The article to be critiqued is located in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (2007) which evaluates the valuing of altruism in nursing students (Johnson, Haigh and Yates-Bolton (2007).

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Research for Healthcare professionals

Hek et al (1996) suggested Research is imperative in healthcare today and is part of the evidence-based practice that underpins nursing. Burns & Grove (1999) further proclaimed critiquing research involves careful examination of all aspects of a study, to judge strengths, limitations, meaning and significance. Research is critiqued to provide knowledge, improve practice and provide essential data for conducting further studies. The aim of this assignment is to critique a chosen piece of nursing research, to analyse the rigor and validity using a critical framework as guidelines. Although, many critical frameworks exist, the one to be utilised in this assignment shall be Benton and Cormack's framework (1996). Using the systematic headings within the chosen frameworks will help to facilitate the understanding and preparation for the journal article to be critiqued (see appendix 1).

The article to be critiqued is located in the Journal of Advanced Nursing (2007) which evaluates the valuing of altruism in nursing students (Johnson, Haigh and Yates-Bolton (2007).

Benton and Cormack's framework is initiated by looking at the following;


The details or the vagueness within the title alone can decide whether the research report is read or not suggested Parahoo (1997).

When the author examines the subject matter which shall be appraised in this instance, it is evident that the title is informative with the first part explaining the research which has been conducted and the second part clearly indicating the type of research methods used, however the word 'study' is used in the title which overall is misleading as Johnson et al (2007) conducted a survey not a study.


There are three authors who participated in the comparative survey in all, which is clearly illustrated on the front page. Also details of the researcher's qualifications are noted. It is also quoted that the authors were primarily registered nurses.

All the researchers from the study have furthered their educations to either MSc or PhD level, this suggests that all the authors have studied at a high level and have at one point conducted their own research independently; therefore all three have the appropriate professional qualifications.



An abstract lets the reader know whether a research article would be relevant to their practice or development, recommended Benton and Cormack (2000). Researchers are aware that some people chose only to read the abstract. Parahoo (1997) & Polit, Beck & Hungler (2001), suggest that the abstract should briefly state the problem to be studied, the design, the setting, the population and its sample size, the methods used to collect the data, and the main findings.

An abstract is included within the article being appraised which is rich in information and categorised into subheadings. The abstract gives an excellent description wrote concisely throughout with approximately 250 words being used. The abstract clearly identifies the research which is being conducted, identifying problems relating to the target population used and also problems are identified in regard to the actual research.

The abstract does not stage a direct hypothesis; however the appraiser is aware of the ideology behind the research, due to the way the text is wrote. Ideally researchers should quote an hypothesise early on in the study explained Benton and Cormack (2000), however in surveys such as Johnson et al (2007) hypothesises are inappropriate as outcomes can not be predicted due to the individuality of participants taking part.

Methodology is mentioned briefly and the sample used is stated, although the word 'student' is used it would have been useful at this stage to see the target population's age or gender mentioned in the abstract, as these factors may have an impact on results gathered.



The introduction is not always exclusively labeled 'introduction' and is sometimes incorporated in the abstract (Polit et al 2001). According to Burns & Grove (1999), Hek et al (1996) & Benton and Cormack (2000) a general introduction to the study should identify the research intent.
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In Johnson et al's (2007) comparative survey the introduction is clearly illustrated. Within the first paragraph, furthermore the problem which is being studied is clearly identified.

Although the purpose of the research has been clearly acknowledged in respect to the value of altruism and honesty in nursing students Johnson et al (2007) ceases to provide a rationale for why they chose to carry out the study. Limitations are noted which mainly reflect on the sample population used and differences in nurse training over a period of time, which could all have an effect on the results ...

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