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Methods of Research in Health and Social Care: Ethical and Legal Issues

Critical Appraisal of Selected Paper

This assignment is designed to test whether you have met the Learning Outcomes for this module which are listed in the module guide.
Moodle and are listed in the module guide.

Discuss the main methods of conducting research in health and social care and the associated ethical and legal issues
Demonstrate understanding of how different types of research and audit data are analysed and presented
Use an appraisal tool to analyse the quality of a published research article and discuss its contribution to the evidence base for mental health nursing practice

Critical appraisal of selected paper (1800-2000 words would be appropriate)
Critique the research paper using the framework issued by the module leader identifying strengths and limitations of the study in relation to believability and robustness:

Writing style, author credentials, title, abstract

Research problem/purpose significance of study
Literature review
Study design/methods/philosophical underpinnings/theoretical framework/ aim/hypothesis
Ethical considerations
Data collection
Data analysis

Follow the step by step approach in conjunction with the research process to demonstrate your awareness and  understanding of the research process. Make sure that you support your discussion with relevant references, identifying any implications of the issues identified.
Demonstrate that you have conducted an appropriate inspection of the literature related to this topic (research methods and use of evidence)

Usefulness of this research study (500-600 words would be adequate)
Summarise the significant findings, showing where this study fits in to the wider evidence base on the topic (what the study was researching). This will help you to demonstrate wider reading and should show that you have undertaken an inspection of the relevant literature. Can the findings be translated into your field of nursing or midwifery or would it be difficult to implement the findings?

Conclusion (200 words would be adequate)
Conclude your essay by summarising the salient elements that you have discussed throughout this essay in a logical order. Look at the implications for current and future practice. 


Is my introduction engaging to the reader?

Have I explained why evidence-based practice is important in healthcare delivery and nursing?

Have I explained that nurses need to be able to critically appraise different types of research literature in order to properly use research and provide EBP?

Have I explained why critiquing tools are useful for helping ensure that the care provided is based on research that is of good quality?        
Critical appraisal of the chosen paper

Identify which paper you are about to critique and which critiquing tool you are using.

Believability and Background to the study

Have I identified what the study is about and why it has been done?

Have I considered whether the title is clear and whether it will help people searching online databases to find this particular study?

Have I considered the importance of whether the abstract is clear and correctly summarises the study and how well the abstract in this paper does in this respect?

Have I considered who has carried out the study and whether they have the necessary professional/academic background?

Have I explained why it is important for research to be conducted by people with the right skills and knowledge to do research on that particular topic?

Robustness of the Study

Research Problem/ Purpose of the Study

Have I commented on whether the purpose of the study and the research question(s) is/are clearly stated?

Have I commented on why it is important for these to be clearly stated?

Have I commented on the significance of the research problem that this study is exploring?

Literature review

Have I commented on the quality and currency (how up to date) of the literature review and whether the researchers have critically reviewed any other relevant research studies that have been carried out?

Have I looked at whether the researchers have missed out any useful literature or studies?

Have I commented on whether the researchers’ conclusions about the literature are justified and whether there was a need for them to carry out their study?

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