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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Article Critique Guide

Following is a sample guide in making an article critic.

A. Title
1. Did the title describe the study? – Yes (very evident in the abstract, the methods and discussion that it is what the title is talking about)
2. Did the key words of the title serve as key elements of the article? - Yes
3. Was the title concise, i.e., free of distracting or extraneous phrases? - Not very concise but its being lengthy is necessary to be descriptive of its content/body

B. Abstract
4. Did the abstract summarize the study? purpose, methods, and findings? – Not everything. The purpose, data sources and conclusion/findings are presented but not the methods. The data source is different from the methods used, thus the abstract lacks the methods used.
5. Did the abstract reveal the independent and dependent variables under study? – The abstract is not very specific about it.
6. Were there any major premises or findings presented in the article that were not mentioned in the abstract? – No, the abstract, though a little bit vague, is very specific about the conclusion or the findings.
7. Did the abstract provide you with sufficient information to determine whether you would be interested in reading the entire article? – Yes, the information is sufficient.

C. Introduction
8. Was the research problem clearly identified? – Yes, the [cancer] patients’ problem when it comes to pain
9. Is the problem significant enough to warrant the study that was conducted? - Yes, very important.
10. Did the authors present a theoretical rationale for the study? - Yes, and they also repeatedly mention that such theory is never put in practice yet, thus, the evolution of the study. [Despite the availability of clinical practice guideline (CPGs) and their potential benefits on outcomes, such as pain, consistent adoption of guidelines into practice has not been achieved (Von Roenn, 2001).]
11. Is the conceptional framework of the study appropriate in light of the research problem? – Yes. (Hospitalized cancer patients theoretically should receive adequate treatment for their pain because of a controlled clinical environment.)
12. Do the author’s hypotheses and/or research questions seem logical in light of the conceptual framework and research problem? – Yes. (A/F represents an innovative way for nurse practitioners (NPs) to implement pain management guidelines and potentially improve hospitalized oncology patients’ pain experiences (Von Roenn, 2001).
13. Are hypotheses and research questions clearly stated? - Are they directional? The hypotheses are clearly stated. Although the problem is stated in the study, research questions are not clearly stated. There are implied statements though, leading a reader to assume what the research questions should be given the hypotheses and the problem mentioned in the text.
14. Overall, does the literature review lead logically into the Method section? – Not very smoothly but somehow, yes.

D. Method
15. Is the sample clearly described, in terms of size, relevant characteristics, selection and assignment procedures, and whether any inducements were used to solicit subjects? –Yes, the study is keen on these parts.
16. Do the instruments described seem appropriate as measures of the variables under study? – Yes, e.g., the BPI-SF. If it is described how it really functions, then it is a very appropriate instrument. (This tool was developed specifically for use in patients with cancer and is well validated with documented reliability (Cronbach alpha = .77 - .91). The BPI separately measures both pain intensity (sensory dimension) and how pain interferes with common daily functions (reactive
17. Have the authors included sufficient information about the psychometric properties (e.g. reliability and validity) of the instruments? Yes, as quoted in answer to 17.
18. Are the materials used in conducting the study or in collecting data clearly described? - Yes.
19. Are the study’s scientific procedures thoroughly described in chronological order? - Yes.
20. Is the design of the study identified (or made evident)? – Not very evident.
21. Do the design and procedures seem appropriate in light of the research problem, conceptual framework, and research questions/hypotheses? - They do seem appropriate.
22. Overall, does the method section provide sufficient information to replicate the study? – It is quite vague but enough to replicate the study.

E. Results
23. Is the results section clearly written and well organized? - Yes
24. Are data coding and analysis appropriate in light of the study’s design and hypotheses? – Yes
25. Are salient results connected directly to hypotheses? - Yes
26. Are tables and figures clearly labeled? Well-organized? Necessary (non-duplicative of text)? No. Not very well organized tables, at least how it is presented in the text.

F. Discussion and Conclusion
27. Are the limitations of the study delineated? – Yes.
28. Are findings discussed in terms of the research problem, conceptual framework, and hypotheses? – Yes.
29. Are implications for future research and/or rehabilitation counseling practice identified? – Yes, and very thoroughly. The study learned a lot from its own limitations.
30. Are the author’s general conclusions warranted in light of the results?-Yes.

G. References
31. Is the reference list sufficiently current? Sufficiently and generally yes. Most are published later than year 2000.
32. Do works cited reflect the breadth of existing literature regarding the topic of the study? Yes, and even the statistical interpretation reference is included.
33. Are bibliographic citations used appropriately in the text? – Following the APA format, yes.

H. General Impressions
34. Is the article well written and organized? - Well written yes, organization can still improve.
35. Does the study address an important problem in the lives of people with disabilities? – Yes, pain is a huge factor for patients and for the humanity in general.
36. What are the most important things you learned from this article? - Humans are always in search for a better way of living, in this case, reducing pain, resulting to a more comfortable feeling for cancer patients or at least, less discomfort for their already “not so encouraging” state.
37. What do you see as the most compelling strengths of this study? – That the subject and the purpose of the study is worthy of the efforts spent.
38. How might this study be improved? – Better organization of each section of the text, making it more appealing even to normal readers, thus, reducing jargons and technical words as much as possible.

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