Is the title a good one, succinctly suggesting key variables and the study population?

Aspect of the Report
Critiquing Questions
Title  Is the title a good one, succinctly suggesting key variables and the study population?
Abstract  Does the abstract clearly and concisely summarize the main features of the report (problem, methods, results, conclusions)?
Statement of the problem
 Is the problem stated unambiguously, and is it easy to identify?
 Provides details of the problem’s background
 Does the problem statement build a cogent, persuasive argument for the new study?
 Does the problem have significance for nursing?

Hypotheses or research questions  Are research questions and/or hypotheses explicitly stated? If not, is their absence justified?
 Are questions and hypotheses appropriately worded, with clear specification of key variables and the study population?
 Are the questions/hypotheses consistent with the literature review and the conceptual framework?
Literature review  Is the literature review up to date and based mainly on primary sources?
 Does the review provide a state-of-the-art synthesis of evidence on the problem?
 Does the literature review provide a sound basis for the new study?
Variables  What are the independent and dependent variables in the study?
 Are demographic variables identified? Why are these significant?
Conceptual/theoretical framework  Is there a conceptual/theoretical framework, rationale, and/or map, and (if so) is it appropriate? If not, is the absence of one justified?
 Is the theoretical/conceptual framework a nursing theory?
Protection of human rights
 Were appropriate procedures used to safeguard the rights of study participants? Was the study externally reviewed by an IRB/ethics review board?
 Was the study designed to minimize risks and maximize benefits to participants?
Research design  What was the research design that was used?
 Was this an appropriate selection? Why?
Population and sample  Is the population described? Is the sample described in sufficient detail?
 What was the inclusion/exclusion criteria?
 Was the best possible sampling design used to enhance the sample’s representativeness? Were sampling biases minimized?
 Was the sample size adequate? Was a power analysis used to estimate sample size needs?
Data collection and measurement  Were there operational and conceptual definitions given?
 Are specific instruments adequately described and were they good choices, given the study purpose, variables being studied, and the study population? Which instrument measured which variable?
 Was reliability and validity of instruments noted- what were these?
Procedures  If there was an intervention, what was it and was is it adequately described.
 Were data collected in a manner that minimized bias?

Data analysis
 How was each research question or hypothesis analyzed?
 What were the statistical measurements used?
 Were any of the study finding significant?
 Was there any results that surprised you?

Findings  Are the findings adequately summarized, with good use of tables and figures?

Interpretation of the findings
 Are all major findings interpreted and discussed.
 Does the report address the issue of the generalizability of the findings?
 What study limitations are identified
Implications/ recommendations  Do the researchers discuss the implications of the study for clinical practice or further research—and are those implications reasonable and complete?
 Does the study contribute any meaningful evidence that can be used in nursing practice or that is useful to the nursing discipline?
 Is there sufficient detail in this study to replicate it?

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