In ‘Collecting Data by Telephone from Low-Income African Americans,’ Artinian et al. (2007) conduct an investigative report that establishes the challenges faced in collecting data via use of telephones amongst African-American families living in urban centers. Additionally, the study describes the attributes of participants who could be easily reached as likely to be the elderly, female and not working. Usually, interviews are conducted via telephones due to the fact that they are cheap, convenient to the researcher and the respondent, and avail a means through which quick feedback can be obtained. Most companies have adopted telephones as a means of boosting sales or collecting customer reviews. Whereas most studies have focused on the differences in responses obtained through telephones or regular mail across African-American societies, few have examined the challenges presented in the collecting data via the telephone across minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics. Artinian et al. sought to establish these challenges and identify the reasons why they existed.
In this study, Artinian et al.(2007)stipulate that solutions to the huge health disparities in the United States are dependent on data collected from minorities. They seek to establish an investigative study whose sample is drawn from a larger study which focused on a comparison between ‘usual care and nurse-managed blood pressure tele-monitoring’ (p. 197). Whereas this hypothesis may hold, the theory documented in the article does not support or negate this claim.
On the other hand, the research questions are elaborately stated and evaluated within the study. Artinian et al. (2007)seek to establish: (a) challenges faced in collecting data via telephones amongst low-income African Americans who reside in urban areas and (b) describe the characteristics exhibited by individuals who were easy-to-reach. The first research question is exhaustively explored and several suggestions have been made on how to overcome challenges in reaching these minorities. First, Artinian et al. (2007) propose that respondents should be requested that they should provide alternative contacts. In addition, they should be encouraged to call the researchers at any time. Secondly, Artinian et al. (2007) propose that investigators should increase the number of follow-up calls in order to obtain as much data as possible. Theylink data to this question in a unique and emphatic manner. Additionally, they provide valid statistics and logical arguments that are in support of their conclusions. However, they do not establish a theoretical framework or body of literature which they base or evaluate their findings on.
In order to establish the characteristics and percentage of individuals who were easy to reach, Artinian et al. (2007) classified their respondents on the number of calls needed in order to obtain a response. 46% of the sampled respondents were found to be easily available. These individuals were likely to be females in the senior citizens category who were either in retirement or unemployed. Whereas this study draws valid conclusions in regard to the second research question, it fails in establishing a theoretical base explaining why these individuals were more likely to be reached via telephone in comparison to other respondents.
In conclusion, Artinian et al. not only failed to establish a theoretical framework via which they could evaluate their findings on but also failed to link their findings to a concrete and valid conclusion explaining various characteristics exhibited by the respondents. Whereas this research presents unique and well-drafted research questions which the researchers exhaustively and elaborately describe, it lacks a theoretical framework as a backbone and basis for evaluation. In fact, the study does not present a conclusion that identifies the research findings and presents general proposals that can be adopted across organizations interested in conducting telephone interviews as a means of obtaining data about their market segments.