Assignment: Mixed-Methods Study
Assignment: Mixed-Methods Study
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.
If the article is unavailable in a full-text version through the Walden University Library, you must e-mail the article as a PDF or Word attachment to your Instructor.
Issue and Purpose of Research
What is the referenced study’s research question or issue? What is its function? (Sometimes, only the purpose is stated explicitly, and the question must be inferred from the purpose’s introductory discussion.)
Pre-conceptions, hypotheses, and research questions of the researcher
Is there a discussion of the researcher’s prior assumptions in the article? What information does the article reveal about the researcher’s professional and personal views on the research problem? What are the study’s hypotheses (or research questions/objectives)? (Occasionally, the hypotheses or study questions are listed in the Results section rather than preceding the methodology report.) Occasionally, there will be no mention of hypotheses, but whenever inferential statistics are used, the reader can deduce what the hypotheses are by looking at the statistical analysis results.)
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Review of Literature
What is the level of quality in the literature review? Is the review of literature current and relevant? Is there evidence that the author
critiqued the literature or simply reported it? Is there an integrated summary of the current knowledge base on the research problem, or does the literature review include opinion or anecdotal articles with no synthesis or summary of the whole? (The literature review is sometimes included in the introductory section without being explicitly identified.)
Framework Theoretical or Conceptual
Is it possible to identify a theoretical or conceptual framework? If so, what exactly is it? Is it a nursing framework or one from another field? (Sometimes, no explicit theoretical or conceptual framework is identified; additionally, many “nursing” research studies draw on a “borrowed” framework, such as stress, medical pathology, and so on.)
Who were the attendees? Is the environment or study group sufficiently described? Is the research question appropriate for the setting? What kind of sampling strategy was employed? Was it suitable? Was the sample size sufficient? Did the researcher specify whether or not information redundancy was achieved?
Human Research Subjects’ Protection
What safeguards were put in place to protect human research subjects?
Design of Research
What was the study’s design? Please describe if the design was based on previous research or pilot studies.
Data Collection Methods, Instruments, and Data Generation Methods
What methods were used to collect/generate data? What instruments and/or measurement strategies were used to collect data? Was information about the measurement instruments’ dependability and validity provided? If so, please describe it. Was triangulation employed?
Were the data generated reliable? Please explain your reasoning.
What methods were used to analyze the data? What proof was provided that the researcher’s analysis was correct and reproducible?
What were the results?
Discussion of Results
Was the findings discussion related to the framework? Were those the expected results? Were they in line with previous research? Were there any descriptions of serendipitous (i.e., unintentional) discoveries?
Did the researcher discuss the study’s limitations? (Limitations are acknowledgements of internal study characteristics that may help explain insignificant and other unexpected findings, as well as those groups to whom the findings CANNOT be generalized or applied.) All studies must be limited in some way; not all of the issues involved in a problem situation can be studied at the same time.)
Are the author’s conclusions and implications supported by the study findings? (When interpreting the meaning of their study findings, researchers may appear to ignore findings that do not confirm their expectations.)
Is the author making legitimate recommendations for additional research? Is the study’s description clear and complete enough to allow the study to be replicated? (Sometimes, researchers’ recommendations appear to come from “out of nowhere,” rather than logically following from the discussion of findings.) If a research problem is truly significant, the results must be confirmed with additional research; additionally, a complete description is required if a reader wishes to design a study using a different sample or correcting flaws in the original study.)
Use of Research in Your Practice
How might this study influence your practice? Are the findings of the research applicable to your practice setting and situation? What additional research or pilot studies, if any, are required before putting findings into practice to ensure both safety and effectiveness? How might the application of this research affect other aspects of practice?
Your paper must be proofread. However, do not rely solely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part, and your grade will suffer as a result. Papers with a high number of misspelled words and grammatical errors will be penalized. Before submitting your paper, go over it in silence and then aloud, and make any necessary changes. It is often beneficial to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Uncorrected mistakes are preferable to handwritten corrections.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point typeface (10 to 12 characters per inch). Smaller or compressed type, as well as papers with narrow margins or single spacing, are difficult to read. It is preferable to allow your essay to exceed the recommended number of pages rather than attempting to compress it into fewer pages.
Large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are also unacceptable, waste trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced, and have a one-inch margin on all four sides of each page. When submitting hard copies, use white paper and print with dark ink. It will be difficult to follow your argument if it is difficult to read your essay.
Protection of Human Research Participants
What steps were taken to protect human research subjects?
What was the design of the study? If the design was modeled from previous research or pilot studies, please describe.
Instruments, Data Collection, Data Generation Methods
What methods were used for data collection/generation? 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. Was triangulation used?
Were the generated data credible? Explain your reasons.
What methods were used for data analysis? What evidence was provided that the researcher’s analysis was accurate and replicable?
What were the findings?
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 expectations 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.)
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?
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.