Was there a clear statement of the aims of the research
- what was the goal of the research?
The article provides a clear statement of the study’s goal, in the beginning, outlining their objective – to find out what factors affect intensive care nurses’ compliance with standard precautions (SP) during emergencies.
- why it was thought important?
The high importance of such an initiative is explained by the fact that intensive care nurses are more likely to be exposed to biohazardous materials during a crisis
- its relevance?
It is the most exposed to occupational infections, therefore, needing to identify prevention methods to decrease the cases of acquiring infections at work.
Is a qualitative methodology appropriate?
- If the research seeks to interpret or illuminate the actions and/or subjective experiences of research participants?
The researchers illuminate the actions of participants throughout the conduct, outlining and explaining their personal experiences with the objective. In the course of the interview, the scholars revealed some conflicts that emerged regarding the matter and objectively demonstrated both sides of the opinions.
- Is qualitative research the right methodology for addressing the research goal?
Yes, as it is the primary tool to identifying the causes of specific behavior, which may be further utilized for situation prevention.
Was the research design appropriate to address the aims of the research?
- If the researcher has justified the research design (e.g. have they discussed how they decided which method to use)
The authors explained the selection of such a method is because these participants directly interfere with the problem daily and are the best sources to collect relevant data from. Additionally, the approach of the interview was used to conduct further similar questioners to reinforce or contradict the findings in the future.
Was the recruitment strategy appropriate to the aims of the research?
- If the researcher has explained how the participants were selected?
- If they explained why the participants, they selected were the most appropriate to provide access to the type of knowledge sought by the study?
The researchers aimed to determine participants directly related to their study, thus, conducted it among 19 nurses employed in the ICU of an Italian university hospital in Rome, Italy
- If there are any discussions around recruitment (e.g. why some people chose not to take part)?
The recruitment strategy had certain limitations, which eliminated a few participants. The primary requirement was a 2-year experience in ICU nursing. Moreover, coordinators were excluded from the process to void any sabotage or incorrect information and to provide anonymity.
Was the data collected in a way that addressed the research issue?
- If the setting for the data collection was justified?
Yes, such a setting allowed for a more productive and accurate data collection
- If it is clear how data were collected (e.g. focus group, semi-structured interview etc.)?
Yes, through focus groups
- If the researcher has justified the methods chosen?
- The participants being encouraged to openly share their ideas in small groups of 4-5 people to facilitate a more interactive discussion.
- If the researcher has made the methods explicit (e.g. for interview method, is there an indication of how interviews are conducted, or did they use a topic guide)?
Partially, they used pre-written questions: “What is your experience with compliance with SPs during emergency situations?”; “In your experience, what are the barriers for SP application during an emergency situation?” and “What are the facilitators of the correct application of SPs during an emergency situation?”
- If methods were modified during the study. If so, has the researcher explained how and why?
The interviews were conducted in the presence of a moderator, responsible for the discussion’s course and the pool of information through pre-written questions, and an assistant moderator, accountable for recordings and notes during the debate.
- If the form of data is clear (e.g. tape recordings, video material, notes etc.)?
The outlined form of the data is listed as an audio recording.
- If the researcher has discussed saturation of data?
Focus groups were required to reach theoretical saturation; however, no further information was provided by the authors.
Has the relationship between researcher and participants been adequately considered?
If the researcher critically examined their own role, potential bias and influence during (a) formulation of the research questions (b) data collection, including sample recruitment and choice of location?
The research did not present substantial evidence of their relationship with the participants, including potential bias and influence during the formulation of the research questions.
- How the researcher responded to events during the study and whether they considered the implications of any changes in the research design?
The authors did not list the response to the study’s events, except the outline of internal conflict among the focus group participants.
What are the results?
Have ethical issues been taken into consideration?
If there are sufficient details of how the research was explained to participants for the reader to assess whether ethical standards were maintained?
The article did not offer sufficient detail on the components of the ethical issue. The authors did not include the process of the research explained to the participants to competently evaluate the approach.
- If the researcher has discussed issues raised by the study (e.g. issues around informed consent or confidentiality or how they have handled the effects of the study on the participants during and after the study)?
The researchers mentioned that the results were fully anonymous, handled by a multi-stage process of ensuring complete anonymity of the responses.
- If approval has been sought from the ethics committee?
There was no mention of approval from the ethics committee, researchers did get official support from the university hospital’s medical directorate, where the research was carried out.
Was the data analysis sufficiently rigorous?
- If there is an in-depth description of the analysis process?
The researchers provide an extensive description of the data analysis processes, outlining specific stages and precautions taken to guarantee anonymity to the participants.
- If thematic analysis is used. If so, is it clear how the categories/themes were derived from the data?
The authors came to identifying three themes, which were analyzed: conflict, context, and competencies (Donati et al., 2019). These themes emerged as a result of the content analysis process, which explains the nurses’ perceptions of being compliant with standard precautions during an emergency.
- Whether the researcher explains how the data presented were selected from the original sample to demonstrate the analysis process?
The data extraction underwent the “conventional content analysis” process, with the assistant moderator validating the data. The focus group interviews were verbatim transcribed by two scholars, additionally adding non-verbal responses for a more accurate picture
- If sufficient data are presented to support the findings?
There was not enough sufficient demonstration of results to appropriately evaluate the findings
- To what extent contradictory data are taken into account?
No contradictory data taken into account.
- Whether the researcher critically examined their own role, potential bias and influence during analysis and selection of data for presentation?
The researcher initiated multiple processes to avoid any bias or data leak.
Is there a clear statement of findings?
- If the findings are explicit
The researchers clearly outlined three themes of findings, providing quotations from participants as evidence to the discovered data. The primary result being repeatedly stated is Nurses’ conflict between needing to save the patient’s life and needing to protect themselves by using precaution instructions.
- If there is adequate discussion of the evidence both for and against the researcher’s arguments?
There is an objective discussion of the results, presenting opposite sides of each finding, outlining possible limitations.
- If the researcher has discussed the credibility of their findings (e.g. triangulation, respondent validation, more than one analyst)?
The credibility of the findings is proved by several analyst involvements in the data analysis process, ensuring full objectiveness and accuracy.
- If the findings are discussed in relation to the original research question?
The study presents the results in relation to the research questions, providing advice and its relevance to the future scientific literature.
Will the results help locally?
How valuable is the research?
- If the researcher discusses the contribution the study makes to existing knowledge or understanding (e.g. do they consider the findings in relation to current practice or policy, or relevant research based literature?
The authors provided little information on the study’s value and its contribution to the chosen field of science. The only statement that could be extracted states that infection prevention systems and preparation for intensive care nurses may benefit from the results of this report.
- If they identify new areas where research is necessary?
- If the researchers have discussed whether or how the findings can be transferred to other populations or considered other ways the research may be used?
As for the contribution to the existing body of evidence, no context was provided, which makes it unclear to understand the value of the study.