Examining Qualitative and Quantitative studies with CASP

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme/CASP (Public Health Resource Unit, 2007) a reader should equip with in order to make sense of scientific research. The CASP is to help a reader develops critical skills so as to be sensitive of scientific research and, therefore, to think reasonably about any research encountered (Public Health Resource Unit, 2007). Both quantitative and qualitative researches can be appraised by using the CASP. Each of the CASP guidelines has ten questions in which validity, relevance and results of appraised research have been covered. This assignment has been divided into two parts. The first part quantitative paper written by Ho et al, (2006) will be appraised. The second part qualitative paper written by Liu and Liehr (2009) will then be appraised. All findings will be summarized finally.

1. Did the study ask a clearly focused question?

PICOT is used for answering the question 1 and it is a framework that healthcare professionals can use to formulate effective clinical questions in a step-by-step manner (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2010). The population of the study was all the subjects should have one tattoo at least. 120 Chinese subjects with 144 tattoos were recruited for the study. The intervention of the study was half of the subjects were applied Contractubex gel while others were applied nothing. The purpose to do so was to check the efficacy of the gel. The comparison of the study was study and control groups are used for comparison as a result of finding out the efficacy of Contractubex gel. The outcome of the study was the gel should be effective in preventing scarring after the subjects receiving laser removal of tattoos. The research has shown that the number of subjects in Contractubex group with scarring were significantly lower than in control group. The time of the study was the treated areas were assessed 3 months after the last treatments. In short, the research has asked a clearly focused question- Use of onion extract, heparin, allantoin gel in prevention of scarring in Chinese patients having laser removal of tattoos: a prospective randomized controlled trial. So the answer is “Yes”.

2. Was this a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and was it appropriately so?

A type of scientific experiment most commonly used in validating the effectiveness of health issue, say, pharmaceuticals (e.g. gel), can be regarded as RCT (Gallin & Ognibene, 2007). It involves the random allocation of different interventions to the subjects. Furthermore, as long as the numbers of subjects are adequate, randomization is an effective method to produce a random and unpredictable sequence of allocations. Regarding to the Ho et al (2006) research, they must adopt RCT. Two evidences can be shown to support my stance. First, it was testing the efficacy of Contractubex gel intervention (health issue) provided by doctors to subjects with tattoo. Second, the 120 subjects were randomly assigned to either Contractubex or Control group at equal probabilities. In suitability, it was the right research approach for the researched question because it was going to compare result after receiving Contractubex gel with a control group. In short, RCT is the appropriate method and correct approach to conduct this research, as there were two groups that were allocated randomly, the study group received intervention and the control group did not receive intervention and the answer is “Yes”.

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