3215: Reading and Critiquing Research Reports
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sources for research reports
Presentations at professional conferences
- follow a format similar to that used in journal articles
- Are allotted 10 to 20 minutes to describe key features
Where many researchers simultaneously present visual displays summarizing their studies
are descriptions of studies published in professional journals
- - Papers often subjected to peer review [2 or more peer reviewers]
- - Peer reviews are often blind (reviewers are not told names of authors and vice versa)
- - Information is condensed usually into 10 to 15 pages
organizes content into four main sections
Title [conveys key information] and Abstract
- And Discussion
– normally includes the central phenomenon and group under investigation
communicates key variables and the population [think of PICO]
Brief description of major features of a study at the beginning of a journal article
old style abstract
single paragraph, about 100 to 150 words
new style abstract
more detailed, with specific headings
acquaints readers with the research problem and its contexts
- Description of
- - Central phenomena, concepts, or variables
- - Study purpose,
- research questions, or hypotheses
- Review of literature
- Theoretical/conceptual framework
- Study significance, need for study
describes the methods used to answer the research question
Quantitative Studies methods
- Research design
- Sampling plan and characteristics of study participants
- Methods of operationalizing variables and collecting data
- Study procedures, including procedures to protect participants
- Analytic methods and procedures
Qualitative research methods
Discuss many of the same issues, but with different emphasis. More emphasis on the study setting and context
- - Research tradition
- - Sampling approach and description of study participants
- - Setting and context
- - Data collection approaches
- - Study procedures
- - Analytic strategies
presents the findings that were obtained by analyzing the study data. Narrative findings and detailed tables.
Qualitative Studies results
- - Findings often organized according to major themes, processes, or categories identified in the analysis
- - Almost always includes raw data—quotes directly from study participants
- Researcher presents conclusions about the meaning and implications of the findings. Both qualitative and quantitative reports may include the following elements:
- - Interpretation of the results
- - Implications for nursing practice and for further research
- - Study limitations
reasons as to why research journal articles are difficult
– authors compress a lot of information into a short space.
- Jargon – using terms that may be esoteric
- Objectivity, impersonality
: numbers and statistical symbols may be intimidating
Tips for Digesting Research Reports
- - Read regularly, get used to style
- - Read copied articles—underline, highlight, write notes
- - Read slowly – skim and reread more thoroughly
- - Read actively – meaning that you constantly monitor yourself to verify that you understand what you are reading
- - Look up technical terms in glossary
- - Don’t be intimidated by statistics—grasp gist of story
- - “Translate” articles or abstracts
- - PRACTICE
- Careful and objective appraisals of the strengths and limitations of a study
- Critiques of individual studies can be done for a variety of reasons (e.g., for a student assignment; for making decisions about whether or not to publish a manuscript; for EBP purposes)
- Vary in scope, length, and form, depending on purpose
- Can be comprehensive
- can be comprehensiveness
- - The purpose of thorough critiques is
- to cultivate critical thinking and to induce students to apply newly acquired
- skills in research methods
Critiques can be facilitated by
- Using a formal protocol or critiquing guideline—although a one-size-fits-all guideline does not typically work perfectly
- Reviewing a model of a good critique
Major Methodologic Challenge
- Inferences is a conclusion drawn from the study evidence using logical reasoning and taking into account the methods used to generate that evidence
- Designing studies to support inferences that are:
- - Reliable and valid (quantitative studies)
- - Trustworthy (qualitative studies)
- The accuracy and consistency of obtained information
- - Associated with methods used to measure variables and is important in interpreting statistical analysis
- The soundness of the evidence—whether findings are convincing, well-grounded, and support the desired inferences
- - Conerns the quality of evidence about the relationship between the independent variable and dependent variable
The overall integrity of the study’s evidence
Dimensions of trustworthiness
- - Credibility—a key criterion, achieved to the extent that researchers can engender confidence in the truth of the data and their interpretations
- - Confirmability
- - Dependability
- - Transferability
- - Authenticity
- Triangulation is the use of multiple sources or referents to draw conclusions about what constitutes the truth.
- - Triangulation can contribute to credibility.
- - Triangulation is a useful strategy in both qualitative and quantitative research.
An influence producing a distortion in study results. Can threaten a study’s validity and trustworthiness.Bias is an influence that results in an error in an inference or estimate
Examples of factors creating bias:
- - Lack of participants’ candor
- - Faulty methods of data collection
- - Researcher’s preconceptions
- - Participants’ awareness of being in a special study
- - Faulty study design
a few study participants might provide inaccurate information because they were tried at the time of data collection
results when the bias is consistent or uniform
In quantitative studies, research control involves holding constant extraneous factors (confounding variables) that influence the dependent variable, to better understand relationships between the independent and dependent variables.
what is one method of addressing bias?
allowing certain aspects of the study to be left to chance rather than to researcher or participant choice
Randomness is an important tool for achieving what?
achieving control over confounding variables and for avoiding bias in quantitative research
Masking—or blinding—involves concealing information (usually about the study hypotheses or about participants’ status in different groups) from those playing a role in the study.
Blinding is used in what type of research? for what purpose?
Used in quantitative studies to reduce biases stemming from awareness
i.e. using a placebo
only one group is blinded [i.e. study participants]
two groups are blinded [i.e. study participants and people collecting the outcome data]
what is an open study?
a study without blinding
what is a closed study?
a study with blinding
The process of reflecting critically on the self, and of attending to personal values that could affect data collection and interpretations of the data
Reflexivity strategy is a used primarily by what type of researchers? for what purpose?
primarily by qualitative researchers to guard against personal bias (e.g., they may maintain an ongoing journal to record their reflections before and during the study)
(Quantitative research): is the criterion used in quantitative studies to assess the extent to which the findings can be applied to other groups and settings
- Must design studies strong in reliability and validity
(Qualitative research): The extent to which qualitative findings can be transferred to other settings
- Thick descriptive information supports transferability.
Abstracts answer the following questions
- - What were the research questions?
- - What methods were used to address those questions?
- - What were the findings?
- - What are the implications for nursing practice?
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