Qualitative Article Critical Appraisal

The critical appraisal of a qualitative research report should demonstrate that the student is capable of analyzing a selected research report and producing an appraisal suitable for informing advanced practice nursing. The primary focus of this assignment should be on appraisal of evidence to implement in clinical practice. Your instructor will post the qualitative journal article for you to review.

This paper should be written in paragraph form and in APA format. This assignment is worth 15% of your final grade. There will be a 5-point deduction for each day late.

You should use the following outline for your review. Each subject heading must be addressed and the questions below each heading are intended to serve as guides for you as you go through the article appraisal. When answering these questions, it is important that you do so in a manner that is cohesive and flows well rather than simply answering the questions in a disjointed manner.


  • Was the title a good one, suggesting the key phenomenon and the group or community under study?


  • Does the abstract clearly and concisely summarize the main features of the report?


Statement of the problem

  • Is the problem stated unambiguously, and is it easy to identify?
  • Does the problem statement build a cogent and persuasive argument for the new study?
  • Does the problem have significance for nursing?
  • Is there a good match between the research problem on the one hand and the paradigm, tradition, and methods on the other?

Research questions

  • Are research questions explicitly stated? If not, is their absence justified?
  • Are the questions consistent with the study’s philosophical basis, underlying tradition, conceptual framework, or ideological orientation?

Literature review

  • Does the report adequately summarize the existing body of knowledge related to the problem or phenomenon of interest?
  • Does the literature review provide a solid basis for the new study?

Conceptual underpinnings

  • Are key concepts adequately defined conceptually?
  • Is the philosophical basis, underlying tradition, conceptual framework, or ideological orientation made explicit, and is it appropriate for the problem?


Protection of participants’ rights

  • Were appropriate procedures used to safeguard the rights of study participants? Was the study subject to external review?
  • Was the study designed to minimize risks and maximize benefits to participants?

Research design and research tradition

  • Is the identified research tradition (if any) congruent with the methods used to collect and analyze data?
  • Was an adequate amount of time spent in the field or with study participants?
  • Did the design unfold in the field, giving researchers opportunities to capitalize on early understandings?
  • Was there evidence of reflexivity in the design?
  • Was there an adequate number of contacts with study participants?

Sample and setting

  • Was the group or population of interest adequately described? Were the setting and sample described in sufficient detail?
  • Was the approach used to gain access to the site or to recruit participants appropriate?
  • Was the best possible method of sampling used to enhance information richness and address the needs of the study?
  • Was the sample size adequate? Was saturation achieved?

Data collection

  • Were the methods of gathering data appropriate? Were data gathered through two or more methods to achieve triangulation?
  • Did the researcher ask the right questions or make the right observations, and were they recorded in an appropriate fashion?
  • Was a sufficient amount of data gathered? Were the data of sufficient depth and richness?


  • Were data collection and recording procedures adequately described, and do they appear appropriate?
  • Were data collected in a manner that minimized bias or behavioral distortions? Was the staff who collected data appropriately trained?

Enhancement of rigor

  • Were methods used to enhance the trustworthiness of the data (and analysis), and was the description of those methods adequate?
  • Were the methods used to enhance credibility appropriate and sufficient?
  • Did the researcher document research procedures and decision processes sufficiently that findings are auditable and confirmable?


Data analysis

  • Were the data management (e.g., coding) and data analysis methods sufficiently described?
  • Was the data analysis strategy compatible with the research tradition and with the nature and type of data gathered?
  • Did the analysis yield an appropriate “product” (e.g., a theory, taxonomy, thematic pattern, etc.)?
  • Did the analytic procedures suggest the possibility of biases?



  • Were the findings effectively summarized, with good use of excerpts and supporting arguments?
  • Do the themes adequately capture the meaning of the data? Does it appear that the researcher satisfactorily conceptualized the themes or patterns in the data?
  • Did the analysis yield an insightful, provocative, and meaningful picture of the phenomenon under investigation?

Theoretical integration

  • Are the themes or patterns logically connected to each other to form a convincing and integrated whole?
  • Were figures, maps, or models used effectively to summarize conceptualizations?
  • If a conceptual framework or ideological orientation guided the study, are the themes or patterns linked to it in a cogent manner?


Interpretation of the findings

  • Are the findings interpreted within an appropriate frame of reference?
  • Are major findings interpreted and discussed within the context of prior studies?
  • Are the interpretations consistent with the study’s limitations?
  • Does the report address the issue of the transferability of the findings?


  • Do the researchers discuss the implications of the study for clinical practice or further inquiry—and are those implications reasonable and complete?



  • Was the report well written, well organized, and sufficiently detailed for critical analysis?
  • Was the description of the methods, findings, and interpretations sufficiently rich and vivid?

Researcher credibility

  • Do the researchers’ clinical, substantive, or methodological qualifications and experience enhance confidence in the findings and their interpretation?

Summary assessment

  • Do the study findings appear to be trustworthy—do you have confidence in the truth value of the results?
  • Does the study contribute any meaningful evidence that can be used in nursing practice or that is useful to the nursing discipline?