Select a research article, other than the articles from your assignments, from the GCU library. Provide an overview of the study and describe the strategy that was used to select the sample from the population. Evaluate the effectiveness of the sampling method selected. Provide support for your answer. Include the article title and permalink in your post. Identify three key questions you will ask and answer when reading the research study and why these questions are important.

Title: “The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis”

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Overview of the Study:
“The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis” is a research article that aims to examine the impact of exercise on cognitive functioning in older adults by conducting a meta-analysis of relevant studies. The study investigates the relationship between different types of exercise interventions and cognitive outcomes in older adults.

Sampling Strategy and Evaluation:
The study utilizes a systematic search strategy to identify relevant studies from various databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycINFO. The authors employed selection criteria to screen and include eligible studies in their analysis. These criteria included studies that examined the effects of exercise interventions on cognitive outcomes in older adults, were published in peer-reviewed journals, and had an experimental or quasi-experimental design.

The authors employed a comprehensive search strategy that involved using relevant keywords, Boolean operators, and appropriate filters based on study inclusion criteria. They also manually reviewed the reference lists of relevant articles to identify additional studies that met their criteria. This approach ensured a broad and diverse pool of studies for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

The effectiveness of the sampling method selected can be evaluated based on the following aspects:

1. Representativeness: The sampling method should strive to obtain a sample that is representative of the target population. In the case of this meta-analysis, the authors aimed to include studies that had a diverse range of exercise interventions and included older adults with various cognitive abilities. By employing a systematic search strategy and using multiple databases, the authors increased the likelihood of including studies that are representative of the broader population, enhancing the generalizability of their findings.

2. Sample Size: The sample size plays a crucial role in the accuracy and precision of the meta-analysis results. The authors in this study included a substantial number of studies in their analysis, which is important for drawing reliable conclusions. By including a sufficient number of studies, they increased the statistical power of the meta-analysis, decreasing the likelihood of Type II error.

3. Publication Bias: Publication bias refers to the tendency of published studies to favor significant or positive findings, leading to an overestimation of treatment effects. The authors in this study made efforts to minimize publication bias by conducting an extensive literature search, not limiting their inclusion criteria to studies with positive results, and manually reviewing reference lists. By including studies regardless of their outcomes, the authors aimed to reduce the impact of publication bias on the meta-analysis results.

In summary, the sampling method employed in “The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults: A Meta-Analysis” appears to be effective. The comprehensive search strategy utilized by the authors enhances the representativeness of the sample, the inclusion of a significant number of studies strengthens the statistical power and precision of the analysis, and the efforts to minimize publication bias contribute to the reliability of the findings.

Three Key Questions for Reading and Evaluation:

1. How did the authors define and measure cognitive outcomes? This question is important to understand the specific cognitive domains that were assessed in the included studies. It enables the evaluation of the appropriateness and validity of the outcome measures and the generalization of findings to the broader population of older adults.

2. What types of exercise interventions were investigated? Understanding the different exercise interventions used in the included studies allows for an examination of the variability in intervention characteristics (e.g., intensity, duration, modality). This question helps determine the efficacy of specific exercise interventions in improving cognitive functioning in older adults.

3. What statistical methods were employed to analyze the data? Examining the statistical methods used in the meta-analysis is crucial to evaluate the robustness of the findings. This question enables the assessment of potential biases, the appropriateness of effect size estimations, and the consideration of heterogeneity among studies.

By asking and answering these critical questions, one can gain a comprehensive understanding of the study’s methodology, findings, and implications, thereby enabling a rigorous evaluation of the research.