This is the article you will critique:

Beentjes, T.A.A., Goossens, P.J.J., & Jongerden, I. P. (2016). Nurses’ experience of 
maintaining their therapeutic relationship with outpatients with bipolar disorder and 
their caregivers during different stages of a manic episode: A qualitative study. 
Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 52(2), p. 131-138.

Guidelines for Critique of Qualitative Nursing Research

Adapted from Beth L. Rodgers, Ph.D., RN, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of Nursing © 1997, with the permission of Dr. Beth Rodgers.

Critique: The goal is a balanced constructive review including strengths and weaknesses as well as providing suggestions for how the study might be improved. Keep in mind that you are critiquing the article to determine if it can or should be used in your practice as a nurse. It is insufficient to answer “yes” or “no” to the questions without providing the rationale for your answer.

Instructions: Identify the article you have selected to critique in correct APA format, and then answer the following questions:

1. Identifying the Phenomenon
a) Is the phenomenon focused on human experience within a natural setting? 
b) Is the phenomenon relevant to nursing and/or health?

2. Structuring the Research Question 
a) Does the question specify a distinct process to be studied? Does the 
question identify the context (the participants and setting) of the process 
that will be studied?
b) What specific qualitative method is used? Does the specific qualitative 
method chosen fit with the research question? 

3. Researcher’(s)’ Perspective 
a) Do(es) the researcher(s) provide a theoretical framework or structure of 
ideas that reflects the researcher’(s)’ beliefs? 
b) Do(es) the researcher(s) report any personal biases? (Remember, 
researcher “biases” are different from study “limitations”.)
c) Are biases present that the researcher(s) do(es)not report?
d) Do the biases, reported or not reported by the researcher(s), affect the 
quality of the study?

4. Sample Selection
a) Is the sample size appropriate to answer the research question? Is it clear 
that the selected sample is living the phenomenon of interest? 

5. Data Gathering 
a) Are data sources and methods for gathering data specified? 
b) Is there evidence that participant consent was an integral part of the data 
gathering process? 

6. Data Analysis 
a) Can the dimensions of data analysis be identified and logically followed? 
b) Do(es) the researcher(s) paint a clear picture of the participants’ reality?
c) Is there evidence that the researcher’(s)’ interpretation captured the 
participants’ meaning?
d) Have other professionals confirmed the researcher’(s)’ interpretation?

7. Describing the Findings
a) Are examples provided to guide the reader from the raw data to the 
researcher’(s)’ interpretation? 
b) Do(es) the researcher(s) link the findings to existing theory or literature, or 
is a new theory generated? 

8. Discussion/Interpretation of Findings
a) Does the discussion “fit” with the data? Is it logical based on the data and 
results presented?
b) Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss the findings in regard to previous 
research? Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss the findings in regard to a 
theoretical framework or structure of ideas?
c) Do(es) the researcher(s) identify limitations of the study? What are these 
limitations? Do they affect the quality of the study? If so, how?
d) Are there limitations that the researcher(s) do(es) not identify? What are 
these limitations? Do they affect the quality of the study? 
If so, how?
e) Do(es) the researcher(s) discuss implications for practice? Are these 

9. Application to Nursing Practice

a) How similar are the conditions of the study (setting, sample, interventions, 
etc.) to other practice settings you have been exposed to?
b) How feasible, in your opinion, would it be to make a change in practice
based on this research? 
c) Are the benefits likely to offset the costs and risks of a change in
practice for the patient/ the nurse/ the organization?

10. Budding Consumer of Research Impression
Briefly discuss your impression of this research, including comments related 
a) the usefulness of this research in a specific or a general setting; 
b) the ease of understanding of the research process; 
c) the ease of understanding of the research article; and
d) any other comments you thought of as you read and critiqued the article.

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