Critique Template for a Qualitative Study

Critique Template for a Qualitative Study


NURS 5052/NURS 6052

Week 6 Assignment: Application: Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies (due by Day 7 of Week 7)


Your name:           

Article reference (in APA style): Colgan, D. D., Wahbeh, H., Pleet, M., Besler, K., & Christopher, M. (2017). A Qualitative Study of Mindfulness Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Practices Differentially Affect Symptoms, Aspects of Well-Being, and Potential Mechanisms of Action. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2156587216684999.






What is a critique? Simply stated, a critique is a critical analysis undertaken for some purpose. Nurses critique research for three main reasons: to improve their practice, to broaden their understanding, and to provide a base for the conduct of a study.


When the purpose is to improve practice, nurses must give special consideration to questions such as these:


  • Are the research findings appropriate to my practice setting and situation?
  • What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness?
  • How might a proposed change in practice trigger changes in other aspects of practice?


To help you synthesize your learning throughout this course and prepare you to utilize research in your practice, you will be critiquing a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research study of your choice.


If the article is unavailable in a full-text version through the Walden University Library, you must e-mail the article as a PDF or Word attachment to your Instructor.






  1. Research Issue and Purpose


What is the research question or issue of the referenced study? What is its purpose? (Sometimes ONLY the purpose is stated clearly and the question must be inferred from the introductory discussion of the purpose.)

The issue of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the mindfulness in the management of PTSD among the veterans of war. The purpose of the study was to determine the feasibility of the body scan, slow patterned and mindful breathing in the managing PTSD among the veterans of war




  1. Researcher Pre-understandings


Does the article include a discussion of the researcher’s pre-understandings? What does the article disclose about the researcher’s professional and personal perspectives on the research problem?

The researcher’s pre- understanding is not clearly provided. Therefore it was difficult to point out the researcher’s professional and personal perspectives on the research problem





  1. Literature Review


What is the quality of the literature review? Is the literature review current, relevant? Is there evidence that the author critiqued the literature or merely reported it without critique? Is there an integrated summary of the current knowledge base regarding the research problem, or does the literature review contain opinion or anecdotal articles without any synthesis or summary of the whole? (Sometimes the literature review is incorporated into the introductory section without being explicitly identified.)

The researchers do not cover the relevant literature. They report that there is little first person account in the literature of Veteran’s subjective experiences on how they utilize mindfulness practices to alleviate PTSD symptoms. The small literature that the authors have reviewed is current and relevant. However, there is no evidence that the authors critiqued the research. There is also no integrated summary of the current knowledge base regarding the research problem. It is important to note that the research introduction is scanty. Gaver (2012) asserts that the author in a research study may have the literature review captured in the introduction




  1. Theoretical or Conceptual Framework


Is a theoretical or conceptual framework identified? If so, what is it? Is it a nursing framework or one drawn from another discipline? (Sometimes there is no explicitly identified theoretical or conceptual framework; in addition, many “nursing” research studies draw on a “borrowed” framework, e.g., stress, medical pathology, etc.)

The theoretical or the conceptual framework of the study is not identified.  It is not clear in the presentation whether the authors applied the relevant conceptual framework





  1. Participants


Who were the participants? Is the setting or study group adequately described? Is the setting appropriate for the research question? What type of sampling strategy was used? Was it appropriate? Was the sample size adequate? Did the researcher stipulate that information redundancy was achieved?

The participants in the study were combat veterans, who had been diagnosed with chronic PTSD and of between the ages of 25-65 years. The research adequately describes the setting used in the study. A randomized sampling method was used to get the participants. The sampling technique was appropriate since there was the need to get participants who would fulfill the inclusion criteria. The sample size was adequate for a huge number of individuals were involved. The researcher did not stipulate that information redundancy was achieved





  1. Protection of Human Research Participants


What steps were taken to protect human research subjects?

The steps taken to protect the participants were made since the participants were provided with informed consent and that their personal information would be private.







  1. Research Design


What was the design of the study? If the design was modeled from previous research or pilot studies, please describe.

A randomized control trial design was used in the study of 102 veterans with chronic PTSD






  1. Data Collection/Generation Methods


What methods were used for data collection/generation? Was triangulation used? 

.  The data collection method applied in the study was through semi- structured interviews following the intervention




  1. Credibility


Were the generated data credible? Explain your reasons.

The generated data was credible since various methods were used so as to ensure that the correct data is collected. The individuals interviewed were the eligible participants.





  1. Data Analysis


What methods were used for data analysis? What evidence was provided that the researcher’s analysis was accurate and replicable?





  1. Findings


What were the findings?

Data analysis of the interviews was conducted by using the conventional content analysis where coding categories were derived. There is no evidence provided to show that analysis was accurate or replicable





  1. Discussion of Findings


Was the discussion of findings related to the framework? Were those the expected findings?  Were they consistent with previous studies? Were serendipitous (i.e., accidental) findings described?

The general findings were- participants in the mindfulness intervention groups reported improvement in the PTSD symptoms compared to participants in Non mindfulness group. The discussion of the findings was done bur are not related to the theoretical framework since it was not provided in the study. Since neither theoretical framework nor conceptual framework was provided it is hard to determine if the finding identified were the expected findings. However, the findings identified are consistent with the previous studies. The serendipitous findings are not described in the study.





  1. Limitations


Did the researcher report limitations of the study? (Limitations are acknowledgments of internal characteristics of the study that may help explain insignificant and other unexpected findings, and more importantly, indicate those groups to whom the findings CANNOT be generalized or applied. It is a fact that all studies must be limited in some way; not all of the issues involved in a problem situation can be studied all at once.)

The authors have reported a number of limitations of their study. One of the limitations identified is research bias. Lewis (2015) points out that most of the qualitative studies have research bias. The interviews also provided a short- term perspective.



  1. Implications


Are the conclusions and implications drawn by the author warranted by the study findings? (Sometimes researchers will seem to ignore findings that don’t confirm their expectations as they interpret the meaning of their study findings.)


The researchers also provide the conclusions and the implications of the study. However, the findings are selective and do not provide a holistic picture of the entire study





  1. Recommendations


Does the author offer legitimate recommendations for further research?  Is the description of the study sufficiently clear and complete to allow replication of the study? (Sometimes researchers’ recommendations seem to come from “left field” rather than following obviously from the discussion of findings. If a research problem is truly significant, the results need to be confirmed with additional research; in addition, if a reader wishes to design a study using a different sample or correcting flaws in the original study, a complete description is necessary.)

The researcher offered legitimate recommendations in the study. The description of the study is sufficiently clear and complete to allow replication of the study. The researcher’s findings are also consistent with the research. The researcher also points out the future research that needs to be done so as to get to the bottom of the problem in question




  1. Research Utilization in Your Practice


How might this research inform your practice? Are the research findings appropriate to your practice setting and situation? What further research or pilot studies need to be done, if any, before incorporating findings into practice to assure both safety and effectiveness? How might the utilization of this research trigger changes in other aspects of practice?

I will utilize the findings of my study in improving the care that I provide patients with PTSD. As the psychiatric nurse working is a psychiatric setting, I find the results of the study relevant. It would assist in the introduction of mindful intervention in PTSD management. The further studies before incorporating the findings of the study are determination of the long lasting effects of mindful approaches in the care of individuals with chronic PTSD. The utilization of this research might trigger changes in other aspects of practice since there would be development of a new approach to managing PTSD.