In a study by Lizarondo, Grimmer- Somers and Kumar, the authors explored the efficacy of journal clubs as a strategy for promoting evidence based practice (EBP). The article explores the views of various allied healthcare practitioners (AHPs) concerning the efficacy of JCs and the barriers to implementation of JCs as a strategy for promoting EBP. The article was well authored both in structure and in the depth of content and can be considered a credible research resource.
The article by Lizarondo et al. (2011) follows the conventional format for a qualitative research article in terms of its content, the validity of methods used and the relevance of the research findings to contemporary issues in EBP. In terms of credibility for instance, the article embodies various features which are attributed to credible qualitative research practices. According to Houser (2018), qualitative research credibility is based on tenets such as: the relevance of references; correspondence between the research findings and others from similar studies conducted through other methodologies; and member-checking. To accomplish member- checking, the researchers have to inform the participants of the data, interpretations and the conclusions drawn from the research. The study by Lizarondo et al. demonstrates these features and thus can be considered credible.
Furthermore, the authors also used similarly credible resources in conducting research as well as methods that have been proven effective for similar research objectives. The objective of pursuing these aspects of credibility is to ensure that the research conducted and the results obtained are linked to a particular reality. The fact that the study utilized AHPs as the participants in itself is an indication of strife towards credibility. The findings show that the identified study problem matches the reports of the AHPs, which also indicate the relevance of the study to reality.
The article begins with a clear statement of purpose and research problems. When examining the statement of a research problem, Houser (2018) recommends that the problem stated should be practical. This can further be described as the applicability of the problem to real life situations. The problem should also be easy to understand and should be backed up by previous research in the area concerned (Rasonabe, 2014). Lizarondo et al. mentioned their research problem clearly as the issues that surround the use of journal clubs for promoting EBP. These issues include ongoing compliance with attendance among participants; and sustained enthusiasm among participants. Each of these issues is genuine, practical and can be solved pragmatically in a real world scenario. The problem was described clearly and through it, a reader can predict the relevance of the research objectives and the methods used to problem solving.
The problem statement also ascribes to the purpose mentioned for the study. For a qualitative research, the purpose statement can be described as effective in representing the stated problems. The purpose of a study functions as the motivation behind it and also depicts the level of research and the materials to be used. Evaluation of the study purpose is based on various check items including clarity, conciseness and simplicity. For a study like the present one with a compounded research problem, the purpose can at times lose its meaning by being too broad. Lizarondo et al. however provided a clear, concise and acceptable purpose which shows their commitment to the research problems.
Given the characteristics of the research questions, the methods used by the researchers were both effective and justified. The sampling approach, ethical considerations and the actual data collection practices were selected appropriately. The authors used maximum variation sampling, which is considered effective in studies in which the participants are only a small percentage of the global population in the subject of study. The approach is a special kind of purposive sampling approach used in qualitative research designs. The researchers selected a variation sample effectively based on the criteria described by Houser (2018). The sample presented optimum variation in the specialty of the selected AHPs, was of an adequate size given the objectives if the research and was also conducted using a multi stage approach which is more efficient than the single stage selection process (List, 2004). Additionally, the authors also had a control sample comprising of those who had no experience of CAHE exposure. With a control sample, the findings would be reflective of the intended research objective.
To enhance the efficiency of the research process where EBP is the subject of discourse, Townsend et al. (2010) recommended that the measurement method and data collection approaches should be appropriate for the research problem. For the study by Lizarondo et al., the data collection method was through an interview approach in which participants were expected to respond to a series of semi structured and broad range questions. The interview records were transcribed by independent groups to eliminate researcher bias. Using confirmed data collection approaches and measurement techniques is a strong point that fosters the achievement of research objectives. It can thus be deduced that the study reflects the mentioned research problem both in the choice if content and in the structuring of the collected content.
Qualitative research approaches also require adherence to various ethical considerations. The basic considerations discussed by Houser (2018) include explaining to participants the objective of the study and the approaches to be used; informed consent and confidentiality management and seeking approval from the ethical committees. In their article, Lizarondo et al. sought approval from the University of South Australia research ethics committee and the Human research ethics committee network. In terms of confidentiality and information management, the researchers conducted their study within a public context hence used codes for the identification of participants. The researchers also maintained dignity for the participants as is required in appropriate research practices. According to Houser (2018), qualitative research requires consideration of the traditional principles in participant handling. The authors considered these traditional elements including principles of autonomy, beneficence and justice to the participants. The same principles are discussed by Townsend, Cox & Li (2010).
Another aspect of qualitative research that was considered in this review is the presentation of the literature review. A strong and accurate qualitative research argument requires the support of past literature and their application in developing a grounded theory for primary research (Broeder & Donze, 2010). Lizarondo et al. applied this concept effectively. The features of the literature review such as relevance to the study objectives and statement of research gaps are clarified within the body of the literature review. In terms of content, each of the sources used in the literature review provides additional value to the paper. The authors used an abstractive strategy to select the most appropriate reference materials for the study. The presentation of the review as a synthesis of multiple perspectives, researches and findings also makes it appropriate for the study (Houser, 2018). Additionally, the researchers used the past literatures as the point of reference in formulating the research objectives and problem statement. This was based on the gaps in literature. In this way, Lizarondo et al. created precedence for determining how their research fits into the general body of knowledge on JC use for promoting EBP.
The research findings should be a report on the efficacy of the used approaches as well as an answer to research problems and questions. When describing the research findings, Houser (2018) recommended that they should be explicit, should entail an adequate discussion of the evidence used in decision making, should be related to the original research questions and should also include a reference to the credibility of the research resources used. Based on these checklist items, the research findings provided by Lizarondo et al. are satisfactory. The authors provided descriptive, informative and relevant findings based on the research problem. Furthermore, the findings also entail a discussion of the research limitations and recommendations for future research. The value of the research is also discussed extensively based on factors such as its contribution to the current knowledge on EBP, new areas of research that should be pursued and the relevance of the data obtained to other healthcare settings.
Lizarondo et al. conclusively pursued their objective of determining the perception of different AHPs on the relevance of JC to promoting EBP. The structure of the paper is such that it satisfies basic requirements for an academic paper in terms of language, syntax and outline. More importantly, the paper contents satisfy most of the checklist items described extensively by Houser (2018). The literature review, data collection methodology, results discussion and the sampling strategy were all well represented, enhancing the credibility of the paper. The authors also touched on the basic ethical considerations in qualitative research and addressed them satisfactorily.
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