Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice

Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice

This article is a research critique of quantitative research on nursing practice. Study it to gain knowledge that you can apply when writing critiques on quantitative research in nursing practice and its related topics.

Introduction to Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice Article

Nurses are expected to deliver the highest possible level of care to their patients and clients and to do so, they must use evidence-based practice wherever feasible. Appraising primary research is a part of the process of giving treatment based on the best available evidence (Elliott, 2001, p 555). Nurses must be able to judge the quality of accessible research that is relevant to their practice in order to enhance their practice and employ evidence to improve their clinical and theoretical knowledge and abilities (Freshwater and Bishop, 2003k p23; Hek, 2000, p 19).

Evidence-based practice, according to Hek (2000, p 19-21), combines professional experience, patient need and preference, and the best available evidence. However, in order to find this ‘best evidence,’ the nurse must do an assessment and critical analysis of research papers to determine if the study is relevant and of sufficient quality to be applied to their practice (Fink, 2005).

This essay assesses a quantitative research article that is relevant to nursing practice since it deals with a chronic ailment that affects a large number of people throughout the globe. The author will discuss Tangkawanich et al’s (2008, p 216) ‘Causal model of health: health-related quality of life among HIV/AIDS patients in Thailand’s northern area.’ This article was published in The Publication of Nursing and Health Sciences, a recognized journal that tackles problems of interest and concern to nurses throughout the world, and as a result, it provides particular insight into HIV/AIDS and nursing in a worldwide context.

Healthcare professionals may use a variety of assessment methods to aid them in analyzing and assessing primary research publications. These models evolve throughout time in response to standardized definitions of what constitutes quality and rigor in research and reporting. The major instrument utilized in this article is that offered by Cormack (2000), however, the author will also refer to other critiquing guides and material, such as the popular CASP tool (PHRU, 2009, online).


1. The title

The title is succinct (Cormack, 2000) and accurately represents the study topic. While it is evident what the study’s objective was (Cormack, 2000), it might be clearer and more descriptive of the study’s character. While the abstract clearly states that the study’s goal is to ‘examine the causal relationships between age, antiretroviral treatment, social support, symptom experience, self-care strategies, and health related quality of life’ (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216) in the chosen sample and population, there is little mention of these variables in the title, despite the description of the ‘causal model’ (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216).

The term ‘causal’ (Tangkawanich et al, 2008, p 216) also indicates that this is a quantitative research paper. It does not state clearly what research method was employed (Cormack, 2000). It would be difficult for the uninitiated reader to deduce this information from the title alone, and it might be argued that a clearer indication of the study’s nature should be included in the title. This would then assist the reader in determining whether or not the research study is pertinent to their own profession or learning.

2. Writers

The writers’ credentials are listed, and they are all registered nurses with postgraduate degrees and two doctorates between them. They’re all involved in nursing education at a university. This indicates that they possess the necessary research abilities and knowledge to conduct such a study. However, the author list makes no mention of whether any of the authors had statistical skills relevant to the research.

3. Synopsis

Tangkawanich et al. (2008, p 216) provide an abstract, which Cormack (2000) considers to be a significant part of the article’s introduction. By specifying the factors being examined, the study efficiently summarizes the investigation. However, the notion is not included in the abstract by the authors (Cormack, 2000). The abstract includes an overview of the study sample as well as a list of the research techniques employed.

They incorporate the findings as well as a summary of the conclusions. As a result, the abstract accurately represents the article (PHRU, 2009, online), and it allows the reader to quickly determine whether or not the paper is relevant to their interests. It does, in particular, make it obvious that it is a quantitative work that uses well-known data collecting methods.

4. Literature Review and Introduction

Although Cormack (2000) divides these two into different subheadings, the introduction and literature review are combined in this article. Although the author has highlighted that this is often the case in the publishing of similar research, this may just be a practice of the publication, rather than the authors’ inclination.

Because of the disease’s influence on these persons’ everyday lives, the authors utilize the introduction to contextualize the issue in reference to published research, emphasizing the relevance of health-related quality of life (HRQL) for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216).

They go through developments and advancements in treatment choices for this disorder and how they relate to HRQL, before going into the sickness itself, and how it affects HRQL (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216). They review some studies on the subject, as well as self-care practices, symptom management, and therapy options (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216).

Prior to reading the remainder of the article, there is some discussion of HRQL and its relevance to nursing and previous research on the issue, which enhances comprehension of the idea. They bring out some key points related to the article’s theme, such as treatment, social support, and other difficulties (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 216).

Despite the fact that the introduction/literature review contextualizes and introduces this research, this author feels that a more extensive critical examination of the literature is required here. It is not enough to mention earlier research to establish the study’s credibility.

A broader variety of studies might have been included, and this research could have been reviewed to determine its quality (Gerrish and Lacey, 2006, 38; Fontana, 2004, p 93). It is up to the reader to investigate this topic further and assess the quality of the research on which the study’s premise and rationale are based. This might be seen as a flaw in the research’s presentation.

5. The Proposition

Instead of stating a hypothesis (Cormack, 2000), the authors propose a research question. ‘The goal of this research was to see whether there were any causal correlations between age, antiretroviral therapy, social support, symptom experience, self-care techniques, and HRQL in Thai PLWHA’ (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 217). The nature of this statement suggests that it is a quantitative research paradigm rather than an experimental investigation.

6. Definitions of Operational Terms

People evaluating research, according to Cormack (2000), question if operational definitions are clearly given. Operational definitions are provided in the introduction of this research, but in a way that is inaccessible to the reader who is less experienced or informed.

7. Research Methodology

The choice of a quantitative approach is not explicitly stated or discussed in the methods section (Cormack, 2000). The Instruments portion of the Methods section focuses on the instruments that are employed. The use of a quantitative strategy and data collecting equipment seems to be key to the study’s quality.

Quantitative research methods provide higher standards of proof, with a greater possibility for replication and rigor in general (Kitson et al, 2000 p 149; Duffy, 2005, p 233). When it comes to research for healthcare practice, quantitative studies have a higher standing than qualitative studies (Hek, 2000 p 19; Newman et al, 1998 p 231; Pepler et al, 2006, p 23). However, there is no serious examination of the concepts that drive quantitative research (Parahoo, 2006).

It’s wonderful that the research instruments are described so thoroughly since it helps to overcome one of quantitative research’s limitations: not asking the correct questions to elicit responses that are relevant to the individual’s experience (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie, 2004 p 14).

8. Subjects

Only that eight hospitals were randomly chosen using a “lottery approach without replacement” and that the 422 participants were randomly recruited are the only details provided on sample selection (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 217). This might be a study restriction since it’s impossible to tell whether there was any sample bias, how participants were recruited, who recruited them, or if there were any ethical concerns about participant recruitment (Hek, 2000, p 20; PHRU, 2009, online, Bowling, 2002). This author believes that this is a flaw in the study since these are critical parts of quality assessment in primary healthcare research (Austin, 2001 p 1; Cooper, 2006, p 439; Nuremberg Code, 1949, online).

9. Choosing a sample

As previously said, sample selection is not explored in any depth, which might be a study’s flaw (Cormack, 2000). Although the sample size is mentioned, it is not indicated whether it was statistically calculated, which might be seen as a flaw since getting a statistically sound sample size is critical in quantitative research (Daggett et al, 2005, p 255; Donovan, 2002).

10. Data Gathering

This study’s data gathering methodologies aren’t well documented (Cormack, 2000). This would be troublesome in terms of reproducibility and rigor. There’s no information on who gave out the questionnaires, whether they were self-report in the participant’s own time, or if a researcher was present when they were completed. This might be seen as a flaw in the study’s reporting.

The problem of researcher bias is significant in the completion of data collecting instruments, and although questionnaires may be thought to be a means to prevent it if they are given remotely, it is not always easy to verify that they are complete, honest, and completed by the intended target (Gillham, 2000, p 48). Having the researcher there, on the other hand, may bring bias or influence, especially in vulnerable persons (Bowling, 2001). Because they are vulnerable individuals who are visiting clinics for their chronic disease, omitting to communicate how the data was acquired from them is a severe flaw that might possibly be considered unethical.

The utilization of several data collecting equipment, as well as the care with which they are described and their origin accounted for, may be regarded a strength of this work. The Social Support Questionnaire, the Symptom Experience Questionnaire, the Self-Care Strategies Questionnaire, and the Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire were among the tools they employed (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 217).

These are detailed descriptions, as well as when they are based on previously produced research or directly drawn from past investigations. Because they are well-known study data-gathering technologies, it’s likely that they’ve been verified before, enhancing the research’s quality (Yu and Cooper, 1983 p 36; Oppenheim, 1992; McDowell and Newell, 1996; McColl et al, 2001 p 1). The sample’s demographics are addressed to some degree, and the use of several techniques aids in the identification of any confounding variables or factors (PHRU, 2009, online).

11. Ethical Considerations

The research explicitly states that ethical approval was obtained from a suitable organization and that informed permission was obtained, both of which indicate excellent ethical consideration (Cormack, 2000). However, there is no explanation of what information was provided to participants, how informed consent was obtained, or whether there were any communication or accessibility issues for persons with various communication requirements. It seems to be focused on safety rather than anonymity and secrecy (Cormack, 2000). (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 218).

12. The end result

The findings of this investigation are described in the body of the article in tables, graphs, and in great detail. The important findings and demographic concerns are addressed, however, the data is summarized in a results section before being discussed in further depth in the discussion. The results are not easily accessible, however, the p values are clearly presented, which is critical in this kind of investigation. Within the CASP tool, PHRU (2009, online) offers the question, “Do you trust the results?” This is a crucial inquiry. The findings seem to be credible and correspond to well-established statistical analysis methodologies.

However, due to a lack of information regarding the sample and the selection technique, it is impossible to dismiss concerns about potential bias in these results. The findings, however, are credible when seen from the perspective of the author’s broader experience and understanding of persons living with HIV/AIDS. The problem of prejudice, on the other hand, cannot be neglected. It would have been simpler to establish if the outcomes of this research were strong evidence for practice if essential parts of the study had been reported more transparently (Rosswurm and Larrabee, 1999 p 317; Pepler et al, 2006, p 23).

13. Analyze data

The statistical analyses were carried out by the authors using SPSS, a well-known statistical tool, and LISREL, a program with which this author is unfamiliar. They discuss how to generate descriptive statistics for each of the variables under examination, but they don’t go into great depth about how to do so (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 218). They go on to explain how to utilize multivariate analysis for particular model creation, as well as how to employ additional tests, some of which the author is acquainted with and others of which are not.

While the multivariate analysis and X2 tests are valid tests of inference or correlations between variables (Duff, 2005, p 234), anybody unfamiliar with the other tests would have a difficult time determining their applicability here. Understanding this would need a large amount of specialized statistical expertise. By adding a description of these testing, more openness may have been attained.

14. Deliberation

The debate looks to be very balanced (Cormack, 2000), and it is pretty extensive, which is commendable considering the study’s complexity, which includes many data gathering tools. The study links its results to a variety of other studies, which is a strength of this section of the report, demonstrating consistency with many other findings in terms of quality of life, age, socioeconomic position, social support, antiretroviral medication, symptoms, and self-care (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 219). The study’s limitations are also noted (Cormack, 2000). The consequences for practice, on the other hand, are discussed in a separate section.

15. Final Thoughts

The conclusion backs up the findings (Cormack, 2000), however, it isn’t a comprehensive summary of the findings’ complexity. However, this is mentioned in the section under “Implications and Recommendations.” (Tangkawanich et al., p. 217, 2008).

16. Recommendations

Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice
Research Critique; Recommendations

According to the authors of this study,’social support’ had the greatest impact on HRQL (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 220). They suggest a variety of techniques to help with this, as well as examining all other issues and offering suggestions for bettering treatment for this patient group. All of this is in line with the findings of the research. The sole suggestion for future study is to conduct longitudinal rather than cross-sectional studies (Tangkawanich et al, 2008 p 217).


This research shows that social and other variables have a significant influence on the target population’s lived experience and quality of life. Other than in the administration of antiretroviral medications for these individuals, it is clear that social variables may trump medical reasons.

Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice

As a result, it seems that better understanding these elements and their interrelationships might enhance HIV/AIDS nursing and healthcare practice. However, due of certain methodological and reporting flaws in this study, this author believes that it would be wiser to locate additional research that confirms similar results before adopting it as practical evidence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does evidence-based practice include?

Evidence-based practice, according to Hek (2000, p 19-21), combines professional experience, patient need and preference, and the best available evidence. However, in order to find this ‘best evidence,’ the nurse must do an assessment and critical analysis of research papers to determine if the study is relevant and of sufficient quality to be applied to their practice (Fink, 2005).

2. What is the importance of quantitative research?

Quantitative research methods provide higher standards of proof, with a greater possibility for replication and rigor in general (Kitson et al, 2000 p 149; Duffy, 2005, p 233).

Research Critique of Quantitative Research on Nursing Practice

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