Appraisal of Quantitative Studies
Health care educators have often complained of having limited time to read through work that has been published in detail. The frustration is made complicated with the bogus medical terminologies, methods and approaches that that are part and parcel of the published work. The sole purpose of appraising scientific publications is to assess whether the questions, methods and findings are valid enough to construct useful information. Factors that must be addressed when appraising quantitative studies are applicability, validity and reliability. Of the three factors, am convinced that validity is the most important. It makes a research process be relevant to the common issues that the society is facing.
Papastavrou et al. (2014) defined validity as the extent to which a conclusion or concept can be said to be accurate and is related to the day to day life experiences. Researchers should be able to address one or all the available types of validity which include but not limited to face, criterion related, content and construct. Face validity is applied when the researcher chooses to study a concept or variable that has not been explored before. In content validity, the researcher will explore literature in great detail to compare the surety of the content that is being studied. Tools such as surveys and questionnaires must be used.
Similarly, validity is a good measure to appraise quantitative research in that it allows use of theory as a guide (Noble & Smith, 2015). Researchers have always associated validity to reliability. The importance of theory in research is essential in that it provides the framework upon which a researcher can defend their findings. This makes me to rate validity to be more important the other factors which are used in appraising quantitative studies.
Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence Based Nursing, 18(2), 34-35.
Papastavrou, E., Andreou, P., & Efstathiou, G. (2014). Rationing of nursing care and nurse–patient outcomes: a systematic review of quantitative studies. The International journal of health planning and management, 29(1), 3-25.