Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nursing Case Studies Assignment

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We get this question so frequently that I decided to come up with a resource I can print for the students who seem to need more clarification.  Please add any search terms you have used to identify case studies (with success, that is.)

Questions for evaluating case studies/ clinical research:

What is the purpose and/or rationale for the study?
Are the aims of the study clearly stated?
How significant is the need for research?
Does the research look at data gathered previously?

Where was the article published?
Who funded the study?
Who conducted the study?
Is credibility of the researchers established?

How was the study conducted?
Were participants in the study randomly assigned?
What were the characteristics of the people who participated in the study?
How many people were tested?
Is the study's sampling strategy appropriate to address the aims?
Was there a control group?

How long was the study?
Did the research follow a group over time?
How many completed the study?
Do the researchers consider the effects on the study of the relationship between themselves and the informants?

How was the data collected?
Are the study's data collection strategies appropriate?
Was the data gathered descriptive or quantitative?

Was the data analyzed? How?
Does the article analyze one study or multiple studies?
If the article discusses multiple studies, what types of studies were included?
Is there a rigorous process of data analysis evident?

Have the results of the study been repeated by other investigators?
Are the findings confirmable?
Are the findings analyzed based on the purpose and research question?
Are the findings of the study logically transferable to other groups of patients?

Are the findings clear and easy to understand?
Do the researchers justify the data interpretation used in the analysis?
How relevant and useful is the article to a patient/clinical problem/clinical scenario or a practitioner?
How important are the findings?
Do they directly suggest specific further research?

Appraisal questions were derived from:

KT Clearinghouse, KT. Completed Qualitative Research Worksheet for Evidence-Based Nursing. 2011. (accessed September 13, 2012).

Family Caregiver Alliance . Evaluating Medical Research Findings and Clinical Trials. n.d. (accessed September 13, 2012).


Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisals, and utilization
Polit, Denise F.
Philadelphia : Lippincott, c2001
RT81.5 .P63 2001

Studying a study and testing a test: how to read the medical evidence
Richard K. Riegelman.
Philadelphia, Pa. : Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.
R118.6 .R537 2000


Design and analysis of clinical nursing research studies [electronic resource]
Colin R. Martin and David R. Thompson.
London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.
RVCC only - Read this book online

 How to read a paper [electronic resource] : the basics of evidence based medicine
Trisha Greenhalgh.
London : BMJ, 2000.
RVCC only - Read this book online


University of South Australia Critical Appraisal Tools

This resource provides questions based on type of studies (randomized controlled, non-randomized controlled, case studies, qualitative research, mixed method, etc.) aimed at identifying "methodological flaws" in the literature and the quality of the research evidence.  



Case studies
Research – Methodology
Qualitative  research

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