Example Of Essay On Qualitative Research Critique
The knowledge and skill of critiquing a qualitative research article is important because it allows one to determine its merits and its applicability to one’s practice consistent with the principles of evidence-based practice. In the critique one also gains appreciation of the differences and advantages that qualitative research has versus quantitative studies. This paper provides such an opportunity using a qualitative study focusing on the practice of closing ward doors in the psychiatric ward.
The impact of door locking policies must be adequately explored to resolve the dilemma and ensure an optimum ward environment. What is missing in the rationale of current policies for locked doors is the perspective of other stakeholders. The significance of the study is such that it draws the views not only of the staff but also of patients and their visitors. Several studies have demonstrated that locked doors elicited negative feelings such as fear and the perception of being detained (Muir-Cochrane et al., 2012). Ample consideration of input from different stakeholders permits a well-rounded analysis of the issue that will lead to a best-practice policy.
Study Purpose and Research Questions
The purpose of the current study and the research questions relate to the problem. By investigating patient, visitor, and staff views and feelings, it is possible to form judgments regarding the acceptability of this policy. Acceptability indicates that the policy upholds the interests of the stakeholders and is the best practice. While a separate quantitative study was done to determine the association between patient ratings of the acceptability of this policy and their gender, age, and ethnicity (Muir-Cochrane et al., 2012), the results do not elucidate on the perceptions underlying the numerical rating that are equally important when developing an appropriate policy. A qualitative study is thus the more appropriate method in answering the research question.
The article did not include a literature review probably because of journal space constraints. In the introduction, the authors cited 8 studies to support the clinical problem and the need for the study (Muir-Cochrane et al., 2012). Four of the studies used qualitative methods and focused on nurses’ perceptions of locking ward doors, the benefits and drawbacks of the practice from patients’ point of view, staff and patient reactions to the implementation of a closed ward door policy, and patient and staff attitudes to such a policy. One article described the different considerations during the making of a policy for closed ward doors and the results of a post-implementation audit. Two articles were literature reviews on the practice of closing ward doors and the relevant legal issues. One study used a quantitative descriptive method to determine the frequency of locking doors in Swedish psychiatric wards and the reasons behind the practice.
The qualitative studies were published between 1960 and 2008. The use of a study published more than 50 years ago is acceptable in a qualitative study given the relevance of the prior research on the current problem. Specifically, the 1960 study was on nurses’ and patients’ reactions to policy change favoring locked doors. The reviews and descriptive studies were published between 2000 and 2009 and thus the selection did not conform to the 5-year limit for recency. Reviewing the settings of the studies, however, all except one were conducted in the UK, and the exception was done in a fellow European country. Hence, the rationale for selecting the studies was the psychiatric mental health setting. This rationale is acceptable given that the study will contribute to policy specific to the UK setting. The UK mental health system also has differences compared to those in non-UK and non-European countries. The issue of relevance will surely arise when studies from other settings are used.
The article did not include a section on the conceptual or theoretical framework that guided the study. However, the authors were coming from an ethical framework because in their discussion, they referred to the difficulty in resolving the issue of whether doors should be locked or not (Muir-Cochrane et al., 2012). They cite the conflict between ensuring safety and security with that of patient autonomy and optimum nursing care with the authors emphasizing the need to balance these considerations.
The qualitative study raised the issue of the appropriateness of implementing a policy for closed ward doors in the psychiatric ward. It is an ethical dilemma that is difficult to resolve. To ensure evidence-based practice, not only should the evidence from the literature considered but also the values of patients and their families and the clinical expertise of the staff. It may not be possible to create a policy that fits all settings in the mental health system, and it may be more appropriate for each ward or unit, in partnership with patients and visitors, to decide whether closed or open doors is the best practice to adopt. More research is needed, probably in the context of quality improvement, to ascertain the impact of policy on outcomes such as the incidence of absconding and theft or patient and staff satisfaction.
Muir-Cochrane, E., van der Merwe, M., Nijman, H., Haglund, K., Simpson, A., & Bowers, L. (2012). Investigation into the acceptability of door locking to staff, patients, and visitors on acute psychiatric wards. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 21, 41-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2011.00758.x.
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