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Module 12: Reporting and Utilization

Research Finding

Module 12.2: Critical Analysis of

Research Report
Critical Analysis of Research Report
• A critical analysis paper asks the writer to make an argument
about a particular book, essay, movie, etc. The goal is two fold: one,
identify and explain the argument that the author is making, and
two, provide your own argument about that argument.
• Nurses may find critiquing a research paper a particularly daunting
experience when faced with their first paper. Knowing what
questions the nurse should be asking is perhaps difficult to
determine when there may be unfamiliar research terms to grasp.
Nurses may benefit from a structured approach which helps them
understand the sequence of the text and the subsequent value of a
research paper.
• Critical analysis is otherwise called critical appraisal or research
Critical Appraisal
• Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically
analyze the research paper to judge its trustworthiness, and its
value and relevance in a particular context
• “Critical appraisal is the process of systematically examining
research evidence to assess its validity, results, and relevance
before using it to inform a decision”
• (Hill and Spittle house, 2001)
• A critical evaluation / appraisal of a research report.
Critical Appraisal
Critical appraisal is an essential step in the process of putting
research into practice. Asking questions about an article’s research
methodology, scrutinizing its data collection and analysis
methods, and evaluating how its findings are presented will help
you to determine whether that article’s conclusions should
influence practical decision-making.
• Requires
• Critical thinking,
• Appraisal
• Intellectual skill
Importance of Critical Appraisal
• To broaden understanding for use in practice.
• For implementing an evidence - based nursing practice.
• Encourages nurses to participate in clinical inquiry and
provide evidence for use in practice.
Purposes of Critical Appraisal
• To assess students’ methodological and analytical skills (identify
limitations and strengths).
• Seasoned researcher to help journal editions
• Written critique is a guide to researcher
• To advance nursing knowledge and profession
Approaches for Critical Appraisal
• Be Objective: Make comments specific to the work you are
• Be Constructive: Critique should be an advisory and
constructive nature
Critical Appraisal Process
• Comprehension
• Comparison
• Analysis
• Evaluation
• Conceptual clustering
General Guidelines
• Read and critique the entire study
• Be objective and realistic
• Comment on strengths and weakness
• Give specific examples
• Suggest alternatives
General Guidelines
• Use positive terms whenever possible and say the positive points
• Avoid vague generalizations of praise and fault findings
• Be sensitive in handling negative comments
• Evaluate substantive, ethical, methodologic, interpretative and
presentational dimensions
Initial Critical Appraisal
• What type of study was conducted?
• What was the setting?
• Were the steps clearly identified?
• Was there a logical flow
Elements of Critical Appraisal
• Substantive and theoretical dimensions
• Methodologic dimensions
• Ethical dimensions
• Interpretive dimensions
• Presentation / stylistic dimensions
• Is the purpose of the study presented?
• Is the significance (importance) of the problem discussed?
• Does the investigator provide a sense of what he or she is doing and
Problem Statement :
• Is the problem statement clear?
• Does the investigator identify key research questions and
variables to be examined?
• Does the study have the potential to help solve a problem
that is currently faced in clinical practice?
Literature Review
• Does literature review follow a logical sequence leading to a
critical review of supporting and conflicting prior work?
• Is the relationship of the study to previous research clear?
• Does the investigator describe gaps in the literature and
support the necessity of the present stu
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework:
• Check if conceptual framework described?
• If not, does it detract from the research?
• Are the concepts to be studied identified and defined?
• Are measures for each of the concepts identified and
• Does the research problem flow naturally from the conceptual
Research Questions/Hypotheses
• Are research questions or hypotheses formally stated?
• Do the research questions and hypotheses naturally flow
from the research problem and theoretical framework?
• Does each research question or hypothesis contain at least
two variables?
• Are the research questions or hypotheses worded
clearly and objectively
• Are the relevant variables and concepts clearlyand operationally
• Is the design appropriate for the research questions or hypotheses?
• Are methods of data collection sufficiently described?
• What are the identified and potential threats to internal and
external validity that were present in the study?
• If there was more than one data collector, was the inter-rater
reliability adequate?
• Are appropriate instruments for data collection used?
• Are reliability and validity of the instruments adequate?
Sample :
• Are the subjects and sampling methods described?
• Is the sample of sufficient size for the study, given the number of
variables and design?
• Is there adequate assurance that the rights of human subjects
were protected?
Data Analysis:
• Are the statistical tests used identified and the values reported?
• Are appropriate statistics used, according to level of
measurement, sample size, sampling method, and hypotheses /
research questions?
• Are the results for each hypothesis clearly and objectively
• Do the figures and tables illuminate the presentation of results?
• Are results described in light of the theoretical
framework and supporting literature?
• Are conclusions based on the results and related to the
• Are study limitations identified?
• Are generalizations made within the scope of the findings?
• Are implications of findings discussed (I.E.For practice,
education and research)?
• Are recommendations for further research stated?
Research Utilization /Implications
• Is the study of sufficient quality to
• Meet the criterion of scientific merit?
• Does the study meet the criterion of replicability?
• Is the study of relevance to practice?
• Is the study feasible for nurses to implement?
• Do the benefits of the study outweigh he risks?
Statement of the Phenomenon of the Interest
• Is the phenomenon of interest clearly identified?
• Has the researcher identified why the phenomenon requires a
qualitative format?
• Has the research described the Philosophic underpinnings of the
• Has the research made explicit the purpose of conducting the
• Does the researcher describe the projected significance of the
work to nursing?
• Is the method used to collect data compatible with the purpose of the
• Is the method adequate to address the phenomenon of interest?
• If a particular approach is used to guide the inquiry, does the
researcher complete the study according to the processes described?

• Does the researcher describe the selection of participants? Is
purposive sampling used?
• Are the informants who were chosen appropriate for research?
Data Collection
• Is data collection focused on human experience?

• Does the researcher describe data collection strategies (I.E. Interview,

observation, field notes)?

• Is protection of human participants addressed?

• Is saturation of the data described?

• Has the researcher made explicit the procedures for collecting data ?
Data Analysis
• Does the researcher describe the strategies used to analyze the data?
• Has the researcher remained true to the data?
• Does the reader understand the procedures used to analyze the data?
• Does researcher address the credibility, auditability, and fittingness of
the data?
Data Analysis
• Do the participants recognize the experience as
• Can the reader follow the researcher’s thinking?
• Does the researcher document the research
• Can the findings be applicable outside the study
• Are the results meaningful to individuals not
• Is the strategy used for analysis compatible with
• Are the findings presented within a context?
• Is the reader able to grasp the essence of the experience from the
report of the findings?
• Are the researcher’s conceptualization true to the data?
• Does the researcher place the report in the context of what already is
known about the phenomenon?
Conclusions ,Implications and Recommendations
• Do the conclusions, implications and recommendations give
the reader a context in which to use the findings?
• Do the conclusions reflect the study findings?
• Does the researcher offer recommendations for future study?
• Has the researcher made explicit the significance of the study to
Styles in Writing
• More formal, impersonal fashion and use passive voice
• Make concluding evaluation statement as to the overall worth
and relevance of the study
• Research is the best possible means of answering many
questions, no single study can provide conclusive evidence
• Evidence is accumulated through the conduct and evaluation of
several studies
• Reader who can do reflective and thorough critiques of
research reports play a role in advancing nursing knowledge
A word about your style: let your presentation be well
reasoned and objective. If you passionately disagree (or agree)
with the author, let your passion inspire you to new heights
of thorough research and reasoned argument.