Nursing is becoming a progressively evidence base profession. Arguably, Nightingale first popularised the link between nursing theory, nursing practice and research to inform an appropriate evidence base, and progress towards this goal has been ongoing ever since (Graham 2003).
In nursing, a critique is often seen as a first step in learning the research process. However, conducting a critique is not a basic skill (Burns and Grove 2004). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008) ruled it mandatory for the pre-registration nursing curriculum to teach EBP as a fundamental principle of proficiency. Research has become a priority for nurses of all specialities.
This paper seeks to demonstrate how these evaluative skills can be developed by critiquing a quantitative research study. An acknowledgement of the credibility of the authors, the publishing journal, and the methods used the data collection and analysis, findings, ethical issues and the strengths and weakness of the research is made. The paper will be considered using the CASP critique tool for methodological consistency and ease of presentation (CASP 2000); shown in appendix 1; a copy of the tool is enclosed.
The article, on which this critique research is made, was published in the journal of Advanced Nursing. The title of the article is,” Tablet-splitting: a common yet not so innocent practice”. The title of this article outlined above, is seemingly clear and explicit, although not as concise as Frances et al,(2007) would prefer; between ten and fifteen words. The title of this paper suggests that tablet splitting is a common practice, which is probably true, but it suggests that it is ‘not so innocent’, which smacks more of journalism than an academic paper. It is possible that the original Belgian text does not translate perfectly into English and this may be a translational syntactical inaccuracy.
The article was accepted on 6 August 2010 and it was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(1), pages 26-32. Elsevier (2009) State that they only print manuscripts that have been peer reviewed with any necessary revisions made. This is favourable for the credibility of the article as the reader is assured that it has been scrutinised by an independent body of a similar field to the author/s. Elsevier also clarifies that the author must have the appropriate clinical and educational credentials for the research study.