AssessingCentral Tendency and Descriptive Statistics

AssessingCentral Tendency and Descriptive Statistics

Thearticle by Zawistowski and DeVita (2004) aimed to provide a report onthe assessment of the number of children who die under intensive careafter the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. This paper aims toevaluate the ideals used in the article precisely the measures ofcentral tendency and their appropriateness in producing desirableresults that one may rely upon. It will also evaluate whether theassumptions that were put up before the study were fully addressed. All these aspects will be crucial in showing the viability of theentire study in a bid to ensure that it meets the necessaryrequirements of research as outlined in various research and dataanalysis guidelines.

Measuretendency examined in the article

Ameasure of central tendency is a value that tries to define a givenset of data by showing the central position of such a set. There arethree types of measures of central tendency. These are the mean, themedian, and the mode (Allen, 2013). This paper shall concentrate onthe median. This value is in the middle of the data set once all thevalues are arranged in ascending order. This value clearly describesthe dataset, and it is not affected by extreme values in the dataset.

Descriptionof the study

Thestudy applied a retrospective design in which the researchers reliedon the information available to determine what had happened earlier.They also tried to link what had happened earlier with the results inan aim to determine whether there was some association between thetwo. The study was done in a care pediatric hospital that isaffiliated with a particular university, and the researchersconcentrated on charts bearing different information. The focus wasput on all patients whose treatment had been withdrawn for high fiveyears. In the long run, 125 charts were examined (Zawistowski, &ampDeVita, 2004). The results indicated that most cases of cessation oftherapies occurred after patients had stayed in the intensive careunit for a long time. It also showed that most of the patients woulddie several minutes after being taken off the machine. The study,therefore, goes ahead to show the importance that the intensive caredevice holds as it relates to sustaining the lives of the criticalpatients brought to the facility.

Howthe central tendency was used in the study

Asmentioned earlier, the study applied the-the median as the measure ofcentral tendency. The median was used to analyze various independentand dependent variables that were used in the study (Allen, 2013).For instance, it showed that the median age of most of the patientsthat were taken off the life support machine was 24 years while themedian length of stay of most of the patients in the ICU before theywere taken off the machine was 20 days. The results also showed thatthe median time taken by the hospital management to taken the patientfrom the machine was 30 minutes while the median time that thepatients took before they died after being taken from the machine was15 minutes.

Appropriatenessof the use of median

Thestudy was quite useful through the use of the median to try toevaluate the ideals and establish whether the objectives andassumptions set were answered as would be desirable (Bryman, 2015).Since the median is not affected by extreme values, it shows that itwas the most appropriate measure o central tendency to be used toanalyze the results of the study and provide conclusions that werereliable and valid.

Howassumptions of the study were met

Thestudy relied on the assumptions that most of the patients stayed forlonger periods in the life support machine before it was pulled down.It also relied on the assumption that the management and otherstakeholders in the hospital took a shorter time to deliberate onwhether to pull down the life support machine or not (Zawistowski, &ampDeVita, 2004). The third assumption of the study was that patientswould not last long after they were taken out of the machine. All thethree assumptions turned out in the positive as explained in theresults provided by the median value.

Levelsof measurement of variables in the study

Thestudy had various independent and dependent variables. The variablesincluded sex, religion, diagnosis, the age of patients, the length ofstay in the ICU, time taken to make the decision to withdraw the ICUservices, and the time taken before a patient dies after being takenoff the machine (Zawistowski, &amp DeVita, 2004). It also relied onother variables such as the amount of medication that the patientswere given. Most of these medications were anesthetics that werevital in making the patients numb, and, therefore, not susceptible toany pain that could be leveled at them. The study relied on measuringthese variables and showing their median values in groups with an aimof ascertaining whether they are properly answered.

Appropriatenessof levels of measurement of the study variables

Thiskind of level of measurement of the survey variable was key inensuring that all the elements and set objectives for the study waswell addressed. It would go a long way in bringing out the resultsthat the management of the hospital would consider appropriate as itrelates to making decisions that would help to sustain the health ofthe patients brought to the facility and put on the life supportmachine (Bryman, 2015). The levels of measurement were also crucial,especially for an individual going through the report as such aperson would be capable of clearly understanding the information putin the report. The element of order that was put in the report wasquite critical and beneficial.

Howthe data was displayed

Thedata showing the results obtained from the study was displayed intables that indicated the variables as well as the kind ofmeasurement applied. The tables were well documented, and figures putin such a way that it would be easier for one to understand theresults portrayed in them. The tables were also well spaced, givingany individual going through them ample time to decipher theinformation (Zawistowski, &amp DeVita, 2004). The tables were alsowell labeled. The labeling was quite important as it would enable oneknow the aim of each table. An individual who is interested in acertain variable, in particular, would likely be able to find iteasily just by going through the labels attached beneath the tables.It is also important to outline that the explanations of the tableswere also given in prose, just next to them. This was quite crucialas it would enable any individual going through them furtherunderstand information that was not quite clear to him.

Appropriatenessof the data display

Thereport of the study relied solely on the provision of tables as a wayof displaying the data obtained from the findings. The method had itsshare of advantages and disadvantages. One of the benefits of thisapproach is that it provided a great ease regarding going through thereport. An individual could easily understand the results of thestudy by simply going through the table. Such a person would alsofind it easy to draw conclusions from the study without having theneed to go through the entire document with profound concentration.The flipside of the use of this kind of data presentation is that itwas of a single type (Bryman, 2015). It would, therefore, bring aboutsome form of boredom on the part of a person who would be goingthrough the data set. It would be more desirable if the researchercould have resorted to the use of multiple ways of representing thedata that any person going through it would find it kind ofinteresting. The use of only tables was also a limiting factor inthat it would not be easy to establish trends in the findings, as aresult.


Theresearcher was quite apt in the use of the measure of centraltendency (median) to explain the different phenomenon of the researchstudy. Most of the methods applied in the study were key for itssuccess. The study was also able to attain its objectives.


Allen,D. (2013). Measures of Central Tendency-Measures of Central Tendency(SCORM).

Bryman,A. (2015).&nbspSocialresearch methods.Oxford University press.

Zawistowski,C. A., &amp DeVita, M. A. (2004). A descriptive study of childrendying in the pediatric intensive care unit after withdrawal oflife-sustaining treatment.&nbspPediatricCritical Care Medicine,&nbsp5(3),216-223.