Table of Contents
Structure of the Study
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The ability to analyze academic literature and give information is an essential skill for any professional. Critical thinking is especially important for future and current healthcare workers. The actual practice of critical appraisal provides an opportunity for nurses and other health professionals to develop these abilities. Critical appraisal is the process of analyzing the quality of scientific literature and detecting possible critical errors and methodological inconsistencies (“Critical appraisal tools,” n.d.). The essay aims to provide a critical assessment of The state of qualitative research in health and social science literature: a focused mapping review and synthesis by Bradbury-Jones et al.
The identification of a phenomenon is a starting point for both researchers and readers. The reviewed study authors claim that their objective is “to obtain a snap-shot profile of the state of the qualitative literature research in health and social science” (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017, p. 627). They further clarify that their thesis implies an analysis of the consistency between the methodologies of reviewed articles and methods used by authors (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). Curiosity, which is the authors’ original motivation, may be the cause of uncertainty in the choice of a scientific field. Another possible influencing factor is that the article’s target audience is novices in health and social sciences. It is worth mentioning that the research approach to phenomenon identification is exciting and original.
Structure of the Study
A focused mapping review and synthesis were chosen as the study design of the reviewed article. According to Croft et al. (2019), “rather than undertaking exhaustive searches to synthesize evidence of ‘what works,’ an FMRS identifies what is happening within a particular subject or field of inquiry…” (p. 2). Using the focused mapping review and synthesis, the authors moved from a general research statement about the review of qualitative studies’ current state towards a more academically accurate analysis of congruence. That is to say that such a research structure allowed authors to compare successfully reconstructed logic and logic-in-use of research objects, namely health and social science-related articles.
During the data collection, the researchers were guided by both the samples’ subjects and the time frame. According to Bradbury-Jones et al. (2017), “we retrieved 102 qualitative articles published between January and March 2015…” (p. 627). It is important to note that the method of collecting academic articles is focused on mapping (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). The articles selected by the authors belong to various medical and social journals that occupy leading positions in the scientific fields. The researchers also note that they included a significant number of scholarly articles from context-specific and methodology-focused publications (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). It can be said that the group of authors approach data collection systematically and in an academic manner.
The reviewed study’s data analysis implied research of the existing degree of congruence between such parameters as the articles’ alleged qualitative orientation and the real research techniques used in the items. During the analysis, the authors were guided by five fundamental research methods of the qualitative approach (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). They also explored aspects of orientation and techniques such as philosophical positioning, study design, data gathering approaches, analytical methods, and common patterns Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). Saturation is one of the indicators of competency of presented data analysis. According to Saunders (2018), “…saturation is used in qualitative research as a criterion for discontinuing data collection and/or analysis” (p. 1894). Therefore, one can presume that the authors have reached the necessary level of saturation.
Research on articles related to the medical and social sciences has led to a number of findings. The main conclusion is that the researchers have confirmed that the level of alignment they are interested in is high (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). The authors also argued that common orientation patterns exist among all reviewed articles, such as the use of metaphors, participant quotes, and question headings (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). Another finding is that ethnography is the most popular qualitative methodological approach (Bradbury-Jones et al., 2017). The authors also analyzed the research limitations, the problems encountered. They provided a reflection on the article and discussed the future topics for possible research. Their analytics, as well as various tables and graphs, were presented to the readers.
The author of this essay gives a critical appraisal of The state of qualitative research in health and social science literature: a focused mapping review and synthesis by Bradbury-Jones et al. This article was chosen because it relates to healthcare and medicine topics. The critical appraisal includes analysis of such points as phenomenon identification, study design, data collection and analysis, and key findings. The author found out that the article is original; it has a significant theoretical basis and knowledge value. Minor errors include some uncertainty and inaccuracy in the process of identifying a phenomenon. The remaining items meet conventional academic criteria and are methodologically consistent. Critical appraisal is a beneficial and essential process of academic and professional activity.
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Bradbury-Jones, C., Breckenridge, J., Clark, M. T., Herber, O. R., Wagstaff, C., & Taylor, J. (2017). The state of qualitative research in health and social science literature: a focused mapping review and synthesis. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20(6), 627-645. Web.
Critical appraisal tools. (n.d.). University of South Australia. Web.
Croft, E., Clark, M. T., Efstathiou, N., & Bradbury-Jones, C. (2019). A focused mapping review and synthesis of a priori risk factors associated with medical misconduct. BMJ Open Quality, 8(2), 1-8. Web.
Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingstone, T., Baker, S., Waterfield, J., Bartlam, B., Burroughs, H., & Jinks, C. (2018). Saturation in qualitative research: exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Quality & Quantity, 52(4), 1893-1907. Web.