First Research Report Appraisal

Objective:
Completion of this assignment will allow the student to apply knowledge of the terms, concepts, designs, methods, and procedures of research and knowledge of basic applied statistics in the evaluation of a research study.
Directions:
In either a narrative or bulleted format, discuss the answers to the following questions in an analytical manner. Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure (if appropriate) are important. The expectation is that you will be able to address the following questions at a very basic level.

Research Problem and Purpose (5 points)
What are the study problem and purpose?
Is the problem significant and relevant to nursing?
Was the study feasible to conduct in terms of money commitment; the researchers’ expertise; availability of subjects, facility, and equipment; and ethical considerations?
2. Research Objectives, Questions, or Hypotheses (5 points)
Are the objectives, questions, or hypotheses clearly and concisely expressed?
Are the objectives, questions, or hypotheses logically linked to the research purpose?
Are the research objectives, questions, or hypotheses linked to concepts and relationships (propositions) from the framework?
3. Theoretical framework (5 points)
Is the framework explicitly presented or must it be extracted from the literature review?
Does the framework describe and define the concepts of interest?
Does the framework present the relationships among the concepts? Is a map or model of the framework provided for clarity?
Are the concepts in the framework linked to the study variables?
If a proposition from a theory is to be tested, is the proposition clearly identified and linked to the study’s hypothesis?
4. Related Literature Review: (10 points)
Are relevant previous studies identified and described?
Are relevant theories and models identified and described?
Are the references current? Examine the number of sources in the past 5 and 10 years in the reference list.
Is the literature review organized to demonstrate the progressive development of ideas through previous research?
Does the summary of the current empirical and theoretical knowledge provide a basis for the study?
5. Variables (5 points)
Identify the major study variables:
Independent
Dependent
Research variables
Are the major variables defined (conceptually and operationally) based on previous research and/or theories?
Is the conceptual definition of a variable consistent with the operational definition?
What demographic variables are examined in the study?
6. Ethical Considerations (5 points)
Was the study reviewed by an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?
Was informed consent obtained prior to the start of the study?
What measures are in place for anonymity/confidentiality/informed consent? Was it discussed?
7. Research Design (10 points)
What is the research design (e.g. – experimental, descriptive, historical)?
Describe the design.
Is the research design/method clearly described? Was the best design selected to direct this study?
Does the design provide a means to examine all of the objectives, questions, or hypotheses and the study purpose?
Does the study include a treatment or intervention? If so, is the treatment clearly described and consistently implemented?
Are the extraneous variables identified and controlled?
Were pilot study findings used to design the major study?
Identify any threats to design validity (statistical conclusion validity, internal validity, construct validity, and external validity).

8. Sample, Population, and Setting (5 points)
Are the inclusion and exclusion sample criteria described?
Did the researchers indicate the method used to obtain the sample? Is the sampling method adequate to produce a sample that is representative of the study population? What are the potential biases in the sampling method?
Identify the sample size and indicate if a power analysis was conducted to determine sample size. What number and percentage of the potential subjects refused to participate? Is the sample size sufficient to avoid a Type II error?
Identify the sample attrition from the study. If more than one group is used, do the groups appear equivalent?
Discuss the setting and whether it was appropriate for the conduct of the study.
9. Measurements (5 points)
What are the instruments/tools that were used? Are the physiological measures or instruments clearly described?
Were the accuracy, precision, selectivity, and error of the physiological instruments discussed?
Were the methods for recording data from the physiological measures clearly described?
Were the reliability, the validity and/or the rigor of the instrument discussed?
10. Data Collection (10 points)
Is the data collection process clearly described and consistently implemented?
Is the training of data collectors clearly described and adequate?
Do the data collection methods address the research objectives, questions, or hypotheses?
11. Data Analyses (10 points)
Do the data analyses address each objective, question, or hypothesis?
What statistical analyses are included in the research report? Are the data analysis procedures appropriate to the type of data collected?
Are the results presented in an understandable way? Are tables and figures used to synthesize and emphasize certain findings?
Does the content of the findings/discussion merely restate the content of the tables or does it interpret and point out significant relationships? Are the findings linked back to the literature review?

12. Interpretation of Findings (10 points)
What is the researcher’s interpretation of findings? Are the results related to the study framework?
Which findings are consistent with those expected? Which findings are unexpected? Are significant and nonsignificant findings explained? Are the findings linked back to the literature review?
Were the statistically significant findings also examined for clinical significance?
How does the researcher generalize the findings? To what populations can the findings be generalized?
Limitations (5 points)
A. Are the study limitations clearly identified and relevant stated?
B. What are the limitations of the study?
14. Conclusions and Implications: (5 points)
What implications do the findings have for nursing practice?
What suggestions are made for further studies?
Are the study findings consistent with those of previous research?
Do you have confidence in the findings?
Do the findings add to nursing knowledge?
Are the findings ready for use in practice?