Epidemiology Quantitative Study Paper Example

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1942 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Article review
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The article "driving following kava use and road traffic injuries: A population-based-case-control study in Fiji (trip 14) "by some individuals. This section to be specific was written by wainoqolo, kafoa, kool, Robinson, Herman, McCain and, and amaratunga. This is a research article written as an investigation to determine if consumption of kava was somehow related the recorded road accidents in Fiji. Kava kava is a traditional beverage which is consumed by many residents of the Pacific island. Kava kava is a pepper plant grown throughout the South Pacific. This drink was believed to be the cause of the recorded cases of car crashes. The research method used to come up with hypothesis involved collecting information from drivers of the case vehicles engaged in serious-injury involved crashes. Structured interviewer questionnaires were used to collect data on the population characteristic. The study concluded that kava contributes to about 22.9 % of the road accidents recorded in this island.

This research could not be possible was is not for the Fiji ministry of health and staff. To be specific the Fiji health and staff in the trauma admitting hospital for providing support that enhanced how this research was carried out. Other individuals who are highly acknowledged by the Wainqolo et al., (2013) include professor Sitaleki and doctor Robyn Gounder who supervised and offered guidance on the project. The last team involved the team responsible for developing and managing databases. All the acknowledged members play a significant role which added up to the overall success of the project and was it not for their efforts, and the project couldn't have been concluded.

Research Question

Wainqolo et al.,(2013) sought to answer the research question as to whether kava kava was the primary cause of accidents recorded in Fiji. Kava is an intoxicating beverage which is extracted from the kava kava plant which is dominant in the Pacific regions. The kava beverage is derived from the root of the kava plant. The kava beverage is consumed due to its seductive and anesthetic natures which bring some degree of leisure to the consumer (Kava Kauwai, n.d). This beverage is mainly consumed throughout the Pacific as it was initially a traditional drink which was drunk to initiate meals. The kava drink has become incorporated in the Pacific cultures due to its availability among the residents. The active ingredients of kava drink are kavalactones. The seductive effect associated with the consumption of the kava drink has been blamed as the primary cause of the vehicle accidents.

Kava kava a shrub native to the south pacific island including Hawaii. The kava is initially harvested for its rootstock which has some medicinal value. The therapeutic compound which is active are kava kava lactones which have pharmacological components. Kava can also be described as a non-fermented psychoactive beverage which is consumed by the residents of Fiji for social, ceremonial, and medical purposes. In the past, this drink was prepared by either chewing or pounding the rootstock to produce a white pulp. This milky pulp is then soaked in water before the drink undergoes filtration. After filtration, the drink is considered ready to drink. This traditional beverage has lost its regular use and has intern shifted to recreation. The over-drinking of the kava for recreation purposes is the main reason why car accidents had become the order of the day.

The arguments that are developed by the wainqolo et al. in their article is supported by another article, drinking, and driving, which argues that drunk driving puts everyone at risk. The supporting material claims that if own drinks and decides to drive, he or she does not only expose his life to danger but also the lives of other road users. The risk of causing an accident when one is driving under the influence of alcohol is very high. The high risk involved arise from the individual being unstable and unable to make rational decisions while he or she is on the road. This argument has been developed from a study conducted in the United States. This research estimated that nearly over 112million individuals have driven while drunk.


In this article, Wainqolo et al.,(2013) intervened to solve the epidemic which rises from the consumption of kava. According to Wainqolo et al.,(2013) finds that road traffic injuries was becoming dominant among the many Pacific countries, and this was imposing heavy demands on the poorly resourced healthcare facilities. The high requirements caused constraints of fragile economies, and this has made people vulnerable to increase poverty and on-going suffering. Due to this fact that this road traffic injuries lead to suffering among the residents of the Pacific region, there was the need to come up with a solution to this problem. According to the report formulated by Wainqolo et al., this issue had to be addressed from the source. There were assumptions made trying to determine the cause of the car accidents, but a solution could not be based on assumptions. There was the need for coming up with research which was to focus on the first assumption which was driving under the influence of Kava kava.The cause of the recorded road accidents was the kava drink, but this had not come to many of the residents of the Pacific island.

Outcome of Interest

Wainqolo et al.,(2013) interest on further research about the kava drink led them to a positive outcome. The outcome formulated showed that 22.9% of the drivers who were involved in the road accidents reported having consumed kava 12 hours before the crash or accident. Among the total number of the 22.9% of the overall drivers who caused accidents under the influence of kava, 31.4% of them had a practice of drinking kava several times a week in the past 12 months (Wainqolo et al., 2016). After taking control for assessed confounders assessed that driving after using kava was somehow associated with an increase in the odds of being involved in a car crash. This result pointed to a positive turn up as it was now clear that most of these accidents were somehow related to the consumption of the kava alcohol. risk involved arise from the individual being unstable and unable to make rational decisions, This led to a recommendation that people should always avoid drinking before driving due to its relation to accidents and deaths. Furthermore, the outcome of this study could contribute to the further research on the topic and establish lasting findings of the consumption of kava in the region and far beyond.

Research Design

Case Control

A case-control research technique was used for this study. The researchers in this study compared the drivers that drink kava and their rate of accidents to those that do not drink kava. The study took place between 1st July 2005 and 31st December 2006. The study was conducted in Viti Levu area which hosts a population of 837,271. Almost every resident of this region took part in this exercise as nearly everyone is a consumer of kava. This study was approved by the Fiji local government and thus was carried out openly as it was legitimate. The approval by the state government gave Wainqolo et al.,(2013) an opportunity to carry out an extensive research which accommodated all essential aspects of research. Wainqolo et al. received approval to carry out the research easy as the accidents recorded needed to be accounted since they were causing constraints on available resources in the local hospitals. The interviewees were asked to provide a written informed consent for ethics purposes. The police granted a road-side survey during the whole study period. Participants were selected randomly for the study, to eliminate the level of bias. Cases for the review were identified by studying the records reported in trauma-admitting hospitals in Viti Levu. This system helped the researchers to determine injured individuals from emergency department registers, admission records, and mortuary registers. If the driver of the involved vehicle died or was not available for interviews, the police or the passenger that survived the accident was interviewed to provide further information on the crash. Proxy interviews were also used where the family members or relatives involved in the accident were questioned to provide data for analysis.

Waigolo et al., (2013) selected the samples for their study using a two-stage cluster sample roadside survey design. Eligible motor vehicles for the study occurred at 50 randomly chosen available road sites. Suitable roads had to be more than 400 meters and with a traffic count of 200 or more vehicles. This sampling approach ensured that the selected samples were chosen in proportion to the amount of driving undertaken. This is because the exposure to the risk of a crash only occurred when a person is driving. The sampling method selected for this study occurred over a two-hour period at safe sections of road. The main reason for choosing this particular time interval was to account for which hour's kava was consumed at peak. The survey was conducted on random days of the week, time of the day, and direction of travel. A traffic count of all vehicles traveling in that particular direction was also collected and recorded. This could then be used to assign controls from each site that was the inverse of the proportion of all vehicles selected as controls for the study.

Study cases then completed survey questions conducted in hospitals or face to face at their convenient place. The use of case-control was the best approach for this study because it eliminated bias and gave any element in the field a probability of being chosen for the study. Considering that the study was carried out on a random day of the week and random time of the day, the researchers in this study were determined to eliminate bias by making sure that all the elements could be appointed for the study. The main shortcoming of this method is that it did not identify the quantity of kava consumed by the drivers that were involved in the accident. This indicates that the outcomes cannot be such reliable because some of the interviewed drivers or those that sustained less severe injuries might not have caused an accident due to drinking. Researchers could have tried to use a technique that could help identify the quantity of kava consumed. Lack of this indicates that the conclusion may be to some extent biased against kava kava.

This approach may not have led to the specific cause of accidents in the area. Herman et al. researched in the same area and the period that Wainigolo et al.'s study was conducted and found that sleeping while driving was a major cause of road accidents. Herman et al. also used the similar approach and research design and concluded that indeed the drivers were sleepy at the time the accident occurred. Herman et al.'s approach went to the extent of measuring the quantity of sleep, unlike Wainiqolo et al.'s study which did not measure the quantity of alcohol consumed. This indicates that the drivers may have caused accidents due to other factors like being, sleepy (Herman et al., 2012). However, since Herman et al.'s study linked being sleepy to the consumption of kava, then wainiqolo et al.'s study may be reliable.

Potential Selection Bias

The selection of samples for this study eliminated inherent bias. The controls and samples for the study were selected randomly, and this could not have created any room for bias. Bias needed to be eliminated in the process as to have consistent results. By relevant research, the group meant results that were valid and could be accounted for as it was not made from assumptions. Researchers were not guided by any biased interest and time allocated for the research was sufficient. Random sam...

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