Ph.D Scholar, Mental Health Nursing.
It is a critical evaluation/appraisal of a research
“A critical estimate of a piece of research
which has been carefully and systematically
studied by a critic who has used specific
criteria to appraise the favorable, less
favorable and other general features of the
Requires critical thinking, appraisal &
Involves a careful examination of all aspects
of a study to judge the merits, limitations,
meaning and significance & knowledge of the
To assess students` methodological and
analytical skills (identify limitations &
Seasoned researcher to help journal editions
Written critique is a guide to researcher
To advance nursing knowledge & profession
Two principles to remember when critiquing
a research are
(a) be objective
(b) make your comments specific to the
work you are reviewing
Critique should be an advisory and
Read & Critique the entire study
Be objective & Realistic
Comment on strengths and weakness
Give specific examples
Use the positive terms whenever possible and
say the positive points first
Avoid vague generalizations of praise and
Be sensitive in handling negative comments
Evaluate substantive, ethical, methodologic,
interpretative presentational dimensions
What type of study was conducted ?
What was the setting ?
Were the steps clearly identified ?
Was there a logical flow ?
Readers of a research report need to
determine whether a study was worthy in
terms of the significance of the problem, the
soundness of the conceptualization &
appropriateness of the conceptual
Normally communicated in the report’s
The heart of a research critique lies in the
analysis of the methodologic decisions
In a quantitative study, the four major
decision points to focus critical attention are
Decision 1, Design :What design will yield
the most unambiguous and meaningful
results about the relationship between the
independent and dependent variables?
What extraneous variables are to be controlled
and how best can this be accomplished?
DECISION 2, SAMPLE : who should participate
in the study?
DECISION 3, DATA COLLECTION :What
method should be used to collect the data?
DECISION 4, DATA ANALYSIS :What
statistical analysis will provide the most
appropriate tests of the research hypotheses?
Need to consider whether the right of human
subjects were violated during the
If there is potential Ethical concerns, we need
to consider its impact both on the scientific
merit and on well being of the participants.
Research reports conclude with a Discussion,
Conclusions or Implications section.
Here researcher attempt to make sense of
the analysis, to consider whether the findings
support or fail to support hypotheses or
Writing a research report should be clear,
grammatical, concise and well organized.
Unnecessary jargon should be minimized.
Quantitative research reports are written in a
more formal, impersonal fashion, using either
the third person or passive voice to connote
Qualitative studies are written in a more
literary style, using first or second person &
active voice to connote proximity & intimacy
with the data & phenomenon under study.
Clear / concise
Too big / too small
Gives precise information
Research questions empirically tested?
Definitions of terms clearly described?
Is the purpose of the study presented ?
Is the significance (importance) of the
problem discussed ?
Does the investigator provide a sense of what
he or she is doing and why ?
Is the problem statement clear ?
Does the investigator identify key research
questions and variables to be examined ?
Does the study have the potential to help
solve a problem that is currently faced in
clinical practice ?
Does the report tie the problem to various
Is there overdependence on secondary
Recent literature included?
Overdependence on anecdotes/ opinion
articles over empirical studies?
Paraphrased adequately? Analyzed critically?
Does literature review follow a logical
sequence leading to a critical review of
supporting and conflicting prior work ?
Is the relationship of the study to previous
research clear ?
Does the investigator describe gaps in the
literature and support the necessity of the
Is a rationale stated for the theoretical/
conceptual framework ?
Does the investigator clearly state the
theoretical basis for hypothesis formulation ?
Does it link the problem to a theoretical /
conceptual framework in a natural way?
Is the hypothesis stated precisely, logically
and in a form that permits it to be tested ?
Does it express a predictable relationship?
Do they flow logically?
Do they include general population of
Are the relevant variables and concepts
clearly and operationally defined ?
Is the design appropriate for the research
questions or hypotheses ?
Is experimental/ non experimental
Appropriate procedures and methods of data
collection described sufficiently and clearly?
Procedure for preventing contamination
between treatment and control group
If there was more than one data collector,
was the inter-rater reliability adequate ?
Are the subjects and sampling methods
described ?Sample size justified?
Is the sample of sufficient size for the study,
given the number of variables and design ?
Is there adequate assurance that the rights of
human subjects were protected ?Response
Are the subjects representative of the
sample? Are key characteristics described?
Instruments clearly identified and described?
Method of development of tools appropriate with
regard to structure?
Are the instruments developed specifically for the
study? Are the processes for its development
Are appropriate instruments for data
collection used ?
Are reliability and validity of the instruments
If instrument new/ adapted, if sufficient
Evidence for validity and reliability
Is analysis consistent with objectives of study?
Type of analysis appropriate for type of data?
Is information unnecessarily converted?
Are the statistical tests used identified and
the values reported ?
Are appropriate statistics used, according to
level of measurement, sample size, sampling
method, and hypotheses/ research
Are the results for each hypothesis clearly
and objectively presented ?
Are the figures and tables used efficiently to
highlight and streamline the presentation of
Are results described in light of the
theoretical framework and supporting
All important results discussed?
Interpretation organized in meaningful
Does interpretation distinguish practical and
Is it appropriate?
Are implications of findings discussed (i.e.,
for practice, education and research) ?
Does it include nursing implication?
Are recommendations for further research
Is the study of sufficient quality to meet the
criterion of sufficient merit ?
Does the study meet the criterion of
Is the study of relevance to practice ?
Is the study feasible for nurses to implement ?
Does the benefits of the study outweigh the
Are conclusions based on the results and
related to the hypothesis ?
Are study limitations identified ?
Are generalizations made within the scope of
the findings ?
Title- of reasonable length
Summary- abstract included
Bibliography- style & citation
pleasant to read
No complex sentences
Research is the best possible means of
answering many questions, no single study
can provide conclusive evidence
Evidence is accumulated through the conduct
and evaluation of several studies
Reader who can do reflective and thorough
critiques of research of reports play a role
advancing nursing knowledge
Burns N, Grove SK.The Practice of Nursing
Research conduct, critique & utilization. 5 edi.
W.B. Saunders Company: Philadelphia; 2005.
Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing Research Principles
and Methods. 7 edi. LippincottWilliams &
Wilkins company: Philadelphia; 2004.
Rose Marie Nieswiadomy. Foundations of
Nursing Research. 5 edi. Dorling Kindersley
Pvt. Ltd. Pearson Education: India; 2009.