Evidence based practise
The aim of this assignment is to analyse the rigour and validity of a piece of research using a published framework. The research article chosen was conducted by Jan Cooper and Alistair Harrison, and was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39:4,360-369.
The framework used is taken from Cormack, (2000), The Research Process in nursing (4th Ed). (See appendix 1). This framework defines and explains a step by step approach to critiquing a piece of research. Frameworks can be used as a springboard for the generation of research hypotheses, and can provide an important context for scientific research. (Polit & Hunger 1995).
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Cormack (2000) suggests that having knowledge of the author’s background would help the reader gain information on their suitability.
Polit & Hungler (1999) recommend that an abstract should be a brief description of the summary and should contain approximately 100-200 words. Although Parahoo (1997) states that readers should not ask too much from an abstract as details are provided within the rest of the article. It would appear to the reader that this abstract provides enough information for the article to have a personal and professional interest. The reader has worked for some years in the field of palliative care and is keen to experience how other palliative care environments adapt to the audit process in measuring quality assurance.
Cormack (2000) suggests that an introduction should include a discussion of the subject’s importance, and of the need for it to be researched. The research problem should be identified within the introduction. The reader feels that Cooper and Hewison have clearly identified the need for quality assurance within the NHS and have indicated the need for quality systems in all specialities including palliative care. This has been backed up with references from varying sources of research articles giving a purpose and clear rationale for this study.
Polit & Hungler (1993) suggest that a thorough literature review provides a foundation upon which to base new knowledge. The authors cite relevant references to support why clinical audit within palliative care was challenging to develop, however the reader feels that over half of the references utilised within the article are dated from (1989- 1994), which may give credibility to the statement that little has been researched within this particular field. Parahoo (1997) states, “if references are more than five years old, one must ask, whether there is more recent literature on the topic”. The author’s suggest the importance of selecting a suitable outcome measure to audit palliative care. Within the study the support team assessment scale (STAS) 1993, was deemed suitable. An interesting outcome to the reader was that on review of Higginson audit tool (1993), it was apparent that in 1998 Higginson produced the palliative outcome scale (POS), as a potential national audit tool for palliative care. The authors however make no mention of why the older STAS scale was used in preference over the latest POS scale. The use of the POS scale may have assisted in the assessment of patients and the monitoring the change and implementation of the audit.
When utilising a grounded theory method the researcher should avoid conducting a literature review prior to commencing data collection and analysis, Cutcliffe (2000). However Cormack (2000) suggests initial literature search can provide evidence that little is known about the subject under study, thus supporting the need for research and, more specifically the...