CRITIQUE OF QUANTITATIVE NURSING RESEARCH
Critique: The goal is a balanced constructive review including strengths and weaknesses as well as providing suggestions for how the study might be improved. Keep in mind that you are critiquing the article to determine if it can or should be used in your practice as a nurse. It is insufficient to answer “yes” or “no” to the questions without providing the rationale for your answer. Instructions: Identify the article you have selected to critique in correct APA format, and then answer the following questions: 1. Research Problem a) Is the problem identified clearly? b) Is the problem significant, and do(es) the researcher(s) provide a good argument for significance? c) Is the problem relevant to nursing/health care? 2. Literature Review a) Is it convincing that the author(s) reviewed a sufficient amount of literature? Is the review comprised only of primary sources? Are references current, or a combination of current and classic? b) Is the review balanced, presenting literature that supports and that differs from the researcher(s) position? c) Is the review written critically, presenting both strengths and weaknesses of previous work? 3. Theoretical Framework a) Is a theoretical framework specified? b) If so, does the framework “fit” the problem? Does it include all relevant variables? Are the concepts (variables) clearly defined? Are the results interpreted in reference to the theoretical framework? c) If not, should there be one? Is it difficult to understand the relationships among the variables in the study without a framework to tie the pieces together? (Note: qualitative research, descriptive studies, and physiologic studies typically will not specify a theoretical framework.) 4. Variables/Hypotheses a) Are the variables in the study appropriate to the problem? Are they relevant to nursing practice? Are the means to measure the variables appropriate? b) Are hypotheses stated? If so, what are they? Are they clear, specific and testable? c) If not, do(es) the researcher(s) provide sufficient information to determine what the hypotheses were? 5. Design (overall) a) What design was used? Is the design specified correctly? Is the design appropriate to answer the research question? b) Did the researcher(s) attempt to control for threats to internal and external validity? How did the researcher(s) do this? 6. Sample/Ethical Considerations a) Is the sample size adequate? Are the criteria for including and/or excluding people or items from the sample clear and appropriate? b) Is the sample likely to be similar to members of the target population? c) Do(es) the researcher(s) indicate that approval was obtained from appropriate review boards? Were the rights of human subjects protected (i.e., is there indication of informed consent, confidentiality, freedom from coercion)? d) Is there any possibility that the subjects might have felt pressured to participate or their responses influenced in some other way? 7. Data Collection a) Are the instruments or other means for data collection described sufficiently? Are the reliability and validity of the instruments addressed? Are the reliability and validity of the instruments adequate? b) Are data collection methods described clearly? Are these appropriate? c) Could the researcher(s) have affected the results of the study in some way related to the collection of data? 8. Data Analysis a) What was the process used to analyze data? Was the process clear? Was the process for data analysis appropriate to answer the research question? b) Do the results provide an answer to the research question? c) If tables are provided, are these clear and understandable? 9. Discussion and Interpretation of Findings a) Does the discussion “fit” with the data? Is it logical based on the data and results presented? b) Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss the findings in regard to previous research? Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss the findings in regard to the theoretical framework? c) Do(es) the researcher(s) identify limitations of the study? If so, what are these limitations? Do they affect the quality of the study? If so, how? d) Are there limitations that the researcher(s) do(es) not identify? If so, what are these limitations? Do they affect the quality of the study? If so, how? e) Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss implications for practice? Are these appropriate? Are there implications that the researcher(s) do(es) not identify? If so, what are they? 10. Application to Nursing Practice a) How similar are the conditions of the study (setting, sample, interventions, etc.) to other practice settings that you have been exposed to? b) How feasible, in your opinion, would it be to make a change in practice based on this research? c) Are the benefits likely to offset the costs and risks of a change in practice for the patient/ the nurse/ the organization?