Web activities

These activities include brainstorming activities, further reading, weblinks to external sites, and enable you to examine and relect upon the methods of both real-world studies and the methods chosen by fictional nursing and midwifery students introduced in chapter one.

Activity 22.1: MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 

Activity 22.2: Assessing Critical Appraisal 

Assess two critical appraisal tools or checklists of key questions that can be used to facilitate the critical appraisal of a research study. These should come from different sources but relate to the same type of study, for example; they should both relate to randomised controlled trials or qualitative research. Some examples are listed here:




Compare and contrast the two frameworks:

  • Which aspects do they both cover?
  • Which aspects are only covered by one of the frameworks?
  • Which framework is the most comprehensive?
  • Which framework is the most ‘user friendly’?

Activity 22.3: Choosing an Appropriate Critical Appraisal Tool 

The assignment for the research module that Carl and Amy from the class of 2016 are undertaking is a critique of a research study recently published in a nursing or midwifery journal. Students are required to select an appropriate critical appraisal tool to facilitate their critique.

The paper that Carl has chosen is:

Shiue, I. (2015) Assessing quality of life in Welsh carers with and without back pain, British Journal of Community Nursing 20(7): 338–343.

The tool Carl has chosen is: The CASP Qualitative Checklist


Carl selected this tool because the paper has ‘quality’ in the title and he assumed it is a qualitative paper.

The paper that Amy has chosen is:

Oliver-Williams, C. Fleming, M. Wood, A.M. and Smith, G.C.S (2015) Previous miscarriage and the subsequent risk of preterm birth in Scotland, 1980–2008: a historical cohort study, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 122(11): 1525–1534.

The tool Amy has chosen is: The CASP Cohort Study Checklist


Amy selected this tool because the study she has selected is a cohort study.

Assess the papers and critical appraisal tools that Carl and Amy have chosen. Have they selected appropriate critical appraisal tools to facilitate their critique?

What are the consequences likely to be for Carl and Amy regarding their choice of critical appraisal tool?

Suggest alternative tools as appropriate.