Did the author discuss how the rigor of the process was assured? For example, does the author describe maintaining a paper trail of critical decisions that were made during the analysis of the data?
Methods of Study
Identify the benefits and risks of participation addressed by the authors. Were there benefits or risks the authors do not identify?
Was informed consent obtained from the subjects or participants?
Did it seem that the subjects participated voluntarily in the study?
Was institutional review board approval obtained from the agency in which the study was conducted?
Are the major variables (independent and dependent variables) identified and defined? What were these variables?
How were data collected in this study?
What rationale did the author provide for using this data collection method?
Identify the time period for data collection of the study.
Describe the sequence of data collection events for a participant.
Describe the data management and analysis methods used in the study.
Did the author discuss how the rigor of the process was assured? For example, does the author describe maintaining a paper trail of critical decisions that were made during the analysis of the data? Was statistical software used to ensure accuracy of the analysis?
What measures were used to minimize the effects of researcher bias (their experiences and perspectives)? For example, did two researchers independently analyze the data and compare their analyses?
Results of Study
What is the researcher’s interpretation of findings?
Are the findings valid or an accurate reflection of reality? Do you have confidence in the findings?
What limitations of the study were identified by researchers?
Was there a coherent logic to the presentation of findings?
What implications do the findings have for nursing practice? For example, can the findings of the study be applied to general nursing practice, to a specific population, or to a specific area of nursing?
What suggestions are made for further studies?