Nurses make use of research as a means of answering questions that fall in their area of practice, enhance patient care quality, solve problems, come up with new questions that warrant further research and shape policy in health. The nurses who face up the questions concerning policy and practice must possess sturdy and superior valued evidence-based research. The research articles that can be accessed from peer-reviewed journals are constantly subjected to a painstaking process of review to ascertain that scholarly standards have been achieved. However, such standards are varied depending on the journals used and individual reviewer. It is therefore prudent to offer a framework to the nurses that serve as a guide in the process of critiquing and reading research articles in this section.
Whenever a decision is made about reading a particular article, it is imperative to make a decision if it is of particular interest or if it is applicable in the area of the readers practice. The reader might aspire to access a particular research article to read as well as critique while the following questions are being put in to consideration.
Does the title describe the article precisely?
An excellent title is likely to stimulate the interest of the reader but classically this is realized after completion of reading the article bearing in mind that the title is a precise description. An informative title is able to communicate the major concept in the article, methods, as well as variables.
Is the abstract representative of the article?
The abstract must be a source of the overview described briefly so that is takes care of the study, the research questions, the methods used, the results arrived at and the conclusions made. This is the basis of the informed decision that the article is the right one or not. Some people employ the abstract for the sake of discussing the study and may never bother to read any further. This is imprudent since the abstract offers a simple preview of entire article and could sometimes mislead the reader.
Does the introduction make the purpose of the article clear?
A properly written introduction is a good basis of the paper. The introduction comprises of the problem statement, study rationale as well as a research question. In a situation that requires statement of hypothesis, it is incorporated with anticipated results.
Is a theoretical framework described?
In a situation that requires incorporation of a theoretical framework, it must be in a position of informing the study while offering a rationale. The concepts availed by theoretical framework must be linked to the paper topic and be a basis of results interpretation. Some of the researches do not provide for a theoretical framework, a good example being research in health services that deals with assessment of such issues as availability of care, te cost of health care and delivery of health care. Clinical research including comparisons of effectiveness in use of two drugs does not need a theoretical framework.