Critical appraisal involves systematically and carefully evaluating research to determine its credibility and relevance. Chapter 8 of Drummond & Murphy-Reyes (2018) discusses the basic research approaches, research designs, and how a reader can appraise articles. It examines the questions a reader can use to help assess the report’s credibility. The authors used Eaton et al. (2016) journal to help the readers understand the appraisal procedure. The reader should first carefully evaluate the authors and the title of the appraised article. It will help answer the questions of the type of research, nature of the study, and variables. The examination may be primary, secondary, or tertiary, while the survey may be qualitative, quantitative, experimental, or nonexperimental. Appraising a journal paper is essential to guarantee the study is sound and the results and recommendations are authentic.
When reading the introduction of the paper, the reader needs to consider the problem statement, the research aim, and the hypothesis if stated. In many research papers, the introduction includes a literature review. The literature survey of Eaton et al. (2016) was brief, and the central theme was obesity. The authors stated obesity as the problem and then discussed the physicians’ advantages of weight loss primary care programs for obese patients. The independent variable for the study was tailored intervention, while the dependent one were time spent on weight loss. Eaton et al.’s (2016) hypothesis predicted higher weight loss in patients under enhanced intervention than in standard intervention.
The method section comprises four major components: study design, subjects and setting, intervention, and statistical analysis. Readers should read this section carefully, and no portion should be skilled. The first two paragraphs of Eaton et al. (2016) discussed the research design as a randomized control trial. The independent variable for the survey was the intervention, while the dependent ones were moderate or vigorous exercise and weight loss. The article describes the population sample that was chosen for the Eaton et al. (2016) study. The reader should also consider if there was a bias in selecting the participants. The journal discusses the interventions of the participants in the enhanced and standard groups. Drummond & Murphy-Reyes (2018) comment that they did well in the method part of the study. They mainly limited the results section to the actual data obtained from research done. Interpreting the result is done in the discussion section of the paper. Eaton et al.’s (2016) result section provided the characteristics of the participants and basic demographics. This part logically offers significant findings as the tables and figures show the results.
In the discussion section, the authors describe their understanding and interpretation of the results. The conclusion section is the broad answer to the original research topic and the scientific implications. The reader must note how the writers interpret the questions, strengths or limitations of the study, recommendations for future studies, and the study’s conclusion. Eaton et al. (2016) did not mention any strengths or limitations, but they had excellent suggestions for future studies. The authors of the appraised article concluded by stating how primary health care physicians can help weight loss programs by referring patients to interventions to make them lose weight. Additional appraisal methods are also available to researchers to assess the bias in the journals from Cochrane Collaboration. Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) uses Quality Criteria Checklist (QCC) to evaluate research papers. The CONSORT 2010, STROBE, and PRISMA are other evaluation tools developed to assess the journal’s credibility.
Drummond, K. E., & Murphy-Reyes, A. (2018). Nutrition Research: Concepts and Applications. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Eaton, C. B., Hartman, S. J., Perzanowski, E., Pan, G., Roberts, M. B., Risica, P. M., Gans, K. M., Jakicic, J. M., & Marcus, B. H. (2016). A randomized clinical trial of a tailored lifestyle intervention for obese, sedentary, primary care patients. The Annals of Family Medicine, 14(4), 311–319. Web.