2002). Inter-rater reliability of the RASS projected a positive outcome among all the subcultures of adult patients in the ICU segments. RASS inter-rater reliability was also very good among patients who had received sedative interventions. Generally, of all the validity and reliability scales, RASS has a high inter-rater reliability among all adult patients in the ICU segments (Sessler, et al., 2002). Nonetheless, there is need for the determination of the validity and reliability of the RASS framework on non-adult ICU patients.
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In conclusion, the article adequately addresses the processes that were engaged in the determination of the RASS inter-rater reliability among patients. Despite its conclusive and informed conclusion, the article uses technical jargon, which may not be readily comprehensible to everyone. In addition, the sample size was limited to a small population within a single hospital unit. This means it cannot be used as a reflection of the general RASS reliability and validity on all the adult ICU patients. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Sessler, C. N., Gosnell, M. S., Grap, M. J., Brophy, G. M., O’Neal, P. V., Keane, K. A., . . . Elswick, R. K. (2002). The Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale: Validity and Reliability in Adult Intensive Care Unit Patients. American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medication, 166, 1338-1334.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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