Research Critique

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC] (2008) report that all professional nurses have a responsibility to deliver care based on current evidence, best practice and validated research when it is available, Gomm and Davies (2000) confirm this by stating that government and professional guidance insist that professional practice should be based on evidence.

Nurses are the largest professional group among health care workers worldwide; they carry out numerous interventions with patients and patient’s carers. The nurse’s decisions and actions affect the lives of many people, and therefore, it is sound knowledge that nursing practice should be based on robust evidence (Parahoo 2006). Burns and Grove (2005), state that a solid research base will provide evidence of nursing interventions that are effective in promoting positive patient outcomes.

In order to work within evidence-based practice guidelines, it is essential that all research is critically examined in order to assess quality and applicability (Playle 2000). Furthermore, Adams (1999) also states that by critiquing a piece of research, you can look objectively at the evidence and determine what it means, and whether it is relevant to your area of practice. Caldwell, Henshaw and Taylor (2011) define critiquing as the ability to critically appraise a published piece of research by identifying its strengths and weaknesses and by forming judgements concerning its overall quality and applicability. Coughlan, Cronin and Ryan (2007) and Ryan, Coughlan and Cronin (2007) found that the ability to critically appraise research and apply this to the identification of best practice is a key component of nursing practice. Marshall (2005) go on to state that critical evaluation of research is necessary so that the reader does not take what is read at face value, but considers the piece of work with a critical mind in order to decide the value of the article.

This assignment will critically appraise and critique two pieces of research, one quantitative and one qualitative that are both related to a general topic in nursing.

The quantitative article that has been chosen is entitled ‘Factors influencing the contribution of advanced practice nurses to promoting evidence based practice among front line nurses: findings from a cross-sectional survey’. It was conducted by Gerrish, Guillaume, and Kirshbaum. McDonnell, Tod and Nolan and published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2011. For the purpose of this assignment it shall be referred to as article A.

The qualitative article that has been chosen is entitled ‘Malignant melanoma: gender patterns in care seeking for suspect marks’. The authors are Hajdarevic, Schmitt-Egenolf, Brulin, Sundbom and Hornsten. The article was published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing in 2011. For the purpose of the assignment it shall be referred to as article B.

Quantitative research seeks numerical data (Walsh and Wigens 2003), quantitative researchers collect facts and study the relationship between one set of facts to another (Bell 2000). It can be associated with a scientific method of inquiry as it shares the same characteristics as the scientific method, order, control, empiricism and generalisation (Dempsey and Dempsey 2000). An additional purpose of quantitative research is to be able to generalize sample findings to a more broadly defined population (Norwood 2000).

Qualitative research, on the other hand, explores the reasons behind the observations, introducing a more human element (Adams 1999). As qualitative research focuses on the feelings of people, it produces non-numerical qualitative data (Walsh and Wigens 2003). The purpose of all qualitative studies, is to discover, explore and describe phenomena (Norwood 2000), phenomena being facts or events that can be observed and scientifically described because they are known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition (Dempsey and Dempsey 2000)....
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