The purpose of this report is to conduct a critical appraisal of a published article.
Carnwell (1997) describes a critical appraisal as an unbiased and balanced
scrutiny of the research paper so that both its strengths and weaknesses are
highlighted. The focus of the appraisal with be on “Promoting the health of
people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; patients and their carer’s
views” (Caress et al, 2010). The format of the appraisal will be formed around a
set of criteria (see appendix 1).
The journal looks at the views of patients and their carer’s experiences with living
the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), its causes, how they manage
with the symptoms, its progression and what role they adopt in maximising their
health potential. Through-out the journal there is a clear emphasise on smoking
being the main cause of COPD, however there is no mention of its significance in
the journal title. Carnwell (1997) clearly states that the title should accurately
reflect on the content of the study.
The journal has three authors, their suitability seems to be quite adequate as
they all have PhD’s, which indicates that they are all educated to a high level and
that they have conducted previous research prior to this article. All the authors
professions lye within nursing which also indicates good clinical knowledge.
However it could be argued that there is no clear emphasis on what topics of
research they were previously involved in nor does it highlight their clinical
expertise in relation to COPD. They have however given a clear indication of being supported by a professor of respiratory medicine, which is very suitable
and credible for the study. Coughlan et al (2007) believes that a research study
should also be evaluated on its own merit and not just on the education of its
The abstract within a research paper is of great importance as it gives the reader
an essential components of the article, it will allow the reader to form an opinion
on the article and decide whether it will be beneficial for them to read on. A
typical abstract should include aims of the paper, data sources, review methods,
dates of literature, results, conclusions and implications for future practice
(Fowler, 2011). Caress et al (2010) have clearly achieved these objectives as
they have given a brief out-line of the study, a short summery of the main
findings and their conclusions.
The authors have adopted an exploratory descriptive design which is a
combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The quantitative
material within the paper looks at the demographics of people living with COPD
and what the papers objective, which is to get an indication of this populations
experiences and that of their carers on living with COPD and how they try to
promote their own health to obtain a better quality of life. The qualitative material
looks to explore the participant’s feelings and experiences on COPD. Caress et
al (2010) have used a phenomenological approach which is particularly
interested in finding out participants see the world around them, it focuses on the
participants own understanding of the topic (COPD).
The literature reviewed by the authors gives readers an indication of the
theoretical framework they have used. It should also demonstrate an appropriate
depth and breadth of reading around the topic (Coughlan et al, 2007). Caress et
al (2010) seem to have been quite superficial with their literature and have not
used an abundance of literature to support their paper. It’s apparent that there
has been previous research carried out on the topic, but no mention of health
promotion programmes such as smoking sensation, to support this population.
The literature used by Caress et al (2010) seems to be quite appropriate in
content for their topic...
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