Developing a framework for critiquing health research

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BSc, PhD, RN, RNT, PGCHE, ILTM, Head of the Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University
BA, MPhil, RN, RGN, RNT, CertED, Senior Lecturer in Nursing, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University
BA, MSc, PGDip, RN, DN, CertED (FE), Senior Lecturer in Health Studies, School of Health and Social Sciences, Middlesex University

A new framework for critiquing health-related research
is presented in this article. More commonly used existing
frameworks tend to have been formulated within the
quantitative research paradigm. While frameworks for
critiquing qualitative research exist, they are often
complex and more suited to the needs of students
engaged in advanced levels of study. The framework
presented in this article addresses both quantitative and
qualitative research within one list of questions. It is
argued that this assists the ‘novice’ student of nursing and health-related research with learning about the two
approaches to research by giving consideration to aspects
of the research process that are common to both
approaches and also that differ between quantitative and
qualitative research.

Key words

Research critique; critique framework; heath research.


When undertaking an undergraduate programme in
health related studies, as in many other academic
disciplines, students are required to demonstrate the
ability to read, understand and critique research reports.
Health research was at one time guided by the ‘medical
model’. However, though this model remains influential,
Polgar & Thomas (2000) suggest that there have been
changes in the role and status of other health
professionals that have brought different perspectives,
and require different approaches to research. A more
holistic approach now influences how health care is
conceptualized, and how research is conducted. The
methodology of social research has become an accepted...
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