According to Parahoo (2006) an abstract is a short summary of a study. Its main purpose is to give readers enough information for them to decide whether or not the article is of interest to them. Wood and Haber (2002) discuss the fact that an abstract is a short comprehensive synopsis of a study at the beginning of an article. Treacy and Hyde (1999) suggest that the abstract should contain 100-200 words and include the steps of the research process in order. Whereas Wood and Haber (2002) suggests it should be between 50 and 250 words. Hott and Budin (1999) describes how a well presented abstract is accurate, self-contained, concise, specific, non evaluative, coherent and readable. The abstract in this article gives the reader a comprehensive view of the background of the article, the method by which the data was collected, and the main findings of the article. It presents the reader with enough information which gives them the opportunity to gauge the relevance of the article to them. The abstract is not overly descriptive and didn’t give away too much information to the reader. From reading the abstract however it can be seen that there is an extremely high response rate which leaves the reader to think of the reason for this.
According to Polit and Beck (2006) an introduction should acquaint the reader with the research problem and its context. Burns and Grove (1999) suggest that the introduction section of a research report identifies the nature and scope of the topic being investigated and provides a case for the conduct of the study. The introduction to this article is very interesting; although quite short it presents the reader with a very strong opening statement. It also gets to the point of the study quite quickly. It shows that the study is well supported by literature. The points under the section “What is already known about this topic”, which is positioned at the end of the article, seems like it would be better suited in the introduction as it was very useful in developing the readers knowledge on the subject something which should have been done early on and not at the end of the article.
Walsh and Wigens (2003) discuss how background information holds high significance as it helps the reader to develop a deeper understanding of the topic area of research. It should assist the reader in understanding the reasoning behind the decision to carry out research in a certain area. Anson and Schwegler (2000) explain that a literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes within a certain time period. According to Hart (1998) literature is importance as it helps the author gain an understanding of their topic, of what has already been done on the topic, how it has been researched and what the key issues are. Gerrish and Lacey (2006) believe that there must be a wide variety of literature to support the research and this literature must come from a variety of sources. The authors in this article clarify that the word violence means different things to different people and violence is a word which is misused in existing literature. The authors include an adequate discussion of existing literature of both violence and verbal abuse experienced by nursing students. The reader can see how they identify that it is not a problem which is experienced in one country but rather an international problem. The reviewer can’t help but notice the fact that there has been no previous research completed on the student nurse’s prospective of verbal abuse. The earliest date cited, being 1969, by Rogers, is quite old however it shows that the problem is not a new one. The literature which was reviewed is not in one particular area of nursing but includes mental health, learning disability, emergency, medical and surgical nursing. This fact shows the reviewer that all areas and types of abuse have been thoroughly covered and that this article has been researched to a high academic standard.
Smith (2005) the study sample should be a representative of the sampling frame and/ or the target population. Treacy and Hyde (1999) believe that the study setting should be the location in which they experience the phenomenon of interest. Ferns and Meerabeau used a convient sample within an English university who would have both relevant knowledge and experience in experiencing verbal abuse while on clinical placement. The reader notices how they surveyed third year students and feel the reasoning for this to be the fact that they would have been on a number of previous clinical placements and had the exposure to a various clinical settings. Also they got 13 students who were studying for a bachelor’s degree in nursing to participate. However one can’t help but notice the fact that the response rate is rather high which would make the reviewer wonder whether or not the students were pressurised or obligated into completing the questionnaire by their lecturers. Burke and Tan (1998) suggests that subject of the questionnaire, incentives offered, pressure to complete the questionnaire and the length of the questionnaire are direct factors involved in the level of the response rate.
Creswell (1998) describes qualitative research to be the study of things or people in their natural setting, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meaning people bring to them. Strauss and Corbin(1998) explains that it is research about peoples lives, lived experiences, behaviours, emotions and feelings as well as organisational functioning, social movements, cultural phenomena and interactions between nations. Lo-Biondo-Wood and Haber (1998) recommend appropriateness of research approach used in relation to problem being studied. Whereas the quantitative approach to research involves the use of data collection methods such as questionnaires, structured observations, structured interviews and a number of other measuring tools (Parahoo 2006). Aliaga and Gunderson (2002) describe quantitative research to be explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematical based methods. In the article which is being critiqued Ferns and Meerabeau use both a qualitative research and quantitative research method in compiling the data used in the article. At no point in the article do the authors signify which method is being used and it appears at first that it is only a quantitative method but it then can be seen that both methods are used. The choice of qualitative research for writing this article would appear to be an obvious choice as it is acquiring information off the students who themselves have experience the verbal abuse.
Crookes and Davies (2006) describe the findings of a study to be not only the results of a study but to be the translation and interpretation of these results. Polit and Beck (2006) believe that the results portion of the article requires logic, conciseness and specificity. Treacy and Hyde (1999) recommend the usefulness of using illustrative quotes to accompany results. The results were presented in a clear systematic manner. The reviewer enjoyed the authors use of examples of the various ways in which the students were verbal abused and felt it highlighted the seriousness of the problem. The findings support the author’s assumptions that nursing students do experience verbal abuse. The conclusion was rather short, however it managed to offer some key recommendations which they discovered from the findings of the study.
According to Blandy et al (2005) the ability to present relevant and up-to-date information to support an article or discussion is crucial. Neville (2007) highlight that good referencing not only contains books but uses other relevant sources such as journals and web support. Considering this article was written in 2007 a great amount of the references appear to be quite out dated with them dating between 2006 and going back as far as 1969. However the authors do use a large and varied amount of sources from which they obtained their references by using books, journals and web sources.
Overall I found the experience of critiquing Ferns and Meerabeau article to be a mainly enjoyable experience. Both as a student nurse and a qualified staff nurse I will be required and expected to research various topic areas to help enhance my practice. By performing a research critique it helped me to gain a clearer understanding of the research process. This point is supported by Burns and Grove (1999) who state that by performing a research critique and gaining an understanding in the research process it helps play a large part in the nurse’s role. It helps them to gain a deeper understanding of published research articles and determine their relevance to their practice.
Aliaga, M. and Gunderson, B. (2002) Interactive Statistics (2nd ed), Prentice Hall Publishing, New Jersey.
Anson, M. and Schwegler, R. (2000) The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers (2nd ed), Longman, New York.
Blandy, S., Martin, E. and Strife, M. (2005) Assessment in Reference Work, Hawthorne Press, England.
Burke, F. and Tan, R. (1998) Response rates to questionnaires mailed to dentists. A review of 77 publications, International Denistry Journal, (47), pp.349-354.
Burns, N, and Grove, S. (1999) Understanding Nursing Research (2nd ed), W.B. Saunders, United States.
Creswell, J. (1998) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions, Sage Publications, London.
Crookes, P. and Davies, S. (2006) Research into Practice, Balliere Tindall, United Kingdom.
Gerrish, K. and Lacey, A. (2006) The Research Process in Nursing, Blackwell Publishing, United Kingdom.
Graham, A. (2004) A guide to reading and analysing academic articles, (online), Available: (Accessed 21st November 2008).
Hart, C. (1998) Doing a literature review, Sage, United Kingdom.
Hott, J, and Budin, W. (1999) Notter’s Essentials of Nursing Research (6th ed), Springer Publishing company, New York
Innova, R. (2004) Evaluation Framework (online)
(Accessed 28th November 2008).
Lo biondo-Wood, G. and Haber, J. (1998) Nursing research: Methods, critical appraisal,and utilization (4th ed.), Mosby, St. Louis.
Neville, C. (2007) The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism, Open University Press, England.
Parahoo, K. (2006) Nursing research – Principles, Process and Issues (2nd ed), Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
Polit, D. and Beck, C. (2006) Essentials of Nursing Research – Methods, Appraisal, and Utilization (6th ed), Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.
Smith, L. Study sample: Who should be in your intervention and evaluation?, (online),
Available: (Accessed 1st December 2008).
Smith, P. (1997) Research mindedness for Practice, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
, A. and , J. (1998) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory (2nd ed), Sage Publications, England
Treacy, M. and Hyde, A. (1999) Nursing Research: Design and Practice, UCD Press, Dublin.
Walsh, M. and Wigens, L. (2003) Foundations in Nursing and Health Care - Introduction to Research, Nelson Thornes, United Kingdom.
Wood, G. and Haber, J. (2002) Nursing Research Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice, (6th ed), Mosby, United States.