One important part of using research is the ability to understand and appraise research. Appraising research incorporates understanding how research is conducted, critically appraising the study strengths and limitations, and understanding implications of the research.
A brief introductory paragraph where you outline the purpose and main sections of your appraisal. This will include which field you will be summarising the implications for (e.g. public health, health promotion, social work, health & human services management).
Explanation of tool selection. Attach a copy of the appraisal tools in their original format to your assignment as an appendix (does not contribute to the word count).
Analysis based on the critical appraisal tool selected to discuss strengths and weaknesses of each article. Provide an overall appraisal of each article.
Description of main ethical issues and discussion of how these have or have not been addressed.
Short summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the two papers with implications for practice
Ensure that when you describe the various strengths and weaknesses of the article that you explain your analysis. For instance if the quantitative article had non-random sampling you will state that, and then explain what implications of this type of sampling. This will mean you also need to consult and cite relevant articles and books on research methods. By doing this you will be able to show the marker that you understand why the aspect you have noted is a strength or a limitation of the study you are analysing.
Explanation of Tool Selection
This assignment will critically appraise two journal article; one authored by Savic et al. (2013) on “Separation from family and its impact on the mental health of Sudanese refugees in Australia.” The second article by Liang et al. (2017) titled “assessing the Competence of Evidence Informed decision-Making amongst health Service Managers.” The Critical appraisal will majorly deliberate on the quality of this research articles considering the steps undertaken by the researchers during the entire research process. The areas to be appraised include sample size, research design, ethical concerns, data collection methods, statistical analysis. At the same time, the study findings, the study limitation, and the implication the research findings has on the nursing practice field will be critically appraised.
Critical Appraisals Skills Programme (CASP) tool was the best choice for critical appraisal of article 1by Savic et al. (2013) on “Separation from family and its impact on the mental health of Sudanese refugees in Australia” which is qualitative research. CASP is an international group that promotes evidenced based approach in health and social care issues. Their tools have check-list that is critical in enabling individuals make sense of research evidence and application in practice (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, 2018). According to Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2018), critical appraisal skills enhances an individual’s ability to systematically determine the trustworthiness, validity of the results published article. Therefore, based on this organizations unrivalled expertise, their appraisal tool is the best to enable me achieve the assignment objective.
For the quantitative research article appraisal tool was downloaded from Center for Evidence Based Management website. This organization provides more information and tools on evidence based practice (Center for Evidence Based Management, 2018).
Critical appraisal of article 1
The aim of this study has been clearly started by Savic et al. (2013). The study aim was to elucidate on the perceived impacts of separation on the mental health and resettlement of Sudanese refugees in Australia and how the refugees cope up with the potential stressor (Page, 383-384). The authors have highlighted the existing gaps in knowledge by contextualizing the research problem through past and current literature review, hence, justifying the study.
The authors of this article conducted a literature review by considering different research work focusing on the Sudanese community profile, well-being of Sudanese refugee, and determinants of refugee’s mental health. Though, a big proportion of the reviewed literature were valid, a few of the researched journal articles were out dated. Therefore, the authors of this article ought to have adhered to the 10 year time limit for researching an article. The background information of the research problem have been provided by the authors through thorough literature review.
Critical Appraisal of Article 1
The researchers of this study adopted a qualitative approach methodology where by key informants who are well conversant with Sudanese refugee’s affairs were interviewed. The choice of using the qualitative approach was appropriate for addressing the research objectives. According to Patten and Newhart (2017), in qualitative research the researchers identifies themes through interviewing the study participants and the results are analyzed and presented in words. Furthermore, the qualitative approach has the advantage of providing insight on the meaning of particular event (Green and Thorogood 2018). This study used phenomenological analysis approach, the authors focused on various key informants experiences with Sudanese refugee resettlements in Australia as suggested in this article (p. 384). However, it is worth noting that the researchers didn’t describe their theoretical perspective of this study, therefore, the researcher didn’t justify the use of the research design in the study.
The authors have clearly started that 20 key informants were purposively sampled due to their familiarity with issues around Sudanese refugee mental health (p.384). The purposive sampling method was adequate for this study, this was to ensure that only persons who could provide the right information were included in the study. However, the use of purposive sampling method which is a non-probability method and a small sample size can compromise the research rigour and validity by introducing selection bias and lower statistical power respectively. As a result the findings of this study can be questioned and limit its findings being generalized to the general population.
The sample size of the study participants was 20. The smaller sample size in a qualitative research guarantees the data quality, and the participants selection was informed by their knowledge about the topic. According to Chow et al. (2017) using a small sample size one has the opportunity of achieving rich and quality data. The same opinion has been propagated by Mason (2017), he suggested that when conducting nursing or public health research using qualitative approach a small sample size would be appropriate. To maintain trustworthiness and rigour of the research results, a process of constant comparison was adopted and 25 interviews were conducted until a point of saturation was reached and no new themes emerged (p.384). It is evident that triangulation was used to maintain rigour. This was achieved attaining data through interviewing different sources of key informants including six were mental health care providers, five were primary health care providers, four were health service managers, three were social workers, and two were policy makers, and the study participants were persons over 18 years of age (p.384). Therefore, the recruitment strategy of the study participants was appropriate to the study objective.
Critical Appraisal of Article 2
The data collected in this study was adequately to address the research question. This study has clearly started that 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants in a span of one year, in-depth-interviews was conducted and recoded by the first author. Furthermore, the authors of this study have highlighted the questions that were used to guide the interview (p.384). Therefore, the method used to collect data was explicit. According to Torrance (2012), an aspect of maintained triangulation and reflexivity ensures good quality of qualitative research article. For example, there was use of audit trail and the incorporation of divergent viewpoints about the emerging themes leading to enhanced triangulation and reflexivity in the study (P.384). A collaborative research with different specialties is core to the quality of any research. In fact, Parahoo et al. (2017), in his work about the evidenced-based practices overwhelmingly recognizes the benefits of collaboration between researchers when conducting research. However, the authors of this article failed to justify the study setting for this research, reasons for choosing this method of data collection was also not substantiated, and failure to clarify if there was any modification of the chosen method for data collection is another failure. There is luck of respondent validation in this study which has a negative impact on its quality. Respondent validation is an important component of qualitative research because it provides rigour and validity to the research and it can be achieved by giving feedback to the study participants and accessing their opinions on interpretations (Torrance 2012; Hannes 2011).
In this study a Framework approach to thematic analysis was used to analyses the data that was collected (P, 384). According to Alhojailan (2012), thematic analysis is a comprehensive process that enable researchers to categorize several cross-references between emerging themes from research data. Thematic analysis provides flexibility in the research through inductive and deductive ways (Guest et al. 2011; Vaismoradi et al. 2013). This makes the thematic analysis the best choice to analyze data when the research objective is to obtain information to determine a relationship between independent variable and dependent variable in a qualitative research. Therefore, this method was appropriate for this type of study.
This study strives to assess the level of competency among mid-level health service managers in making decisions based on evidence informed decision making (EIDM). Therefore, tittle of this article is concise and it reflects the main theme of this research. According to Jack et al. (2010), the general tittle of journal article should provide the fast perception into the intent of the research. The abstract is succinct and describe the study by introducing the purpose of doing this study, study setting, highlighting the study findings and a brief conclusion. However, the results reflected in the abstract contains only wordings it would have been good if the results were descriptive by expressing statistic parameters and the level of significance . At the same time, it is not necessary to have abbreviations in the abstract this is because the word count in abstract is limited and it should be succinct. The main purpose of an article’s abstract according to Parahoo (2017), is to summarize the journal articles contents and express the main points to readers. The authors of this study have clearly started the research questions this is a strength that is worth mentioning
Summary of Strengths and Weaknesses
Majority (15 out of 25) of the references used in this article are out dated since they were published more than 10 years from the time of publication of this article. Therefore, this brings into focus the reliability of the literature used, hence, some of the information contained in the old literature can be rendered obsolete. According to Hart (2018), the source of information used in the research process shouldn’t be more than 10 years old from the time the articles publication.
In quantitative research a characteristic of a study sample being a representative of the group from which it has been drawn from cannot be compromised. Therefore, the study sample is a typical of the wider target population to whom the research findings might be generalized (Jack et al. 2010). In order to attain a threshold of a sample being a representative of a group from which it is drawn the researcher is required to randomly select the samples and have a large sample size. Samples selected using non-probability sampling methods can produce findings that are bias and lack validity due to lack of randomization and spread of confounders (Noble and Smith 2015). In this study it is clear that the samples were selected using non-probability sampling method at the same time the sample size used was small (p.21). Therefore, the two factors combined raises the issue of validity, accuracy, and statistical power of this research findings and the implication it has in the inferential statistics. However, the authors have cited the two factors as limitation of this study (P.21).
The data about the manager’s competency in applying EIDM was obtained through 360°subjective assessment and a case study based objective assessment (P.17). Furthermore, the authors have clearly started the process of filling data collection instrument and behavioral items validation. Therefore, methods used by the researchers in obtaining the data was sufficient for the study objective. There is a failure by the researchers of this study to clearly describe both inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study participants this can contribute to selection bias.
The authors of this article chose SPSS software for the data analysis. SPSS being one of the most common user friendly software employed currently for analysis of different kinds of data with guaranteed accuracy as compared to manual calculations. The statistical instruments used by the authors included a 360° subjective assessment and a case study based objective assessment. The authors have described into details the assessment instruments were developed and how the 12 behavioral study items used to probe the study participants were validated through thorough literature review and rigorous consultation with and contribution from management experts from various health services in Victoria and focus group discussions. The authors used Univariate analyses for both individuals and groups and t-test was the method of choice. This method of data analysis was adequate to produce the intended the mean results showing statistical significance difference of behavioral items. One-way analysis of variance is appropriate for analyzing the statistical mean difference within the group and Two-way analysis of variance is good to analyses statistical mean difference between two groups. According to Lakens (2013), one way- ANOVA enables researchers to differentiate variability caused by individual’s differences from variability caused by effect within-subject design and it has high statistical power compared to between-subject ANOVA. Therefore, the results produced using this data analysis method was sufficient to provide answers to the research questions in this study and the results generalized to the entire population. However, the researcher didn’t provide look into the demographic characteristics of the study participants including age and sex this are potential confounding factors or sources errors that could put into question the rigour and validity of the findings of this research. The authors have used simple and easily understandable tables to present their results.
Implications for Practice
The authors have written their conclusion based on the study findings and highlighted the impact it has in improving EIDM practice among the health service managers. However, the authors have fall short of making recommendations for feature studies based on their research findings and limitations.
The University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee provided the ethical clearance for the research conducted by Savic et al. (2013) on “Separation from family and its impact on the mental health of Sudanese refugees in Australia. At the same time, all the study participants were persons above the age of 18 years (p, 384). However, there is failure by the authors to give information about the study participants consenting to take part in this research by signing consent form raising fundamental issue about ethical considerations. According to the guidelines by American Psychological Association (2015), there are certain exceptions in research whereby it is mandatory to get signed informed consent from the study participants such research include where the researchers use anonymous questionnaires or simple naturalistic observations and in the mentioned situations the study respondents cannot be personally recognized or harm caused to him/her in any way possible. At the same time, archival research that depends on already published or publicly available data also don’t require direct informed consent. However, all other forms of conducted research demands that an informed consent be obtained from the recruited study respondents before the commencement of the study. Therefore, the research conducted by Savic et al. (2013) is not an exception based on that they out have mentioned hoe that ethical consideration was achieved.
The authors of the second article by Liang et al. (2017) titled “assessing the Competence of Evidence Informed decision-Making amongst health Service Managers.” Obtained ethical approval from La Trobe University before the commencement of their research (p.18). However, it is not clear if a consent was obtained directly from the study participants before they took part in the study raising ethical concerns. The research conducted by Liang et al. (2017), doesn’t meet the criteria for exception of obtaining informed consent from the study participants as mentioned in the case of the first article. This is because the study participants were known to the researchers, hence, it was necessary for them to sign consent forms.
The basis for analysis of an article is to recognize the problem being addressed, the rationale for the research, proposed hypothesis, and substance of past and current research on the area of interest leading to sensible and statistically reliable conclusion. The theoretical context and research questions should be cited clearly and the sample size should large enough and a representative of the entire population to provide valid results. Furthermore, the studies should be conducted with ethical considerations. The two studies have full filled some of these conditions. However, certain condition were not met including participants signing consent forms, small sample size, and participant’s validation was lucking. For example, in article published by Liang et al. (2017) titled “assessing the Competence of Evidence Informed decision-Making amongst health Service Managers.” This has been well discussed by the authors they have recognized the fact that the sample size of their study was small, and there was luck of sample randomization during sampling. All the two discussed limitations are potential sources of bias leading to lack of rigour and validity of the research findings. The key findings of both research findings and their implication on the study area were well articulated by the authors of the two articles. Furthermore, they have made certain recommendations for the feature research. For example, Liang et al. (2017) recommended that a further research should be carried out in a larger and more diverse population. At the same time, Savic et al. (2013), recommended further research on impact of separations together with strategies used by the refugees to cope. Such argument appreciates the fact that rigour and validity of research findings are critical for generalization to the general population. In conclusion, the two research articles met the basic thresholds for a good qualitative and quantitative research.
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