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Questions to appraise a nursing research for practice
Evidence-based nursing research poses the need for clinical nurses to make use of the best research to facilitate effective decision-making. To use efficient research, the nurse must ask a well-designed question when appraising nursing research for practice (Boswell & Cannon, 2011). The first approach in asking the research question for appraisal of clinical practice involves determining the type of question, whether background or foreground; this is integral in determining the resource to be used in critically evaluating the appraisal for nursing practice (Burns & Grove, 2010).
The first question relates to the reliability of the evidence collected in terms of the time of its collection and the method of data collection. This is vital when critically appraising nursing research practice because it is essential in determining nursing research trends.
The second question relates to the validity of the evidence collected in terms of the accuracy of the collection methods and the participants. Validity is an important aspect of nursing research that should not be ignored because it is used to ascertain the study’s value.
The third question relates to the limitations associated with nursing research. This is because limitations influence the research outcome and should be taken into consideration when appraising evidence-based nursing research.
Reader objectivity in critiquing a nursing research
It is arguably evident that critical research warrants the need for a stance. This implies that the underlying issues associated with bias, positionality, reflexivity, and prejudices are pertinent when undertaking critical research. The consensus from all the researchers in all fields is their disagreement with bias. However, there is less unity regarding how the concept of bias in research is understood (Burns & Grove, 2010).
For instance, it is common for researchers to cite accusations and methodological flaws regarding bias in research that has adopted a moral standpoint, or rather, research that indicates its side. Researchers that oppose the aspect of moral or political standpoint when conducting research believe that value-free research is a possibility. As such, they consent to the view that any influence that the researcher’s values place on the design of the research and findings is considered as a bias that needs correction. This is not the same case for researchers who clearly indicate their moral and political standpoints.
When undertaking critical research, reflexivity can be viewed as the steady awareness and individual assessment of the researcher regarding one contribution and how the researcher can influence the research and subsequent findings. The concept of reflexivity is important, but its application in the context of research is debatable. Reflexivity primarily entails the explicit self-consciousness of the researcher (Ruane, 2005).
The implication from this view is that researchers have to consider their research practices and the core purpose of undertaking the research. The core area of concern regarding participatory ethics in research is the researcher’s involvement, issues in consultation, and the participants allocated to the various groups that are participating in the research (Burns & Grove, 2010).
Critiquing research findings
Findings are an important element of research that determine the inferences and conclusions of the research. This implies that researchers have to ensure that their methodologies depict accurate findings that are devoid of methodological flaws and biasness, lest their findings are criticized (Burns & Grove, 2010). Some of the methods that can be used to critique the findings of the results or discussion section of research that could affect the current or future include the extent of deviation from the available theoretical frameworks and their consistencies with past studies (Ruane, 2005). The nursing research critique emphasizes the methodologies used and the sample participants used for conducting the study.
The study’s findings are subject to influence by the experimenter effects, which are the researcher’s efforts to influence the outcome of the results. This implies that interpreting the findings requires the researcher to consider the experimenter effects to improve the accuracy of evidence-based nursing practice.
It is recommended that nursing research should be devoid of experimenter effects and adopt an objective approach. This is a core requirement for enhancing research accuracy since the findings will not be inclined towards the researcher’s biases.
Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2011). Introduction to nursing research: incorporating evidence based practice. New York: Jones & Bartlett.
Burns , N., & Grove, S. (2010). Understanding nursing research Building an evidence based practice. New York: Elsevier – Health Sciences Division.
Ruane, J. M. (2005). Essentials of Research methods: a guide to social science research. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.