Nursing Reaserch

Week 2 Assignments

Critical thinking exercise #2 (due Wednesday Oct. 14)

Part 1 – Example #2 on page 119 in Polit. Follow the directions to perform exercises 1 and 2 using Appendix A as the article reviewed. 

Part 2 – Example #2 on page 179 in Polit. Follow the directions to perform exercises 1 and 2 using Appendix A as the article reviewed. 


Read the introduction to Swenson and colleagues’ (2016) study (“Parents’ use of praise and criticism in a sample of young children seeking mental health services”) in Appendix A of this book. 

Critical Thinking Exercises 186

1. Answer the relevant questions from Box 7.1 regarding this study. 

Box 7.1 Guidelines for Critiquing Literature Reviews 

1. Does the review seem thorough and up-to-date? Did it include major studies on the topic? Did it include recent research? 

2. Did the review rely mainly on research reports, using primary sources? 

3. Did the review critically appraise and compare key studies? Did it identify important gaps in the literature?

4. Was the review well organized? Is the development of ideas clear? 

5. Did the review use appropriate language, suggesting the tentativeness of prior findings? Is the review objective?

6. If the review was in the introduction for a new study, did the review support the need for the study? 

7. If the review was designed to summarize evidence for clinical practice, did it draw appropriate  conclusions about practice implications?

2. Also consider the following targeted questions:

a. In performing the literature review, what keywords might have been used to search for prior studies?

b. Using the keywords, perform a computerized search to see if you can find a recent relevant study to augment the review


Read the methods section of Swenson and colleagues’ (2016) study (“Parents’ use of praise and criticism in a sample of young children seeking mental health services”) in Appendix A of this book. 

Critical Thinking Exercises 

1. Answer the relevant questions from Box 10.1 regarding this study. 

Box 10.1 Guidelines for Critiquing Quantitative Sampling Plans 

1. Was the population identified? Were eligibility criteria specified?  

2. What type of sampling design was used? Was the sampling plan one that could be expected to yield a representative sample? 

3. How many participants were in the sample? Was the sample size affected by high rates of refusals or attrition? Was the sample size large enough to support statistical conclusion validity? Was the sample size justified on the basis of a power analysis or other rationale?

4. Were key characteristics of the sample described (e.g., mean age, percentage of 249 female)?

 5. To whom can the study results reasonably be generalized? 

2. Answer the relevant questions from Box 10.2 regarding this study.

Box 10.2. Box 10.2 Guidelines for Critiquing Quantitative Data Collection Plans 

1. Did the researchers use the best method of capturing study phenomena (i.e., selfreports, observation, biophysiologic measures)? Was triangulation of methods used to advantage?

2. If self-report methods were used, did the researchers make good decisions about the specific methods used to solicit information (e.g., in-person interviews, Internet questionnaires, etc.)? Were composite scales used? If not, should they have been? 

3. If observational methods were used, did the report adequately describe what the observations entailed and how observations were sampled? Were risks of observational bias addressed? Were biophysiologic measures used in the study, and was this appropriate? 

4. Did the report provide adequate information about data collection procedures? Were data collectors properly trained?

5. Did the report offer evidence of the reliability of measures? Did the evidence come from the research sample itself, or is it based on other studies? If reliability was reported, which estimation method was used? Was the reliability sufficiently high?

6. Did the report offer evidence of the validity of the measures? If validity information was reported, which validity approach was used?

 7. If there was no reliability or validity information, what conclusion can you reach about the quality  of the data in the study?

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