Research Article Critique

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Individual Research Critique: Stereotyping and Nurses’ Recommendations for Treating Pain in Hospitalized Children Kimberly Moody
Loyola University-Chicago
In your own words, describe the purpose this article.
The purpose of the study conducted by Griffin, Polit, and Byrne (2007) was to determine if stereotyping affected the nurses’ perception of pain in children and altered their treatment. The study looked at three characteristics of children, gender, race, and level of attractiveness, to assess if nurses’ preconceived biases towards any of these groups had an effect on the perceived level of pain in the child, the amount of medication that would be administered across two doses, and any non-pharmacological interventions that would be utilized to aid in alleviating pain.

In your opinion did the authors explain the significance of this study and how it addresses the gaps in the literature? Did they justify the need for this study?
The authors did a good job explaining the significance of the study, but I do not feel that by itself it can adequately address the gaps in the literature. Stereotyping is prevalent everywhere, including nursing care. The previous studies showed mixed results in regards to factors that altered the way the nurses perceived their patient’s pain and if it had any effect on the care that the patient was given. Despite findings from previous research, there was a lack of knowledge regarding if stereotyping was one of the causes of the discrepancy. Of the studies that were conducted regarding stereotyping, the population was aimed at adult patients and not at the pediatric population. Because of the gaps and conflicting data of the past experiments completed, the researchers felt that conducting this study would be beneficial and help eliminate some of the gaps in pediatric pain management.

The purpose of the literature review is to identify what is known and what is unknown about a topic. Evaluate the literature review. Is the literature review organized and synthesized to demonstrate the progressive development of ideas through previous research? Explain why or why not.

The literature review is organized in a way that can be a bit confusing and hard to follow. The researchers start out by citing studies that have shown improvements over the years in the assessment and management of pain in children, but then go on to contradict these studies by saying that investigators are reporting that pain is not being managed properly despite what the research says. The researchers also point out that little is known about what influences a nurse’s decisions regarding pain management and that stereotyping may possibly play a role. Although research has been conducted involving stereotyping of adult patients, there is little knowledge of if the same applies to the pediatric patient population as well. The researchers conclude the literature review by emphasizing that although studies have been conducted involving pain management in children, more can still be learned to assess what influences a nurse’s decisions. They also stated that the discrepancies in the prior research findings may be attributed to difference in sample size, methods, types of pain, etc.

What type of study design did the researchers use? Is the design appropriate for the question(s)?
The type of design that the researchers used is a quantitative descriptive design. This design is appropriate for this study because there is no manipulation of the variables or interventions being introduced. Instead, the researchers are trying to gather information to identify if there is a relationship between stereotyping and the nurses’ perception of pain and interventions utilized. The sample was randomly selected from the population, and then the packets were randomly assigned to the nurses included in the sample.

Describe the sample (how many, major identifying characteristics- gender, age, etc.). How did the researchers...
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