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Critical Appraisal of a Qualitative Research Study

Critical Appraisal of a Qualitative Research Study

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Critical Appraisal of a Qualitative Research Study

Research is an essential component of the advancement of the healthcare profession. The findings of studies published in scientific journals can have an impact on medical practice. Researchers in prestigious journals are frequently publishing new studies that propose significant and costly changes in medical practice. These studies enable health professionals to update, fine-tune, and monitor specific practices or issues. Critical appraisal equips practitioners with the ability to appropriately evaluate evidence in studies, avoiding the assumption that all research published in scientific journals is merited and valid. Health professionals make sound decisions about patients’ value and care by incorporating the best available evidence, clinical experience, and patient preference.

To avoid information overload, nurses must critically appraise evidence, identify clinically relevant studies, and ensure the profession’s ongoing development (Young et al., 2019). Critical appraisal of research evidence entails evaluating and assessing acquired data by analytically reviewing its significance, validity, and application in practice. Evidence-based practice is important because it allows healthcare providers to provide the most effective and efficient care possible (Loke et al.., 2015). It promotes an inquisitive mindset among health practitioners. To provide quality health care, health professionals must ensure that their practice is up to date with the best available evidence.

The Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) tool is used to critically appraise the qualitative study. The CASP tool provides a checklist of questions to assist nurses in reading and validating healthcare research for reliability, findings, and significance. The research topic is important in mental health nursing practice; it adds significant perspectives to nurse education by demonstrating the dominance of the caregiving culture provided by study participants. This paper will evaluate and reflect on the research using existing literature to determine its overall strength and validity.

‘Nurses’ experiences of learning to care in practice environments: an appraisal and reference paper’

The research’s objectives

The study sought to ascertain the caring culture and behaviours in nursing practice, as well as to comprehend nurses’ management of learning in practice settings. The researchers briefly state the study’s goals; this is important because it allows the reader to quickly recognize the research study’s goals and objectives. The study discusses the reasons for focusing on the nurse’s learning experience to care in a practice environment, emphasizing that patient care deteriorates in health facilities with negative attitudes toward caring and unfavourable caring behaviours. The research focuses on how nursing students learn to care in a healthcare setting. The researchers examine examples from practice settings where health practitioners showed concern for their patients and improved their care strategies. The study discovered four manifestations of caring in a healthcare setting: personalized caring through relationships, going the extra mile and spending time, communication, and the environment’s culture.


Although the qualitative methodology is appropriate for this study, the researchers have not stated why they chose it. Using an appreciative inquiry approach, the study sought to elicit and illuminate the perspectives and experiences of nurses, lecturers, and practice educators. Understanding patients’ care issues is best researched using a qualitative methodology to gain participants’ perspectives and opinions. The researchers were able to obtain the respondent’s experiences, views, and feelings without limitation by using qualitative methodology; they also had the opportunity to follow up on answers given in real-time. Collecting participants’ perspectives on caring across all themes (time spent, going the extra mile, caring as a personalized experience, and culture/role modelling) provides insight into how positive, caring attitudes or behaviours can improve nursing practice. The researchers held workshops to investigate people’s perspectives, attitudes, and opinions on the topic at hand.

Design of research

The researchers designed the study using the grounded theory approach. The grounded theory allows new ideas to emerge from the collection of data to describe social phenomena and human behaviours (Chears, 2009; Williams, 2012). The study’s data are used to form a theory rather than testing a hypothesis from previous nursing practice literature. Using previous research information helps to organize primary and secondary sources of information, allowing the grouping of several ideas or points of view to form one theory (Henandez, 2011). According to the study’s findings, grounded theory was used to develop four themes that explain caring: going the extra mile, time spent or invested, caring as a personalized experience, and the culture of the practice environment. The themes define what constitutes caring behaviours in practice. The themes were created by the researchers based on how the participants expressed their views and opinions about caring (Martin & Gynnild, 2011). The study describes the use of grounded theory but does not explain why they chose that method.

Strategy for Recruitment

An appropriate recruitment strategy discloses the study’s participants, setting, and timeframe to clarify the research’s limitations (Daymon & Holloway,2011). The inclusion details of the participants in this study are detailed and well-recorded, including demographics. The participants in Chapter 3 included seven groups of pre-registration nursing students, three in BSc programs and four in MSc programs. Four additional groups of two mentors and two practice educators with link lecturers were also included in the study. The researchers recruited participants using a convenience sampling method, which collects data from individuals who are readily available to participate in the research and ensures that all interested respondents participate (Monsen & Horn, 2008). The study describes how the researchers chose different nursing stakeholders by involving people from various nursing fields. The study did not keep track of those who refused to take part in the study.

Data gathering

To address the research objectives, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews, but there were errors. The study does not collect participants’ subjective experiences in order to identify the key factors that contribute to nurses’ poor caring attitudes. The researchers do not reveal where the interviews took place. The social context of interviews, according to Japec (2008), can influence how participants respond. The study does not specify whether the interviews and focus groups took place in controlled environments, such as a similar room, at the same time of day, or without conflicts. It is critical to explain why you chose a particular interview method because it allows the reader to understand the significance of the data collection techniques you chose (Cottrell & McKenzie, 2011). However, the researchers do not explain why they chose the preferred type of interview method. The study reveals how the researchers collected data; this is significant because it increases the study’s credibility and replicability (Gerrish & Lacey, 2010). The interview method improves data collection because it allows for the identification of both verbal and nonverbal cues (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010). However, the interview process has the potential to skew the findings; for example, respondents may answer questions in order to satisfy the researcher or sound like a good nurse (Kirby, Greaves, and Reid, 2006).

The researcher’s relationship with the participants

The study adequately discussed the relationship between the training of nursing students and the researchers. The study mentions that the students had no teaching or assessment relationships with the researchers, so reflexivity and researcher bias may not have influenced their sample selection in Bsc and Msc programs. However, the researchers make no mention of who created the topic questions and guidelines; it is unclear whether it was a collaborative effort or the work of a single researcher. Merrian (2009) suggests using experimenter triangulation to reduce the likelihood of reflexivity and researcher bias. However, there is no personal reflexivity in the study to determine the potential bias in the sample collection of the two groups. According to Kirby et al. (2006), in order to improve research rigour, researchers must recognize how personal experiences and emotions can influence study choices. Researchers must document and compensate for any subjective issues that may arise during the course of the study (Kirby, Greaves, and Reid, 2006). The study found no instances of conflict of interest.

Consideration of ethics

The researchers discussed how they briefed and debriefed the research’s contributors in light of ethical concerns. According to Fowler et al. (2011), the briefing is critical because it informs participants about what to expect and their rights. The University Research Ethics Committee approved the study, which means that the study’s emotional impacts on researchers and participants were assessed and evaluated (Holloway & Wheeler, 2010). According to the researchers, they ensured that the students had the right to withdraw, anonymity, informed consent, freedom from coercion, and confidentiality. In studies that require private feelings or concerns, it is critical to be clear about how the researcher will respect the confidentiality of the information (Fowler et al., 2011). Briefing and debriefing enable respondents to give informed consent, avoid passive deception, and raise any issues that arise during the research (Cottrell et al., 2011; Morrow et al., 2012). This indicates that the study took ethical considerations into account adequately, but the researchers should document more ethical issues.

Data examination

The grounded theory is clearly defined and explained in the study for data analysis. There is a clear demonstration of data analysis stages describing how the researchers used Braun and Clarke’s six steps (2006). The researchers read and re-read the transcripts to become acquainted with the information; the research performed preliminary coding for the study, and the four themes of caring emerged individually through focus group discussions (Gillespie & McFetridge, 2006). Because the researcher used open coding, codes and themes emerged from the text alone. According to the study, the researchers used axial coding to implement concepts and categories while re-reading the text to ensure that the themes accurately represented the responses of the participants and to increase credibility and validity (Babbie, 2012). The researchers have also explained how they collaborate to decide what information to present. The reflexive discussion was used in the study to improve and identify the four final themes, which were time spent, going the extra mile, caring as a personalized experience, and culture/role modelling. Because of the researchers’ subjective thoughts, reflexivity influences the process of developing themes (Young et al., 2019). The study’s credibility suffers as a result of its failure to address issues of reflexivity. Finally, holding a workshop for lecturers, participants, additional practice staff, and students reduces researcher bias and aids in the issue of reflexivity.


The study contains a clear statement of findings; information is confirmed under the four themes developed by thematic analysis. Culture/role modelling, going the extra mile, time spent or invested, and caring as a personalized experience are among the themes developed in the research. The reader can easily access the study’s main outcomes thanks to clearly presented findings (Hinshaw, 2011). The study employs specific quotes from interviews to back up and strengthen the findings (Streubert & Carpenter, 2011). Supporting discussions include the idea of prioritizing patient-centred care and relationships as high-quality patient care, the importance of work culture in influencing the ability to care, and going above and beyond is a behavioural and attitudinal trait (Young et al., 2019). The researchers have not discussed the credibility of the findings, and there have been no comments about respondent validation. The findings should be distributed to participants to ensure that the study is accurate and that no misinterpretation exists (Pope & Mays, 2006).

The research’s worth

This study has limited value, but its findings are critical in nursing practice; it emphasizes the critical role of mentors, role models, and educators and links lecturers in the situational learning of training nurses to care. Researchers acknowledge that both negative and positive caring patterns can be encouraged by healthcare principles and settings. The study also found that most nursing students are hesitant to challenge negative caring cultures in clinical settings. The researchers discussed their findings in light of current nursing practices, recognizing that there are theoretic relationships between caring culture, flexibility, and emotional intelligence in nursing education. The study did not propose any new research areas, nor did it address whether the findings could be applied to other medical fields other than nursing.

The research study’s usefulness

Patients complain about unfavourable attitudes toward care in hospital settings where unfavourable caring behaviours are expected (Gillespie & McFetridge, 2006). The research study will assist the reader in understanding the causes of poor caring habits and how nurses can improve their patient-caring behaviours. Patients and their families expect anyone they come into contact with to care for them compassionately when they are hospitalized and rely on someone to look after them (Young et al., 2019). As a result, it is critical for a nurse to exhibit positive, caring behaviour and attitude. Since ancient Greek times, one of medicine’s guiding principles has been that individuals who are unable to care for themselves should be treated with compassion (Khalaila, R., 2014). Caring begins when the patient and the nurse come into contact. When nurses exhibit positive, caring attitudes, they foster relationships with patients, which aids in establishing the cause, symptoms, and explanations that lead to proper diagnosis and treatment (Martin & Gynnild, 2011). The study is useful in nursing because it attempts to comprehend and describe trends in caring behaviours in nursing practice. It also identifies the management of student learning in the practice environment. Simulation can be used in hospitals to teach nurses the skills and attitudes required to provide better care (Loke et al., 2015). Understanding the role of mentors and educators in shaping the caring behaviours of training nurses can assist various stakeholders in recognizing and resolving care issues (Gillespie & McFetridge, 2006).

According to the research findings, caring in a practice setting can be investigated in four ways: time spent, going the extra mile, caring as a personalized experience, and culture/role modelling. Going the extra mile in caring, according to the findings, entails teamwork, purchasing small gifts for patients, being friendly, and paying attention to detail. The study discussed how nurses could develop personalized, positive, and caring relationships by learning from and observing the actions of other nurse leaders. Workplace culture has an impact on nurses’ ability to care (Loke et al., 2015). Improper handovers that may make a patient uncomfortable are some negative examples of uncaring cultures in practice environments. Talking over patients and breaching confidentiality by sharing personal health matters and physical functions may result in embarrassing moments (Newell & Burnard, 2010). Another important finding of the report is that spending time with patients and their families is an important part of care. Taking the time to talk with patients and reassuring them that they will recover may aid in diagnosis and recovery. Knowing patients and emphasizing patient-centred care improves the relationship between nurses and patients (Martin & Gynnild, 2011). Friendship, talking, touch, personalized care, encouragement, and reassuring while maintaining professionalism are some of the mechanisms recommended by the research for achieving good relationships in practice environments. The study’s findings emphasized the importance of mentors, educators, and role models in improving the learning experience of caring.


The preceding critical appraisal demonstrates the significance of a nurse evaluating a research paper. A critical appraisal enables medical practitioners to appropriately evaluate evidence in studies, avoiding the assumption that all research published in scientific journals is meritorious and valid (Babbie, 2012). Critical appraisal of research evidence entails evaluating and assessing acquired data by analytically reviewing its significance, validity, and application in practice. By critically evaluating ‘Nurses’ experiences of learning to care in practice environments’ (Kate Young et al., 2019), the reader understands why the researchers chose to investigate the topic. The study sought to learn about nurses’ caring behaviours and attitudes in hospital settings. The study focuses on the nurse’s learning experience of caring in a practice setting, emphasizing that patient well-being may deteriorate in health facilities with negative attitudes toward caring and undesirable caring behaviours.

Finally, the researchers used excellent demonstration and structure, which included a strong background and goals. The researcher was able to gain subjective experiences and views from nursing professionals and students by using qualitative data collection methods.

The researchers provided a better understanding of how poor caring cultures can affect care delivery, as well as how mentors and educators can help instil good and proper caring habits in practice settings. The study was carried out while keeping the research’s aims and objectives in mind. The researchers present their findings while referencing existing literature to provide evidence. The original information gathered and improvement strategies presented in the study make it a valuable contribution to nursing.


Babbie, E.R., (1998). The practice of social research. International Thomson Publishing Services.

Cheers, V.E., 2009. Taking a Stand for Others: A grounded theory (Doctoral dissertation, Fielding Graduate University).

Speziale, H.S., Streubert, H.J. and Carpenter, D.R., 2011. Qualitative research in nursing: Advancing the humanistic imperative. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Stommel, M. & Wills, C. (2004). Clinical research: concepts and principles for advanced practice nurses. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Newell, R. and Burnard, P., (2010). Research for evidence-based practice in healthcare. John Wiley & Sons.

Rubin, A. & Babbie, E. (2010). Essential research methods for social work. (2nd ed.). Belmont: Cengage Learning.

Merrian, S. (2009). Qualitative research: a guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Martin, V.B. and Gynnild, A. eds., 2011. Grounded theory: The philosophy, method, and work of Barney Glaser. Universal-Publishers.

Young, K., Godbold, R. and Wood, P., 2019. Nurses’ experiences of learning to care in practice environments: A qualitative study. Nurse education in practice, 38, pp.132-137.

Loke, J.C., Lee, K.W., Lee, B.K. and Noor, A.M., 2015. Caring behaviours of student nurses: Effects of pre-registration nursing education. Nurse education in practice, 15(6), pp.421 429.

Khalaila, R., (2014). Simulation in nursing education: an evaluation of students’ outcomes at their first clinical practice combined with simulations. Nurse education today, 34(2), pp.252 258.

Murphy, F., Jones, S., Edwards, M., James, J. and Mayer, A., (2009). The impact of nurse education on the caring behaviours of nursing students. Nurse Education Today, 29(2), 254–264.

Gillespie, M. and McFetridge, B., (2006). Nurse education–the role of the nurse teacher. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15(5), 639–644.


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Conduct a critical appraisal of the literature that demonstrates an understanding of qualitative research.

Critical Appraisal of a Qualitative Research Study

Critical Appraisal of a Qualitative Research Study

Using Chapter 7 Critiquing Criteria for Qualitative Research, write a critique of a qualitative research article that you have read related to your clinical practice

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