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Nursing research article critiques-made easy!

- page 2 | New Jersey Nurse 9/13/10 11:37 PM

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Nursing research article critiques-


made easy!
New Jersey Nurse, Dec 2003 by Vitale, Anne
3. Correlational-Examines relationships between variables in a group.

4. Quasi-experimental/ Experimental-Examines causality, explains relationships, uses


control and experimental groups.

NOTE: Experimental designs are the most scientific!

c. Measurements/Instruments

1. Description of the data collection instruments, scales, questionnaires. Example: #


questions, scoring range, etc.

2. Inclusion of reliability and validity of instruments.

a. Reliability-Measurement of how consistently similar results are obtained every time


the scale/instrument is used.

b. Validity-Measurement of how accurately the instrument reflects some of the variables


in the study (characteristics under study).

3. Reliability and validity are important because the study's results should never be
influenced by instrument/scale error.

4. Data Analysis:

a. Summarizes and describes the data in a logical, understandable format from research
variables capable of being quantified (converted to numbers).

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Nursing research article critiques-made easy! - page 2 | New Jersey Nurse 9/13/10 11:37 PM

1. Descriptive statistics-Clearly and understandably describes the sample mostly using


frequency distribution, mean, median, mode, range, % and others.

2. Inferential statistics-Tests the research questions or hypothesis using T-Tests,


ANOVA, multiple regressions, etc. When the research plan hypothesizes relationships
between variables, it is necessary to clarify expected variable relationships using
independent and dependent variables.

a. Dependent variable-Response, behavior, or outcome the researcher wants to explain.

b. Independent variable-The treatment or experimental variable manipulated by the


researcher to create an effect on the dependent variable.

NOTE: One easy way of differentiating between these variables is to remember that
independent means standing alone, and dependent means relying on something. Don't
let statistics scare you! If you are a novice at article critique, work on being able to find
the sample adequately represented in an included table, chart or graph. Take small
steps!

5. Findings/Nursing Implications/ Conclusions:

a. The findings and conclusions should be relevant, useable, and generated from the
study.

b. Suspect bias if questionable generalizability, sample defect, or weak design.

NOTE: Don't expect perfection! Every report might offer something useful, ideas you
can use, improve, or develop!

"POLISHING" THE CRITIQUE

Remember that all research is subject to a critique. But until you, the reader have
critiqued the report, you have no way of knowing if the study is based on good,
systematic research principles. Follow the above outline next time you read a nursing
research article. Jot down the outline headings (purpose, sample, methods, data
analysis, and nursing implications). And find the content from the article you chose to
read. For the first couple of studies, critique the article backwards and forwards. This is
time well spent because you will have an opinion on the value of the nursing study by
the end of the report. Now let's see how objective that opinion is!

"TEST THE STUDY"

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