Qualitative Research Critique

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Nurses are responsible in providing holistic, quality care to their clients. In order to effectively provide such care Boswell and Cannon (2009, p. 2 & 7) states that nurses must base their provision of care on the most current, up-to-date health information available and sound nursing knowledge. This is where evidence-based practice (EBP) comes in. Polit and Beck (2010, p. 4) defined EBP as "the use of the best clinical evidence in making patient care desicions". This usually comes from research conducted by nurses and other healthcare professionals. Thus it is pertinent that research reports are critically analyzed.

A research critique aims to measure the value and significance of a study. These are determined by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the report (Brockopp & Tolsma, 2003, p. 400). Recommendations for areas of improvements are also included in a research critique. This paper critically appraises a qualitative research article titled "Women's perception of being pregnant and having pregestational diabetes" (Lavender, T., Platt, M. J., Tsekiri, E., Casson, I., Byrom, S., Baker, L., et al., 2010, p. 589-595).

Title and Abstract

The title of a research report is the first thing that readers look at to have a gross idea about what the study is about (Brockopp & Tolsma, 2003, p. 446). It should contain 15 words or less and in qualitative studies, the title would typically include the central phenomenon and group under investigation (Polit & Beck, 2010, p. 89). In their research report, the researchers used 9 words for the title to accurately describe their study.

From the title, we can tell that the central phenomenon is ‘pregestational diabetes' and the population being studied is women. This is consistent throughout the study as the participants include women who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, although the title did not specify the pregnancy status of the participants. This may mislead readers into thinking that the study was being done only on pregnant women. The title also did not specify where the study was being conducted. It would be good if it did so that readers can gauge the context of the study. We can also tell from the title that this is a qualitative study using phenomenological approach since the study is exploring women’s perceptions.

According to Polit and Beck (2010, p. 89), the abstract is a concise summary of the study written in 100-150 words. This should include the problem, how the study was done, the number of participants and the major findings (Brockopp & Tolsma, 2003, p. 67). The researchers used specific headings to organize their summary for the study. It is systematic and enabled readers to find information with ease.

Although the abstract is slightly longer than recommended, the researchers addressed the essential components such as problem (pregnancy with pregestational diabetes), methods (focus groups and individual interviews), results and conclusion (Polit & Beck, 2010, p. 99). The purpose and context of the study were clearly stated and the information provided was consistent with the contents of the research report. The abstract built on the title by elaborating on the issue of interest thus enticing readers to read further.

Literature Review

Information from literature provides a foundation and framework for research (Brockopp & Tolsma, 2003, p. 139) and in qualitative studies, a conceptual framework is essential as the study have to be linked to other research ideas about the topic (Holloway & Wheeler, 2002, p. 31). As stated by Polit and Beck (2010, p. 185), a literature review should supply readers with an impartial, systematic summary and analysis of the current state of evidence on the chosen topic. The researchers provided a comprehensive and well-organized review of literature in a logical manner. They started by listing the complications of pregnancy in women with pregestational diabetes and how risk of...
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