Burns and Groves, Article Critique Example

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Article Critique

The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate skill and competence in critically reviewing academic papers in the field of nursing, beginning with the problem statement, literature review, purpose statement, methodology, results band analysis, the conclusions recommendations and how the results can be applied in the wider context.

In critically reviewing an article, the writer in this essay hope to assess the validity, objectivity of the authors, the currency of the literature, ascertain whether it is peer-reviewed, establish the presence of empirical data and determine reliability of the outcomes, because all play significant roles in deciding the quality of the research that was done.

During the construction of the essay, efforts will be made to see if the author(s) had followed the established procedure for research work of this nature, and whether they have provided the necessary clarity that readers and stakeholders require to maintain interest as well the rationale for providing financial and other support.

Introduction and Literature Review

According to Schmeltzer (2006), introduction and literature review presented in any journal must be able to guide readers from the point of initial discussion of the problem statement, to the analysis of the literature before dealing with the final statement regarding the purpose of the study.

Literature Review at the beginning of any published study, should be logically organized, offer a balance critical analysis of the literature being presented, as well as exhibit currency in terms of the majority of the information used to establish the validity of the statements being made (Mc Coughlan, Cronin & Ryan(2007).

Further, according to Mc Coughlan, Cronin &Ryan (2007), during the process of providing a clear, adequate and appropriate framework, it was also vital that the literature review embrace mainly primary sources which should highly empirical in nature.

The paper by Lehna and McNeil (2008), defines health literacy quite adequately and also explained that the study seek using an exploratory methodology to determine how different parents and care-givers understood the process while their children are being treated at the hospital involved in the research.

A major strength of the study was that both the quantitative and qualitative data were collected from both English and Spanish groups and comparisons made. The literacy of parents played a major role in health outcomes and admissions according to Bennett, Robbins and Haecker (2003) and Weiss, Hart, McGee, & D’Estella (1992), but effectively measuring this ability was negated by the fact that only two instruments, namely the REALM and the TOFHLA were able to successfully measure the literacy.

The problem was compounded by the fact that only the TOFHLA of the two instruments was able to measure in both English and Spanish at the same time, according to Nurss et al. (1995).

These strengths and limitations negatively affected the purpose designed for the study, because  the design utilizes demographic data, health literacy scores, information from focus groups as well as interviews to measure how parents from both groups understood surgery, research and caring for their children during hospitalization. Variations or a lack of consistency in the data collected will reduce the accuracy of the statistical process as well as the conclusions and recommendations made.

Problem Statement and Purpose Statement

Problem Statements are usually identified when disparities are made between what are known about a specific research topic and what are not known during sentence formulations and constructions, according to Burns & Grove (2008).

While the problem statement identified the knowledge gap, purpose statement on the other hand, seek to provide a scope for pursuing a specific research study, using the existing problem, while providing clarity and feasibility at the same time.

The problem statement provides a foundation for the direction the purpose statement will assume, as well as the strength of the relationships between independent and dependent variables identified.  Once a proper fit has been established between the problem statement and the purpose statement, the proposed research study assumed a higher level of feasibility, which often is critical in attracting sponsors and other stakeholders.

Additionally, the problem statement often highlights specific variables relevant to the study, identifies the location of the study as well as target population, and the type of sampling techniques that could be applied successfully (Jones and Bartlett, 2012).

The problem statement with respect to the study by Lehna and McNeil (2008), states that health literacy, which is the ability to read, understand and use health information to make health care decisions, affects health care outcomes experience, the cost of hospitalization, and the number of re-admissions.

In terms of the purpose statement Lehna and McNeil (2008), cited that it was to explore using a descriptive mix-methodology, what two different care-giver group, namely ESOP and SSOP, will understand about surgery research, and the process of caring for their children during the hospitalization at the same institution under study

There was a connection between and problem statement and the purpose statement relevant to this study, according to Lehna and McNeil (2008). The former highlighted the necessity of parents having appropriate health literacy to be able to achieve health outcomes as well as lower cost of hospitalization and reductions in the number of re-admissions, while the latter seek by research to bridge the gap between parents of different ethnic background, language and educational standard, using equipment and methodology that facilitate appropriate comparisons.

The fact that TOFHLA was the only equipment that measured health literacy in Spanish and English using real life examples was both strength and a weakness for the research study.

The use of the equipment enables similar cases under both groups to be evaluated to see where corrections can be made, and in the long run serve to improve the delivery of more accurate results and analysis. However, having only this one type of literacy measuring device, severely limit the diversity and scope of the research, especially in the sample sizes and the recruitment of care-givers who were less literate than others.

Lehna and Mc Neil during the study were only able to compare the group performance but not that of different machines under the same operating conditions, and as such the outcomes were limited.

Target Population and Sampling

Target population represent everyone within a group that a research will focus on, while sample is done when a small portion of that group is taken out to conduct a specific test using appropriate problem and purpose statements as well as other statistical techniques and equipment.

All the patient in a hospital can be defined as a target population, while if am specific department is chosen to conduct specific tests, then that department becomes a sample for the research team to  commence its work.

Target populations are therefore larger than samples and provide more depth for other sampling exercises, if the errors were made or reinforcement of results are needed.

Additionally, target populations are where researchers will be able to find the dependent and independent variables for their work and be able to determine their strengths and importance of their relationships.

Sampling is always a representation of the target population, and will often give researchers an indication of what to expect from the larger population as well as what kinds of strategies that may be applied successfully to correct the information gap identified.

The target population for them study conducted by Lehna and Mc Neil (2008), was all parents and care-givers with children who were cared for at the hospital that participated in the research.

A sample which was represented by N=50 and n=51 respectively for ESPO and SSOP was taken to from among the target population of parents and care-giver who spoke English and Spanish, to determine the level of health literacy among them.

The sampling technique was the same for both groups and was a source of strength for the researchers, in that they could extract and compare data from similar size population.

However, the researchers gave no indication as to the overall size of the target population, and whether the sample chosen was a true representation of all the parents and care-givers who were involved with the hospital.

It was possible to exclude care-givers who were illiterate as well as those who were literate but for unspecified reasons chose not to participate in the research. The exclusion of these participants from the sample size therefore should be seen as a weakness that will negatively impact on the target population, as their characteristics and nature would not have been captured during the study.

Conclusion

Article Critique in the final analysis will always be challenging for any individual, especially when one seek find the problem statement, the purpose statement, the currency of the literature, the methodology chosen to bridge the knowledge gap, and the presence of empirical details to determine whether the researcher had followed the correct path, were clear and objective in approach and if research study in question was feasible or not

Reference

Bennett, I. M., Robbins, S., & Haecker, T. (2003). Screening for low literacy among adult caregivers of pediatric patients. Family Medicine, 35(8), 585-590.

Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2008). The Practice of Nursing Research: Appraisal, Synthesis, and Generation of Evidence (6th edition) St. Louis, Elsevier

Coughlan, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (2007). Step by Step Guide to Research Part1: Quantitative Research British Journal of Nursing Vol.16 No.11 pp.657-158

Jones and Bartlett Learning (2012). Planning for Research Part 111 http://samples.jbpub.com/9781449631734/80142_ch04_5894.pdf

Nurss, J. R., Parker, R. M., Williams, M. V., & Baker, D. W. (1995). TOFHLA: Test of functional health literacy in adults. Snow Camp, NC: Peppercorn Books & Press Inc.

Schmeltzer, M. (2006). Gastroenterology Nursing Vol.10 Number 2 pp.186-188

www.nursingcenter.com/mc/jounalarticle?article-ID=641336

Weiss, B. D., Hart, G., McGee, D. L., & D’Estelle, S. (1992). Health status of illiterate adults: Relation between literacy and health status among persons with low literacy skills. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 5(3), 257-264.

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