Identify, describe, and critique for appropriateness any research objectives, questions, or hypotheses. If there are none, suggest how those might be stated.

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Guidelines for Quantitative Nursing Research Critique

  1. State the purpose of the study, and identify the problem.
  2. Examine the literature review within your selected article. In your analysis, critique these sections:
    1. Are articles relevant? Are the previous studies and theories described?
    2. Are the references current? How many sources are from the last 10 years?
    3. How many sources are from the last 5 years?
    4. Describe the current knowledge–what is known and unknown–about the research problem.
  3. Examine and critique the study framework or theoretical perspective. In your analysis, discuss the following:
    1. Is the framework explicitly expressed, or must the reviewer extract the framework from implicit statements in the literature review?
    2. Is the framework based on scientific, substantive, or tentative theory?
    3. Does the framework identify, define, and describe relationships among the concepts of interest?
    4. How is the framework related to the body of knowledge in nursing?
  4. Identify, describe, and critique for appropriateness any research objectives, questions, or hypotheses. If there are none, suggest how those might be stated.
  5. Identify, describe, and critique–conceptually and operationally–the major study variables. Examine the purpose, the objectives, questions, or hypotheses, as well as the results section of the research article. Identify and define each variable type as one of the following:
    1. Independent variables
    2. Dependent variables
    3. Research variables
  6. Identify and critique attributes and demographic variables.
  7. Describe and critique the research design. Address the following criteria in the analysis:
    1. Identify the specific design of the study.
    2. Identify the treatment or intervention if appropriate for the type of study conducted.
    3. How were subjects assigned to groups if groups were studied?
    4. Were pilot-study findings used to design this study? If yes, briefly discuss the pilot and the changes made in this study based on the pilot.
  8. Describe and critique the sample and setting. Include the following elements in your analysis:
    1. Identify inclusion and exclusion sample criteria.
    2. Indicate the method used to obtain the sample.
    3. State the sample size. Indicate if a power analysis was conducted to determine the sample size. Identify the refusal to participate number and percentage.
    4. Identify the characteristics of the sample.
    5. Identify the sample mortality (or attrition) number and percentage.
    6. Indicate the type of consent obtained and institutional review board approval.
    7. Identify the study setting and indicate if it was appropriate for the study purpose.
  9. Describe and critique the measurement instrument used in the study with the following guidelines:
    1. Identify the type of each measurement strategy, such as the Likert scale, visual analog scale, physiological measure, questionnaire, observation, or interview.
    2. Identify the level of measurement (nominal, ordinal, interval/ratio) achieved by each measurement strategy.
    3. Discuss how the instrument was developed or the purpose of use.
    4. Report the reliability of each instrument from previous studies and the current study.
    5. Report the validity of each instrument from previous studies and the current study.
  10. Describe and critique the procedures for data collection.
    1. Identify the intervention protocol, if appropriate.
    2. Detail how the data were collected.
  11. Describe and critique the statistical analyses used.
    1. List the statistical procedures used to describe the sample.
    2. .Was the level of significance or alpha identified? If so, indicate the level (.05, .01, or .001).
    3. Complete the table below with the analysis techniques conducted in the study:

1)     Identify the focus (description, relationships, or differences) of each analysis technique.

2)     List the statistical procedures.

3)     List the statistics.

4)     Identify specific results.

5)     Provide specific probability value (p =) in a table as shown next.

Purpose of analysis

Statistical procedure



Probability (p)

Difference between males and females on blood pressure t-test t 3.75 = .04
Difference between treatment and comparison groups on weight loss Analysis of variance F 5.79 p = .009
Relationship of pain perception and anxiety for adolescents Pearson’s correlation r 0.56 = .03


12.  Describe and critique the researcher’s interpretation of findings.

1.   What study limitations were identified by the researcher?
2.   How did the researcher generalize the findings?

3.  What were the implications of the findings for nursing?

4. What suggestions for further study were identified?

5. Is the description of the study sufficiently clear for replication?


NUR 518 WEEK 3 Clinical Issue Article Analysis – Step 2


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