Nursing staff should consider research to improve patient care, enhance nursing practice, develop new research topics, and shape healthcare policies. Access to highly evidence based and peer reviewed literature is essential to ensure that standards are met. The following are steps for you to consider while analyzing and critiquing research articles. NOTE: Before you begin critiquing articles, be sure to review the steps to establishing a journal club.
Step 1: Consider the title of the article - does it succinctly reflect the content of the work?
Step 2: Does the introduction include the following elements - evidence of a literature review, background information of the topic or problem, goals of the study and justification for the study?
Step 3: Does the methods section provide information on sampling size and technique? Are there strengths and weaknesses to the study?
Step 4: Results of study should be presented in a clear manner by the use of graphs and/or tables. The data generated should be consistent with the data collected.
Step 5: Discussion portion of research paper should provide significance of study findings.
Step 6: Conclusion should provide the reader with definitive statements about the study and it can also include future recommendations.
Step 7: References should be relevant to the paper and they should be current.