Nembhard, I. M., Buta, E., Lee, Y. S. H., Anderson, D., Zlateva, I., & Cleary, P. D. (2020). A quasi-experiment assessing the six-months effects of a nurse care coordination program on patient care experiences and clinician teamwork in community health centers. BMC health services research, 20(1), 137. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-4986-0
Research Article Appraisal, Part One
Authors, Title, and Abstract
- Discuss author(s) qualifications to conduct the study, including educational preparation (PhD, MSN, etc.) and clinical experience of author[s].
- Discuss the clarity of the article title (type of study, variables, and population stated).
- Discuss the quality of the abstract (purpose, design, sample, intervention, and key results presented).
- Briefly state the clinical problem that prompted the study.
- Discuss the data provided for the significance of the clinical problem, and why you believe it is an important problem for nursing science. If you believe it is not an important problem, then explain why not.
- Identify the major topics discussed in the background section and evaluate whether there were any missing ideas or topics.
- Briefly explain whether the background section included sources current at the time of the study (ie. within 5 years of publication).
- Discuss whether previous studies were critically evaluated by the study authors to provide a clear summary of the current knowledge about the problem of interest.
- Evaluate whether the background section provided enough support for the current research study. In other words, whether gaps in research knowledge were clearly described.
Research Purpose & Research Questions/Hypotheses
- State the study purpose and evaluate whether the purpose clearly addresses the gap in nursing knowledge identified in the background section.
- If there are research questions and/or hypotheses, list them, and discuss whether they logically follow from the research problem and purpose. If questions/hypotheses were only implied, rather than explicitly stated, describe that.
- Describe the theory/framework that supported the study. List the important concepts in the theory framework as described by the authors.
- Evaluate the clarity of the presentation of the framework. If it was vague or had missing elements, describe those.
- Discuss how well the theory/framework concepts were clearly linked to the study variables (the things that were actually measured in the study).
- List the major study variables [NOT demographic variables]. Categorize them as research, independent, or dependent variables.
- List the demographic variables measured in the study, and any extraneous variables identified by the authors. Evaluate whether there are missing demographic variables, in your opinion.
- Identify the specific study design. Explain how the design was appropriate to answer the study’s research questions or hypotheses.
- Briefly describe the study procedures, including recruitment, screening for eligibility, consent, timing & method of measurement of all variables, and intervention if applicable.
- Discuss the clarity of description of study procedures. In other words, could another researcher replicate the study using the procedure described in the article?
- If more than one group was included in the study, explain how participants were assigned to groups.
- Describe any threats to design validity mentioned by the authors, usually in the limitations section.
- Describe the generalizability of the study, or to what populations the findings could be applied.
Population, Sample, & Setting
- What was the population for the study?
- Identify the specific sampling method used for the study (i.e. bringing subjects into the study). Discuss how well this sampling method produces a sample representative of the population.
- Identify and evaluate the inclusion and exclusion criteria used in the study. Describe any missing criteria that you believe should be there.
- Discuss how the planned sample size was determined (including power analysis & consideration of potential attrition if included).
- Discuss actual sample size attained for the study, including acceptance rate or refusal rate, and attrition rate if provided, or if you calculated them.
- Describe the study setting [hospital, clinic, home, or other] and its appropriateness for the study.