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Research essay

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In this assignment I intend to critically evaluate a paper by Elkington et al. (2004) from the journal, Respiratory Medicine. This article is titled, 'The last year of life of COPD: A qualitative study of symptoms and services.' Before critiquing this paper I will discuss my rationale for choosing it. I will also discuss the critiquing process and why these skills are important to nurses. My assignment will conclude by discussing why Elkington et al.'s (2004) paper is relevant and the implications it has to adult nursing. The main reason I picked this paper is because I have had a lot of experience caring for patients with COPD on placement. COPD is the abbreviation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is a group of respiratory diseases where airway resistance is increased with impaired airflow, e.g. chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema (Mullally 2002). Research based on this disease is very relevant to future practice as the incidence of COPD is on the rise. By 2020, COPD is expected to be the third most common cause of death worldwide (Murray and Lopez, 1997). Nurses need to be made more aware of this illness and its effect on patients and their carers as the rate of hospital admissions due to COPD is very high. ...read more.


Parahoo (2006) states that this involves creating and maintaining a safe, caring environment and using interventions which, to the best of their knowledge, are the most appropriate and effective in bringing about the desired effects. Research is one of the ways in which nurses can insure they are providing the best evidence- based practice. Sackett et al. (1996) state that evidence- based practice is, the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. Evidence- based practice has been developed to improve nursing practice and to try and ensure that the best possible practice is used. This can only be a good thing as the care which patients receive will be of a higher standard. This evidence is mainly attained from research articles; this again highlights how important an understanding of the critiquing process is for nurses. There are a number of critiquing frameworks can be used to critique a research article, such as Polit and Beck (2006) and Parahoo (2006). These two models have been developed to help critique both qualitative and quantitative research papers. I have chosen the qualitative section of Parahoo's (2006) ...read more.


a qualitative research article should contain an abstract. The aim of the abstract is to give readers an idea of what the article is about so they can decide whether or not they would like to read it. The abstract should state briefly the background and aim of the study, the design, including the method (s), sample (s) and sampling, and the main findings (Parahoo 2006). The abstract in the article appears to be quite long and detailed. It is also very unclear and the first indication that the research is based on the carer's point of view is not until the method section of the abstract. I feel that it would have been more appropriate to have stated this information in the aim at the start of the abstract. The abstract states that the COPD patients had died 3- 10 months before the interviews were conducted; however in the methods section it states that it was 3- 9 months. This may be a misprint but it could mislead the reader and may lead them to query the validity of the study and its findings. The abstract also does not state if the paper has a systematic review or not. This is one form of literature review in which all available research studies on a particular topic are identified, analysed and synthesised (Parahoo 2006). ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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