A Year in the life of elementary school
This is a critique of a qualitative research article titled: A Year in the Life of an Elementary School: One School’s Experiences in Meeting New Mathematics Standards. It was written by Karen Dorgan in 2004. The main purpose of the study was to examine changes in the state's standards of learning and how it affected pedagogical decision making, teaching and learning, and methods of instruction and evaluation. Therefore, this critique is based on, my interpretation of the article as an example of a qualitative study. It will focus on the statement of interest, methods, research questions, findings, rigor, strengths, and weaknesses.
Statement of interest
The study was directed at an elementary school in the state of Virginia and the efforts it was making adapting to the changes in standards for education learning in the state (Dorgan, 2004). The purpose was clearly indicated in the abstract section. She stated that the purpose of the research was to attempt to understand how, and to what extent their [the faculty and administration of this particular elementary school] decisions about instruction were influenced by the Standards of Learning and the state tests (Dorgan, 2004). Similarly, the focus of the study was explicitly and clearly stated in the abstract. She stated that the primary focus of the study was on the Mathematics programme at the school and strategies the school applied in an attempt to raise students’ mathematics test scores.
Dorgan conducted a non-participatory case study from the school year 1999-2000. During this period, she used ethnographic analysis as a method of triangulating data. She used all the three forms of qualitative data collection methods-interviewing, observation, and data analysis. Various themes emerged during the process of data collection and she recorded all of them in the data results section in the report (Dorgan, 2004). In qualitative research, it is important to point out the themes that became clear to you while you were conducting your study (Lewis, 2015). Similarly, they also it also helps developing research hypothesis.
Indeed, Dorgan explained how rigor was assured in her research. The study is valid because Dorgan used of qualitative data collection methods. It was credible because of both data collection methods and excerpts from the report showed that the author maintained focus in her research. Further, the conformability of the study is ensured by the provision of excerpts from interviews (Dorgan, 2004). Lastly, transferability is ensured through the reference to literature in the literature review section.
The report outlined findings and conclusions that were related to the research questions. For example, Dorgan found that the effects of political decisions on teaching and learning were generally negative in this case (Dorgan, 2004). This answered the research question on the effect of politics on pedagogy.
Although I found this study satisfactory as a qualitative research, there were some elements that it lacked. For example, the author failed to provide an explanation of the data collection processes (Babbie, 2015). Similarly, the article lacked sufficient background literature.
Characteristics of good nursing care by Athlin and Hedelin
This qualitative research was conducted in 2007 by Athlin Hedelin and Hov R. The two examined what constitutes quality care for ICU patients. In this paper, I analyze and critique the article using the elements of a qualitative research study as my basis. I will focus on the statement of interest, methods, findings, rigor, strengths, and weaknesses.
Statement of interest
The purpose of the study was clearly and explicitly outlined in the abstract section. The statement was clear and unpresumptuous. Additionally, it was supported by data on an understanding of the features of good nursing care for patients in ICU (Hov, 2007). The statement of interest was further developed in the introduction section where the authors acknowledge the conflicts that had occurred regarding this topic because of lack of specialty in a particular field.
In this section, I will provide my critique of the research methodology. Specifically, I will provide my analysis and interpretation of sampling and procedures used in data collection.The participants were chosen randomly from well-known nursing institutions in the region. They invited 37 nurses to participate (Hov, 2007). Similarly, they randomly chose 19 nurses as respondents. However, out of this, only 14 nurses participated.
The findings of the research are explicitly and clearly provided. The researchers mentioned findings of the study that support the aim and clarifies their interpretation of the topic (Flick, 2015). For example, they identified competence as one of the features that make up quality care for patients in ICU (AACN, 2015). Additionally, they provided the limitations and recommendations for further research on nurses’ communication through patients’ bodies.
From my assessment, the study lacked a variety of rigor criteria. For example, regarding conformability, the study only mentioned feedback from the interview. There was no clear indication of the description of the timing and information provided by the respondents (Hov, 2007). Nonetheless, the study ensured transferability through the use of interviewing and questionnaire administration as a method of data collection. Also, the research ensured credibility through data collection processes, research questions, and provision of analysis of literature by other authors on the topic.
One of the strong points of this study was its sampling technique. I found it convenient and containing low external validity. This is because it was participant selected (Hov, 2007). Thus, it was based on the latter’s convenience, schedule, willingness to talk about experiences and open. Similarly, the results section clearly depicted the findings of the research (Brock, 2013). The use of statistical diagrams like charts and bar-graphs provide an excellent visualization of the findings and connection to the interest of the study. Additionally, the researchers managed to exploit the aim of having a deepened understanding in features of nursing care for ICU patients through providing family members’, nurse and patient perspectives.
I realized that the writing of the methodology sections lacked clarity. Nevertheless, it helped in building a whole picture for the context of the study (Greenberg, 2012). Also, the research could not be considered fully representative because the participants were chosen based on criteria which excluded some nurses who may have been helpful to the credibility and transferability of the research.
Missed Nursing Care
This is a critique of a qualitative study on the quality of nursing care entitled: Missed Nursing Care. It was written by Beatrice Kalisch in 2006. The aim of the study was to investigate the reasons why nurses do not complete nursing care. One of the things I noted is that the title was quite ambiguous. ‘Missed care’ can mean many things. Similarly, although the phenomenon being studied was clear, the author did not indicate the population concerned. Therefore, from the start, it was not clear who was being studied. The following is my critique of the qualitative study in terms of the statement of interest, methods, findings, rigor, strengths, and weaknesses.
Statement of interest
The aim of the study was explicitly indicated in the abstract section. This was accompanied by some background information on care in medical health institutions. The two research questions were indicated as well (Kalisch, 2006). However, the abstract was too short to provide sufficient information regarding the story. It contained 71 words. Abstracts should be between 100 and 200 words (Schreier, 2012). This range is enough to summarize the main points to be covered in the subsequent sections (NCP, 2012).
The research design, sample, processes, and data were clearly explained in the methodology section. The researcher used interviewing as the main method of data collection. Although acceptable, the research should have applied observation and group participation. According to the grounded theory, the exclusive use of interviews is discouraged to avoid bias and inflexibility (Creswell, 2013). Similarly, the procedures were clearly defined and recorded hence leaving no room for bias.
Kalisch frequently used quotes from the group interviews when describing her research findings. Various themes came out during data regarding the reasons why nurses cannot effectively perform their roles. By listing and discussing them, the author makes the research informing and diversified (Flink, 2013). Additionally, the themes and findings were put in a logical and organized way. This way, it was easier to understand what the findings implied regarding the research questions. Further, by providing interpretation and recommendations, the author shows how the study can be put to practice in daily lives.
The main criteria used to determine rigor in research contains credibility, transferability, verifiability, and validity. The research was enhanced by two different researchers independently. Qualitative research analysis software assisted in eliminating implied views and opinions of the researcher. Also, the study outlines specific themes and criteria used to ensure that they were arrived at from the group interviews. However, the research did not provide coding of the interviews thus the transferability aspect of the study was compromised. Nevertheless, the research met the standards of rigor.
The study had direct quotations from participants. It provided an insightful description of reasons why nurses in most healthcare institutions provide missed care. Also, from reviewing the article, it was clear that the researcher had a vast experience in the nursing field. This made the study credible (Schreier, 2012). Additionally, the author provided recommendations for further inquiry on the topic through providing a list of questions.
Although the study was met most of the obligations in qualitative research, there were some aspects that should have been adhered to. For example, the grounded theory advises researchers to rely on various data collection methods to ensure validity. Being that this study relied only on group interviews, it is likely that some participants did withhold information for fear of victimization (Vertino, 2014).
Nursing Pain Management in Cancer Patients
This is a critique of a qualitative interview study by Gaard, Rustoen, and Wahl in 2009 entitled: Nursing pain management – a qualitative interview study of patients with pain, hospitalized for cancer treatment. The research was done in an excellent way and through it, the reader gets to know about pain experience among cancer patients and how it could be managed by health personnel. Below is a critique of the qualitative research based on the statement of interest, methods, findings, rigor, strengths, and weaknesses.
Statement of interest
The purpose of the study is stated in the abstract section. This is accompanied by a brief description of background information on pain management in cancer patients (T Gaardsrud, 2009). This includes statistics on cover inpatients, outpatients, outpatients and those whose treatments were not feasible anymore (Andrews, 2016). Although the introduction provided sufficient information on the purpose, a large portion of literature was irrelevant to the research questions.
The following is an assessment of the research regarding sampling and research design. The study utilized a sample of cancer patients. The authors stated that this sample the population according to their convenience (T Gaardsrud, 2009). However, it is not clear how they came to arrive at the number of participants. To ensure that the participant had a pain problem, the study used medical chart review and inclusion outline (T Gaardsrud, 2009). This provided sufficiently for the selection method.
Tables were used to represent data in this section. Table 2provided demographic characteristics and numerical pain ratings collected from interviews (T Gaardsrud, 2009). Although the information on this table was relevant, to me, it did not have much weight on the findings of the research since it represented patients experience in one day. Nevertheless, the data analysis and interpretation section were clearly stated thus it provided pain relief themes with appropriate examples.
The researcher reviewed content by other authors on this content. This helped in answering the research questions hence making the research credible. Similarly, the patients’ interviews were coded to ensure they can be retrieved for verifiability (Creswell, 2013). Similarly, the statistics on pain relief among cancer patients ensured that the study was transferable.
This research by Gaardsurd and others was conducted and written in a way that provides a good flow. Also, they utilized methods that helped in attaining qualitative rigor. For example, in describing ways of achieving pain relief, the authors provided various themes and examples (T Gaardsrud, 2009). Similarly, the article was easy to understand due to an excellent presentation on pain factors.
Admittedly, the research has achieved its aim of educating health practitioners on pain relief management among cancer patients. However, being that the study utilized only one interview makes it to lack verifiability. This aspect is essential in research. Also, there was an insufficient description of patients’ testimonies regarding pain. The good thing is that the researchers acknowledged this weakness. Thus, they recommended that the research should not be considered as guiding material for pain managers.
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