Critiquing a Qualitative Research StudyTamara Wheeler-StineStevenson UniversityFebruary 3, 2011

Critiquing a Qualitative Research Study This critique discusses the article entitled, ³What is it so stressful about caring for a dying patient? A qualitative study of nurses¶ experiences,´ by Peterson, J., Johnson, M., Halvorsen, B.,Apmann, L., Chang, P-C., Kershek, S., Scherr, C., Ogi, M., Pincon, D., (Peterson et al, 2010, p.181). This research article discusses a study that was performed to help better understand the reasons that caringfor dying patients can be stressful for nurses. The article also offers findings related to the study andoffers recommendations based on the results. This study provides a persuasive and effective conclusionthat education is needed for nurses¶ that are caring for dying patients. The article immediately allowed the reader to understand the purpose of the research study andthe findings associated with the study. The title is clear and unambiguous; however, after reading theabstract within the article, the title clearly lacked accuracy. The title lacks an important component of thestudy. The abstract clearly states that the nursing shortage is due to nursing burnout. Since the openingline of the abstract is about the nursing shortage, perhaps the nursing shortage should be clearly identifiedwithin the title of the article. When evaluating the abstract found within the article, I first answered the question, does the abstract offer a clear overview of the study? This abstract tells the reader that the main problem is thenursing shortage. The abstract allows the reader to understand that the nursing shortage is related tonursing burnout and stress. One reason for burnout and stress, according to the study, is the care nurses¶ provide to dying patients. The abstract continues to let the reader know that the study was performed to³examine the experiences of nurses and their particular concerns about caring for a dying patient.´(Peterson et al, 2010, p.181) However, the abstract provided a general overview of the samplemethodology it did not get into specifics, it just said ³nurses.´ The findings were clearly stated in the lastsentence of the abstract.

The purpose of the study is clearly identified by this line, ³This study examines the experiencesof nurses and their particular concerns about

this literature review gives the intent of this studywithin the following question: ³What are the specific aspects of caring for a dying patient that concernnurses?´ (Peterson et al.The theoretical framework helps the reader identify the model/theme that is used to guide thestudy.The data collection strategies were clearly described within the data analysis. It seems that . it was important to gain knowledge about their experiences in their own words.181) The article tells the reader that within the study. Theseinterviews.´ (Peterson et al. p. a qualitative grounded theory approach wasemployed for two key reasons. ´(Peterson et al. ³common clinical stressors experienced by nurses are a) watching a patient suffer b) death of a patient.182) These fifteen individualswere selected in either a face-to-face interview or via online survey.181) The literature review in this article identifies several resources that arelinked to nurses¶ and their feelings regarding caring for the dying patient. The study alsorevealed how the data was analyzed. to understand the concerns that nurses' have about caring for patients. Firstly.´ of suchconcerns and as a result will lead to an effective training program. they plan to identify nurses¶ concernsregarding the dying patient. I feel the sampling method of onlinesurvey and face-to-face interviews were appropriate for this study. p. because this is potentially an emotionally charged topic. however. 2010. were the participants suitable for informing research? Out of the fifteen participants only twelve were presentlyworking in the medical field. The next question. they should be suitable for the study.´ (Peterson et al. The purpose of the study is to provide a ³clearer understanding. For example. 2010. Inmy opinion since they had all cared for a dying patient. In summary.182) Thereader understands that the study will involve interviews or surveys of a group of nurses. The theoretical framework was clearly identified within the study.caring for a dying patient. A clearer understanding of theconcerns in this situation can lead to more effective training and coping services for nurses. and c) listening to or talking with a patient about his or her imminent death. 2010. It was described clearly asfollows: ³In order to examine this research question. p. 2010. ³The study participants were 15 nurses and nursing students. 2010.´ (Peterson etal. all the participants had experience caring for a dying patient. will allow for the emotional aspect of the interview to beexamined by the researchers The sampling method and sample size were clearly identified in the study. Secondly.This research study¶s literature review allowed the reader to identify the research question andhow the study plans to derive answers.p. p. the flexibility and openness of the interview andanalysis process allowed the emotional dimension to be examined. according to the above citation.181) The literature review in this study also allows the reader tounderstand some of the specific concerns/stressors experienced by nurses when dealing with a dying patient.

I was also able to understand the methods and .Last but not least. however. the study andthe process by which data was obtained are clearly identified. Since this is a qualitative study. concerns about the patient and concerns about family.´ (Peterson et al. According to the participants section only nine of the fifteen participants completed the ³Frommelt attitudes toward nursingcare of the dying scale. Thereferences were clearly identified after the conclusion and references were made throughout the articleregarding these resources. transferability. Overall.186) The conclusionallowed the reader to understand that the study did serve a purpose and the implications that this study hason nursing practice. and goodness of the researchers and participants were discussed by telling the reader that the study did require theapproval of the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human subjects. 2010. but to provide the best care for their patients. communication training programmes are needed not only to benefit thenurses.186) The original purpose of the study was to identify stressors within the nurse in regards to thedying patient which the study did identify. p.After analyzing each section of this research article.´ (Peterson et al.´ (Peterson et al. however. The results are separatedinto three different categories. it does give results so it allows the reader to assume that the amount of data collected was sufficient enough to perform the study. personal concerns. The second is the variation of education levels and experienceamongst the participants. this is not clearly stated within the data analysis. Within thisstudy. the reference section clearly identified all resources used for the study. confidentiality andfreedom of harm. interviews and surveys are appropriate. I was able to gain a better understanding for this study. The credibility. p. ³One reason that communication issuesmay be the primary concern of nurses caring for dying patients is a lack of training. The use of online surveys was also a limitation as well because the length of the answers varied amongst the participants.2010. but the participants did willingly participate in the face-to-face interviews and online survey process. Theauthor lets the reader know that he or she should recognize the limitations of this study.183) In regards to the surveys and interviews. The first of which is the small sample size of nurses.p. dependability.Within the conclusion.the researchers followed the steps of the data analysiswhich was identified. The mostimportant take home message of this study is the following: ³In order to help nurses cope moreeffectively in this situation. The data analysis alsodoes not clearly state that they achieved enough data. eachmember participated. It revealed.The findings of the research study are significant.The author discussed rigor within the limitations and future research section of the study. transcripts and audiotapes were reviewed as well as compared to initial interviews and onlinesurveys.The findings/results section of this research study is clearly identified.The author of this study did not identify measures taken to ensure autonomy. the reader is able to identify the importance of the findings. As far as ethical permission being obtained for the study. it is not clearly stated. 2010.

(2012). P-C. D.MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.Sudbury.. Halvorsen. Kershek.processes involved within the study.. J.4. Thearticle clearly identified the majority of the elements which should be found within a Qualitative ResearchStudy. 2nd edition. B. L. Volume 16. Research isimportant in nursing. this article has the potential to influence nursing practice. International Journal of Palliative Nursing . Johnson. S.. S.. Scherr.. Most importantly. Ogi. how do we determine what is best in our practice? REFERENCES Brown. (2010). Chang.181-187.. C. .Pincon.Peterson.. after all. M. p. Evidence-Based Nursing: The Research-Practice Connection .. No. Apmann. M. What is it so stressful about caring for a dying patient? A qualitative study of nurses experiences.