The objective of this assignment is to critically evaluate the following research article: Bowes, S., Lowes, L., Warner, J., & Gregory, J. W. (2009). Chronic sorrow in parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing

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Student ID: 21117317  

Cohort: September 2011

Course: BSc Mental Health Nursing

Module Name: Evidence-Based Practice and the Community.

Module Number: NS501

Word count: 1914

Submission Date: 08/01/2012

Modular Tutor: David Rawcliffe

Module Leader: Barbara Holloway

The objective of this assignment is to critically evaluate the following research article: Bowes, S., Lowes, L., Warner, J., & Gregory, J. W. (2009). Chronic sorrow in parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65 (5), pp. 992-1000 (Appendix 1). For the purpose of this essay, the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) (Appendix 2) is the critiquing framework used to guide this essay.

Walsh and Wigens (2003) say that critical evaluation allows people to see the validity of a study by assessing all parts of it in depth.  Hek (1996) agrees with this and states that when research material is critiqued, it is imperative to highlight the strengths and the weaknesses of the study in order to identify its worth. This essay aims to display that although the study gives a greater insight into the emotions and impact that chronic sorrow has on parents of a child with diabetes, the study has numerous limitations that need to be addressed before the findings could be representable of the current population and then transferred to evidence-based practice.

Whilst a continual process of grieving, such as chronic sorrow, draws attention to concerns about depression, there have been no published studies that have distinguished the difference between chronic sorrow and depression.  This particular article was chosen in order to gain more knowledge surrounding the impact that diabetes has on the individual’s family as it is apparent that the emotional needs of the parents are not being met by the healthcare service.

Conducting research-based evidence is fundamental to the use of evidence-based practice (Polit and Beck, 2004) as research is crucial in supplying evidence on the strengths and limitations of clinical interventions. It is also an important device used in nursing to increase the evidence base used in clinical governance, to evaluate the effectiveness of current nursing practice and to effectuate quality services for patients (McSherry and Haddock, 1999). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008) is in accordance with this as it states that you must ‘you must deliver care based on the best available evidence or best practice’. However, the evidence collated by research does not automatically permit current practice to be changed: the main function of evidence-based practice is to use research in order to improve practice and to guarantee that whatever task is being undertaken is in the best interests of the patient (Aveyard and Sharp, 2009).

The title of the article, as stated above, is brief and clear and offers an indication of what the study compromises of. According to Parahoo (2006), the title of an article can become misleading if it is too short or too long and also it should suggest the purpose of the study being undertaken. However the title suggests that “Chronic Sorrow” is a definite response to a child having ‘type one diabetes’ rather than identifying the prevalence amongst parents. As reported by Cormack (2000), researchers must be duly qualified in order to undertake a research study and it is noted that one of the authors has a PHD, highlighting an educational background and suitable qualifications. There are four authors who facilitated the study in total, two registered nurses and two doctors’. The credentials and qualifications of each individual are clearly indicated on the front page.  It is apparent that all four authors have specialisms in the areas of paediatric diabetes and endocrinology. Throughout the paper, previous studies conducted by the authors are referenced, signifying a large interest surrounding the topic. The fact that the authors reference studies conducted by them proposes that research on topic may be limited and will need further investigation.

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The abstract gives a brief summary of the study, highlighting the aim, background, methodology, findings and conclusions. One limitation noted is that the aim appears ambiguous; it states it is a study ‘exploring parent’s longer term experiences of having a child with type one diabetes’ and does not focus on ‘Chronic Sorrow’. This could pose questions regarding the validity of the study as it is misleading. An abstract enables the reader to determine if the article is relevant to their field of practice or development as researchers are mindful of the fact that the majority of people will only read ...

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