When caring for patients, it is essential that nurses are using the current best practice. To determine what this is, nurses must be able to read research critically. But for many qualified and student nurses, the terminology used in research can be difficult to understand, thus making critical reading even more daunting. It is imperative in nursing that care has its foundations in sound research, and it is essential that all nurses have the ability to critically appraise research to identify what is best practice. This article is a step-by-step approach to critiquing quantitative research to help nurses demystify the process and decode the terminology.
As with a quantitative study, critical analysis of a qualitative study involves an in-depth review of how each step of the research was undertaken. Qualitative and quantitative studies are, however, fundamentally different approaches to research and therefore need to be considered differently with regard to critiquing. The different philosophical underpinnings of the various qualitative research methods generate discrete ways of reasoning and distinct terminology; however, there are also many similarities within these methods. Because of this and its subjective nature, qualitative research it is often regarded as more difficult to critique. Nevertheless, an evidenced-based profession such as nursing cannot accept research at face value, and nurses need to be able to determine the strengths and limitations of qualitative as well as quantitative research studies when reviewing the available literature on a topic.
Part II, Chapter 8 of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing : Foundations, Skills, and Roles provides useful guidelines for reviewing quantitative (p. 142) and qualitative (p. 147) research.
Delivers unique systematic guidelines for understanding and applying EBP in nursing programs A fundamental, reader-friendly guide to evidence-based practice (EBP) for BSN, MSN, and DNP nursing students, Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing explains the conceptual underpinnings of EBP and demonstrates how nurses can put EBP concepts into practice. Replete with critical knowledge, skills, tools, and scholarly development to enable nurses to fully and confidently deliver the highest-quality EBP care, this book eschews a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of unique systematic guidelines for understanding and applying EBP. Building blocks of information grow progressively more complex, enabling their application to any point along nursing's academic trajectory.