Critique Template for a Quantitative Study

What is a critique? Simply stated, a critique is a critical analysis undertaken for some purpose. Nurses critique research for three main reasons: to improve their practice, to broaden their understanding, and to provide a base for the conduct of a study.
When the purpose is to improve practice, nurses must give special consideration to questions such as these:
· Are the research findings appropriate to my practice setting and situation?
· What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness?
· How might a proposed change in practice trigger changes in other aspects of practice?
To help you synthesize your learning throughout this course and prepare you to utilize research in your practice, you will be critiquing a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research study of your choice.
If the article is unavailable in a full-text version through the Walden University Library, you must e-mail the article as a PDF or Word attachment to your Instructor.

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH CRITIQUE

1. Research Problem and Purpose
What are the problem and purpose of the referenced study? (Sometimes ONLY the purpose is stated clearly and the problem must be inferred from the introductory discussion of the purpose.)
 
2. Hypotheses and Research Questions
What are the hypotheses (or research questions/objectives) of the study? (Sometimes the hypotheses or study questions are listed in the Results section, rather than preceding the report of the methodology used. Occasionally, there will be no mention of hypotheses, but anytime there are inferential statistics used, the reader can recognize what the hypotheses are from looking at the results of statistical analysis.)
 
3. Literature Review
What is the quality of the literature review? Is the literature review current? Relevant? Is there evidence that the author critiqued the literature or merely reported it without critique? Is there an integrated summary of the current knowledge base regarding the research problem, or does the literature review contain opinion or anecdotal articles without any synthesis or summary of the whole? (Sometimes the literature review is incorporated into the introductory section without being explicitly identified.)
 
4. Theoretical or Conceptual Framework
Is a theoretical or conceptual framework identified? If so, what is it? Is it a nursing framework or one drawn from another discipline? (Sometimes there is no explicitly identified theoretical or conceptual framework; in addition, many “nursing” research studies draw on a “borrowed” framework, e.g., stress, medical pathology, etc.)
 
5. Population
What population was sampled? How was the population sampled? Describe the method and criteria. How many subjects were in the sample?
 
6. Protection of Human Research Participants
What steps were taken to protect human research subjects?
 
7. Research Design
What was the design of the study? If the design was modeled from previous research or pilot studies, please describe.
 
8. Instruments and Strategies for Measurement
What instruments and/or other measurement strategies were used in data collection? Was information provided regarding the reliability and validity of the measurement instruments? If so, describe it.
 
9. Data Collection
What procedures were used for data collection?
 
10. Data Analysis
What methods of data analysis were used? Were they appropriate to the design and hypotheses?
 
11. Interpretation of Results
What results were obtained from data analysis? Is sufficient information given to interpret the results of data analysis?
 
12. Discussion of Findings
Was the discussion of findings related to the framework? Were those the expected findings? Were they consistent with previous studies? Were serendipitous (i.e., accidental) findings described?
 
13. Limitations
Did the researcher report limitations of the study? (Limitations are acknowledgments of internal characteristics of the study that may help explain insignificant and other unexpected findings, and more importantly, indicate those groups to whom the findings CANNOT be generalized or applied. It is a fact that all studies must be limited in some way; not all of the issues involved in a problem situation can be studied all at once.)
 
14. Implications
Are the conclusions and implications drawn by the author warranted by the study findings? (Sometimes researchers will seem to ignore findings that don’t confirm their hypotheses as they interpret the meaning of their study findings.)
 
15. Recommendations
Does the author offer legitimate recommendations for further research? Is the description of the study sufficiently clear and complete to allow replication of the study? (Sometimes researchers’ recommendations seem to come from “left field” rather than following obviously from the discussion of findings. If a research problem is truly significant, the results need to be confirmed with additional research; in addition, if a reader wishes to design a study using a different sample or correcting flaws in the original study, a complete description is necessary.)
 
16. Research Utilization in Your Practice
How might this research inform your practice? Are the research findings appropriate to your practice setting and situation? What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness? How might the utilization of this research trigger changes in other aspects of practice?

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