Qualitative Critical Appraisal, Attitudes Knowledge and Skills Needed in Mental Health Nursing

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I have chosen to critique Rydon’s (2005) article ‘The attitudes, knowledge and skills needed in mental health nurses: The perspective of users of mental health services’ because I am interested in finding out service user’s outlook of mental health nurses. When I qualify as a mental health nurse I would need to acquire the correct attitudes, knowledge and skills as this would make the nursing process more effective, because as McCabe and Timmons (2006) suggest I will be more sensitive to the client’s needs and preferences. Therefore being able to transfer findings to my own practice is highly substantial. The Author of the article, Sharon E. Rydon, has undertaken this research as a partial fulfilment of a Master’s degree, training to be a researcher. Being a novice to research can present lack of self-awareness. Therefore I would have liked to have seen a pilot study be conducted in this article. Pilot studies are used as part of a research design, to check sampling techniques, to test the validity and reliability of data collection tools and to allow the researcher to practice skills such as interviewing techniques (Hek et al, 1996). Conjointly it would have been helpful to see the decisions taken during the project, the process of reflexivity and her involvement in the research. Watt (2007) states audiences should have the opportunity to see how the researcher goes about the process of knowledge construction during a particular study. This would also determine whether she has insight of how research should be conducted. The article identified the use of a qualitative descriptive methodology to gather data. According to Burns and Grove (2011) Qualitative research is a systematic, subjective approach used to describe life experiences. It should increase understanding of something that is abstract and unknown by asking for, or looking for specific examples, experiences, or perceptions (Macnee & McCabe,2008), this is an appropriate method used. On the other hand the research questionnaire used with participants is not available, therefore the identified phenomenon of interest that has directed the progress of the research cannot be reflected upon (Moule & Goodman, 2009). Whether or not she uses “descriptive” methodology is questioned due to the lack of rich data. Despite this, the analysis potentially uses rich data by quoting some responses from participants. But using quotations does not necessarily provide a justification on whether the participant’s voice is being heard or the researchers. Even though the article mentions the support of the participants, consumer consultants and coordinators of the support groups contributing to the reliability and trustworthiness of the study. The article does not justify whether the researcher has seen what was said in a different perspective making the result unreliable. Also other factors still cast doubt on the authenticity of the article. Furthermore the message portrayed by the article is of an inductive process, and theory is generated based on the data collected (Hays & Singh, 2012). This is much like a grounded theory, yet the article has failed to state this and only clearly tells me the data collection method. To collect the data she states of using focus groups but this left me confused as she also contradicts herself by saying group interviews. A group interview is a different methodology to focus groups. Focus group participants provide a flow of input and interaction related to the topics that the group is centred on (Edmunds, 1999). Focus groups tend to be more structured; it has more control of what is going to be said, which leaves less room for discussion and individual’s experiences are not fully heard, it usually generates information which the researcher is interested in, whereas group interviews are particularly suited for obtaining several perspedrctives about a topic (Whittaker & Williamson, 2011). In addition to this she fails to mention the triangulation...
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