Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies
Critiquing the validity and robustness of research featured in journal articles provides a critical foundation for engaging in evidence-based practice.. For this Assignment, you critique a quantitative and either a qualitative or a mixed methods research study and compare the types of information obtained in each.
• Select a health topic of interest to you that is relevant to your current area of practice and that is different from your Course Project (course project is on hand washing)
• locate two articles in scholarly journals that deal with your topic. One article should utilize a quantitative research design while the other should utilize either a qualitative or a mixed methods design.
• Locate the following documents in this week’s Learning Resources to access the appropriate templates, which will guide your critique of each article:
o Critique Template for a Qualitative Study
o Critique Template for a Quantitative Study
o Critique Template for a Mixed-Methods Study
• Consider the fields in the templates as you review the information in each article.
• Begin to draft a paper in which you analyze the two research approaches as indicated below.
• Reflect on the overall value of both quantitative and qualitative research. If someone were to say to you, “Qualitative research is not real science,” how would you respond?
To complete this Assignment:
• Complete the two critiques using the appropriate templates.
• Write a 3-page paper that addresses the following:
o Contrast the types of information that you gained from examining the two different research approaches in the articles that you selected.
o Describe the general advantages and disadvantages of the two research approaches featured in the articles. Use examples from the articles for support.
o Formulate a response to the claim that qualitative research is not real science. Highlight the general insights that both quantitative and qualitative studies can provide to researchers. Support your response with references to the Learning Resources and other credible sources.
Critique Template for a Quantitative Study
Week 6 Assignment: Application: Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies (due by Day 7 of Week 7)
Article reference (in APA style):
What is a critique? Simply stated, a critique is a critical analysis undertaken for some purpose. Nurses critique research for three main reasons: to improve their practice, to broaden their understanding, and to provide a base for the conduct of a study.
When the purpose is to improve practice, nurses must give special consideration to questions such as these:
• Are the research findings appropriate to my practice setting and situation?
• What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness?
• How might a proposed change in practice trigger changes in other aspects of practice?
To help you synthesize your learning throughout this course and prepare you to utilize research in your practice, you will be critiquing a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research study of your choice.
For your critique, select one of the research articles that you included in your literature review. you must e-mail the article as a PDF or Word attachment to your Instructor.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH CRITIQUE
1. Research Problem and Purpose
What are the problem and purpose of the referenced study? (Sometimes ONLY the purpose is stated clearly and the problem must be inferred from the introductory discussion of the purpose.)
2. Hypotheses and Research Questions
What are the hypotheses (or research questions/objectives) of the study? (Sometimes the hypotheses or study questions are listed in the Results section, rather than preceding the report of the methodology used. Occasionally, there will be no mention of hypotheses, but anytime there are inferential statistics used, the reader can recognize what the hypotheses are from looking at the results of statistical analysis.)
3. Literature Review
What is the quality of the literature review? Is the literature review current? Relevant? Is there evidence that the author critiqued the literature or merely reported it without critique? Is there an integrated summary of the current knowledge base regarding the research problem, or does the literature review contain opinion or anecdotal articles without any synthesis or summary of the whole? (Sometimes the literature review is incorporated into the introductory section without being explicitly identified.)
4. Theoretical or Conceptual Framework
Is a theoretical or conceptual framework identified? If so, what is it? Is it a nursing framework or one drawn from another discipline? (Sometimes there is no explicitly identified theoretical or conceptual framework; in addition, many “nursing” research studies draw on a “borrowed” framework, e.g., stress, medical pathology, etc.)
What population was sampled? How was the population sampled? Describe the method and criteria. How many subjects were in the sample?
6. Protection of Human Research Participants
What steps were taken to protect human research subjects?
7. Research Design
What was the design of the study? If the design was modeled from previous research or pilot studies, please describe.
8. Instruments and Strategies for Measurement
What instruments and/or other measurement strategies were used in data collection? Was information provided regarding the reliability and validity of the measurement instruments? If so, describe it.
9. Data Collection
What procedures were used for data collection?
10. Data Analysis
What methods of data analysis were used? Were they appropriate to the design and hypotheses?
11. Interpretation of Results
What results were obtained from data analysis? Is sufficient information given to interpret the results of data analysis?
12. Discussion of Findings
Was the discussion of findings related to the framework? Were those the expected findings? Were they consistent with previous studies? Were serendipitous (i.e., accidental) findings described?
Did the researcher report limitations of the study? (Limitations are acknowledgments of internal characteristics of the study that may help explain insignificant and other unexpected findings, and more importantly, indicate those groups to whom the findings CANNOT be generalized or applied. It is a fact that all studies must be limited in some way; not all of the issues involved in a problem situation can be studied all at once.)
Are the conclusions and implications drawn by the author warranted by the study findings? (Sometimes researchers will seem to ignore findings that don’t confirm their hypotheses as they interpret the meaning of their study findings.)
Does the author offer legitimate recommendations for further research? Is the description of the study sufficiently clear and complete to allow replication of the study? (Sometimes researchers’ recommendations seem to come from “left field” rather than following obviously from the discussion of findings. If a research problem is truly significant, the results need to be confirmed with additional research; in addition, if a reader wishes to design a study using a different sample or correcting flaws in the original study, a complete description is necessary.)
16. Research Utilization in Your Practice
How might this research inform your practice? Are the research findings appropriate to your practice setting and situation? What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness? How might the utilization of this research trigger changes in other aspects of practice?
• Cantrell, M. A. (2011). Demystifying the research process: Understanding a descriptive comparative research design. Pediatric Nursing, 37(4),
The author of this article discusses the primary aspects of a prominent quantitative research design. The article examines the advantages and disadvantages of the design.
• Schultz, L. E., Rivers, K. O., & Ratusnik, D. L. (2008). The role of external validity in evidence-based practice for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Psychology, 53(3), 294–302..
This article details the results of a study that sought to balance concern for rigor with concern for relevance. The authors of the article derive and determine a rating format for relevance and apply it to cognitive rehabilitation.
• Metheny, N. A., Davis-Jackson, J., & Stewart, B. J. (2010). Effectiveness of an aspiration risk-reduction protocol. Nursing Research, 59(1), 18–25..
• Padula, C. A., Hughes, C., & Baumhover, L. (2009). Impact of a nurse-driven mobility protocol on functional decline in hospitalized older adults. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 24(4), 325–331.
• Yuan, S.-C., Chou, M.-C., Hwu, L.-J., Chang, Y.-O,, Hsu, W.-H., & Kuo, H.-W. (2009). An intervention program to promote health-related physical fitness in nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(10),1,404–1,411.