Take the quiz to test your understanding of the key concepts covered in the chapter. Try testing yourself before you read the chapter to see where your strengths and weaknesses are, then test yourself again once you’ve read the chapter to see how well you’ve understood.
1. Suggest three elements involved when evaluating or critically appraising research.
- Identifying the study’s strengths, weaknesses and limitations
- Challenging the approach taken and suggesting alternative approaches
- Evaluating whether the findings should be applied to local clinical settings
- Identifying whether the study is valid and reliable or trustworthy
- Comparing the findings with the current body of knowledge
- Being objective and taking a balanced view
2. Give four reasons why nurses and midwives may critically appraise research.
- To distinguish between robust and flawed research
- To inform clinical practice
- To facilitate practice change
- To adhere to professional responsibilities to ensure practice is evidence based
- As part of the literature review process
- To provide a rationale for a research proposal
- As an academic assignment
3. When critically appraising a study, why might it be important to ascertain the credibility of the researchers?
To decide if the researchers were appropriately qualified or experienced in order to undertake the research.
4. When critically appraising a study, why might you be concerned if key or seminal texts are not included in the literature review?
This may indicate that the researcher has not thoroughly reviewed the current literature.
5. When critically appraising a study, why might you be concerned about a low response rate or high drop-out rate?
The findings may be based on a sample of insufficient size to be of any value.
6. When critically appraising a study, why might the use of previously validated data collection tools be regarded as being a positive factor?
Previously ‘tried and tested’ tools will probably make the study findings more robust.
7. When critically appraising a study, why might you be concerned if you note a conflict of interest, for example for the funder of the study?
This may indicate a potential risk for bias, for example in the reporting of the study findings.
8. When critically appraising a study, why might the country of origin of the study be important?
If the study has been conducted in a different country, it may be important to determine whether the organisation and provision of care in that country is sufficiently similar to the country in which you are based.