A critical review of a research paper
This critical review will review the research paper, progressive resistance exercise in women with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial by Jorge, R.T.B et al (2015). This critical review will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each section of the research paper to determine whether this paper shows good or poor practice and if it is suitable for academic references.
In this research paper, the abstract was a succinct summary of the contents of the article and explains the purpose of the research paper which is ideal and was suggested by Parahoo (2006) who indicated that this section of the paper should be stipulated by the journal itself. The abstract also included the objective, methodology, results, and conclusion which indicates that this abstract is succinct and provides enough information to be useful for the reader showing this as being good practice (Conkin Dale, 2005).
The researchers/authors that wrote this research paper show some indication that they have some sort of insight in this field. The author, Renata Trajano Borges Jorge, has shown to have some knowledge in this field due to his past studies have been credible. The author has a wealth of publications relating to this topic such as body dysmorphic disorders, which indicates standing in the field. However, the author Marcelo Cardoso de Souza who co-wrote this research paper has shown less knowledge in this field due to his past studies being about ovarian hyperstimulation cycles and chronic stroke patients. This indicates that his main set of research is not about the osteoarthritis of the knee but is still in the field of anatomy which benefits the research paper.
The first subject written about in the introduction is commonly the problem of the study (Bassett and Bassett, 2003). The introduction in the research paper showed very good practice because it gave the reader a firm sense of what the study was researching, it stated the purpose and rationale of the research and helped develop the background for the study such as “The vast majority of individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee (80%) experience pain and limited mobility, and 25% cannot perform major activities of daily living” (Jorge, R.T.B et al, 2015).
The literature review of a research paper is present to help the research paper develop the research question whilst recognising the appropriate way to help data collection (Wilmaten Ham-Baloyi, 2016). In addition, the literature review demonstrates an appropriate amount of insight into the specific field/topic in question showing that the knowledge is up to date. Furthermore, a literature review should include studies that have been published recently, ideally within the last 5-10 years. However, there are some exceptions to this, for example where there is a lack of research or a study that is still relevant and shows good practice should still be used. In addition, the type/source of literature needs to be taken into consideration. For example, primary empirical data from the original source is more desired than data from a secondary source. Because this research paper does not have a literature review, it displays this paper as poor practice. The lack of a literature review indicates that the authors didn’t demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the field because they didn’t read any studies in this field.
The amount at which the sample reflects the population it was taken from is known as representativeness and in quantitative research, this is an important aspect in determining the suitability of a study (Polit and Beck, 2006). The sample size is also important when looking at quantitative research as small samples are at risk of being overly representative of small subgroups within the population. For example, if in the general sample of women, it was noticed that 69% were Caucasian, then this would mean that this race would be over presented in the sample, thereby creating a sampling error. This risk of a sampling error decreases when the sample size increases, therefore this research paper should have used a bigger sample than 60 participants that were chosen.
In the methodology, there are several important elements that need to be conducted to produce a good research paper. The way the data was collected is important because in a quantitative study there are many different ways of collecting data such as interview, questionnaire, attitude scale and observational tools. This research paper included a pain scale, observational tools, surveys and an interview which indicates that this study can provide contextual information needed to frame an evaluation. Also using several methods could give the author an insight into an issue that was caused, and this might require further exploration using other methods that weren’t previously used (Cohen, L et al, 2000).
The next part of the methodology would need to have some details about the participants. This research paper clearly states the patient’s characteristics such as gender, age, race, year of education, paid work, body mass index (BMI), and a radiographic grading. Since the study has given these specific characteristics, it indicates that the participants represented the research well. The selection process in this research paper was showed good practice because they were selected by telephone using a database of patients with osteoarthritis from the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo (Brazil). Subsequently, this study showed good practice because it confirmed that the process of obtaining ethical clearance was made and kept, the direct quote is “This study received approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo (Brazil)” (Jorge, R.T.B et al, 2015). Also, this study used sealed envelopes to ensure that the client’s confidentiality was good during the selection process and the splitting of groups into experimental and control, this also indicates good practice because of the professionalism and respectable behaviour.
The research approach of the study was clear and rationale because most of the information gathered from data collection (conversation/interview/pain scale) was ideal for the participants they chose. To elaborate, the way they collected the data was ideal for the participants due to them being of a certain age and have these disorders, the study took these aspects into consideration and put the participant’s health ahead of anything, demonstrating good practice. The main piece of equipment used was the weights machine which was used y all the participants. The machine that they used was good because it measured the concept being studied in an unwavering and consistent manner. In general, “validity is described as the ability of the instrument to measure what it is supposed to measure and reliability the instrument’s ability to consistently and accurately measure the concept under study” (Kanis. H, 2014). The instrument/equipment that they used is clear and unambiguous, this ensures that the proposed study has been conceptually well planned to show that this is good practice for this study. On the other hand, the equipment used was identified briefly but was not described (function) enough and the study did not mention how the piece of equipment was obtained or if it had been donated by a commercial source demonstrating poor practice.
In the results section, the statistical test used was found to be suitable and appropriate for the design. For example, the t-test was used so that the researchers can obtain two sets of results for both experimental and control group. Also, this section demonstrated another sign of poor practice because not all the information is included in the tables, for example, the diclofenac which is one of the pain relief medications stated in the method section is not recorded in the tables. This shows poor practice and lack of detail which would affect the research paper quality. Equally important, is the readers understanding of the progressive resistance exercise (PRE). The reader would struggle to understand these exercises because there are no diagrams of illustrations used to help explain the PRE. Whereas the journal ‘Progressive Resistance Exercise with Eccentric Loading for the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis’ by Hernandez, Haniel J, et al (2015) shows diagrams of knee flexion and extension when eccentric loading which provides the reader with a greater understanding of how to conduct these techniques.
The discussion section should flow logically from the results section which it does in this study showing good practice, it also should have related back to the literature review thus placing the study into context, but this study did not create a literature review demonstrating poor practice. The significance of the findings was stated, and this study showed good practice by stating its strengths and limitations for example, “The present study has strengths that merit consideration. A supervised exercise program was used with a gradual increase in load and the inclusion of hip muscle strengthening for the treatment of subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee. Moreover, the subjects underwent an intermediate assessment during the study, which allowed for the identification of precisely when the change began occurring. These features appear only rarely in other studies” (Jorge, R.T.B et al, 2015). This quote from the study also indicates that the research paper compared itself to other journals/papers to see where they lacked and where they excelled. Another essential point is that, the results have been used to support and refute other studies for example the article reads “In a systematic review of resistance exercises for individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee, 56% of the studies evaluated, found statistically significant improvements in pain, but most of the studies did not use a progressive increase in load and none incorporated any hip muscle strengthening exercise” (Jorge, R.T.B et al, 2015).
This study didn’t have a section for the conclusion but in fact, it was integrated into the discussion, meaning that there was no specific heading for it. However, the conclusion itself showed very good practice because it exhibited some fresh insight such as the time of the initial diagnosis was not included; the medication use before the study start was not recorded; only women participated what makes impossible to extrapolate the results to other genders; the control group did not undergo any type of intervention and no follow-up was carried out to determine the long-term impact of progressive resistance exercise in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
The reference list should conclude the study with a full list of the reports, journals, articles, and books used and were referred to in this study (Connelly, Lynne M, 2016). This reference list in this specific study showed good practice because all the sources were clearly cited, and they were all set out alphabetically and were in full bibliographic detail. The references used were from a wide range of works in the field means that the authors were well read/knowledgeable.
In conclusion, after the comprehensive review of each stage of the research paper, there are many strengths and some weaknesses of this research paper. But overall, I believe that this paper can be used by researchers as a reference when talking about osteoarthritis of the knee in females.
Bassett C, Bassett J (2003) Reading and critiquing research. Br J Perioper Nurs 13(4): 162–4
Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2000) Research Methods in Education 5th Edition. London: RoutledgeFalmer. 17 pp 306 – 316
Conkin Dale J (2005) Critiquing research for use in practice. J Pediatr Health Care 19: 183–6
Connelly, Lynne M. (2016) References. MedSurg Nursing. Volume 25, Issue 3
Hernandez, Haniel J; McIntosh, Valerie; Leland, Azadeh; Harris-Love, Michael O (2015) Progressive Resistance Exercise with Eccentric Loading for the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis. Frontiers in medicine. Volume 2
Jorge, R.T.B., Souza, M.C.D., Chiari, A., Jones, A., Fernandes, A.D.R.C., Júnior, I.L. and Natour, J., 2015. Progressive resistance exercise in women with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical rehabilitation, 29(3), pp.234-243.
Kanis, H; Schoormans, J. P.L; Green, W. S. (2014) Reliability and validity revisited. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 01/2014, Volume 15, Issue 1
Parahoo K. (2006) Nursing Research: Principles, Process and Issues. Macmillan Press Ltd, Basingstoke.
Polit D, Beck C (2006) Essentials of Nursing Care: Methods, Appraisal and Utilization. 6th edn. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia
Wilmaten Ham-Baloyi. (2016) Systematic review as a research method in post-graduate nursing education, The University of Johannesburg, 21: 120-128