Six ways to critique evidence-based practice articles

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, April 17, 2007

Starting a journal club that involves a group of nurses is a great way to give nurses the opportunity to read and evaluate current research that it is applicable to their practice area. But many times nurses involved in the journal club question how to determine an appropriate research article and how to critique one. The following lists six ways for nurses to discover quality research that will enhance their bedside skills and satisfaction in their practice area:

  1. Evidence-based articles should be no more than five years old
  2. Studies from medical journals should be limited and used only if the topic relates to a nursing issue
  3. Either quantitative (research using a survey instrument to measure knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, or experiences) or qualitative (research using interviews or narratives analyses to help understand a particular phenomenon) articles are appropriate for review
  4. Use of secondary sources or nursing textbooks must be avoided
  5. When possible, select evidence-based articles with a comparable patient population
  6. Be sure the evidence-based article focuses on nursing interventions, not medical interventions

Source: Adapted from HCPro's book Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing: A Guide to Successful Implementation. Click here for more information.

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