Critical Appraisal QUALitative Research
Tips from Cardiff University RSSDP course
by Fiona Morgan on 13th February 2012
- Vast literature
(1.4 million academics papers published in 32,000 peer-reviewed scientific journals worldwide)
- But limited time to read
- This is actually how to trash the paper
- Methodology should be presented clearly to the readers in order to replicate, assess the quality of your work.
Asking general questions
- What is this paper about?
- Is it relevant to what you are looking for
- Do I trust it? – Methodology
- What are the results? (The last question!)
- Interpretive / subjective e.g., Meaning, experiences, feelings or insights
- Variety of methods
- Focuses in understanding how people think, behave in a particular way.
- Language used in qualitative research mostly are user-unfriendly and difficult to read
Assessing qualitative research
– Do we have confidence in the results?
– Can they be applied in similar settings?
– appropriate design, methodology and process?
- Clear statement of aims?
– What is the purpose
– What outcomes are expected?
– The above should be in the introduction
- Research question – SPICE
- Is a qualitative methodology appropriate?
- Was the recruitment strategy appropriate to the research aims?
– From where?
– Who did it?
– What sample size?
– Why people did/did not take part? – Selection bias
- Were the data collected in a way that considered the research issue?
– Is it clear?
– Where was the study set?
– how were data collected?
– How ere they recorded?
– Were method modified?
- Have ethical issues been taken into consideration?
– Ethical approval
– How was the research explained to the participants e.g., expectation, timescale.
– Was informed consent obtained?
- Reflexivity (research bias)
– Is the research role examined?