Qualitative Article Critique

Table of Contents

It is important for nurses to stay up- to- date on best current and evidenced- based practices in nursing. To do that, they must frequently review current literature. Nurses need to be able to determine the strengths and limitations of qualitative research studies when reviewing the current literature on a topic.

Title The title of a research article should be clear, accurate, describing the key phenomenon and the population being studied. In the article by Cheney et al (2019), “The Sociocultural Factors Underlying Latina Mothers’ Feeding Practices”, is well- written. The title describes what the article is about, and defines the population being studied.Abstract The abstract should offer a clear overview of the study, including the research problem, sample, methodology, findings and recommendations (Frances et. al, 2007, p. 739). Although not clearly defined, the abstract in the article by Cheney et al (2019) provides an overview of the study, the sample being studied, methodology, findings, and recommendations.


Statement of problem

The research problem is ambiguously provided in the article. The researchers provide the reader with many details that ultimately convince the reader that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that a problem exists and further research is needed. The problem is significant to nursing, and based on the methodology used by the authors, a qualitative approach was appropriate to use for the study.Research question The research question was not identified by the authors until the article’s methodology section, but ultimately was easily identified and was consistent with the study’s philosophical basis and conceptual framework. The research problem and the research question appear to be consistent.Literature Review A review of the literature was undertaken in the study, which met the philosophical underpinnings of the study and summarized the existing body of knowledge related to the research problem. The literature review also provided a strong basis for the research study. Conceptual Underpinnings Key concepts of the study were identified in the article. The philosophical basis, underlying tradition, and conceptual framework wer explicit and were appropriate for the problem.MethodProtection of Participant Rights The researchers held four focus (two in English, two in Spanish) groups consisting of oral interview questions to conduct their research. Prior to the start of each focus group, held in a private room, “participants were provided with their own copy of an information sheet that outlined the research, its goals, participant payment, risks and benefits to participation in the study” (Cheney et al, 2019, p. 3). Then the participants gave verbal consent to participate in the study. The study was approved by the University of California, Riverside Institutional Review Board (IRB). The semi- structured interview design minimized risk and maximized benefits to the participants.

Research Design/ Tradition

The article identified that the focus groups lasted 60-90 minutes, although this was only contact made with each participant. However, the authors were able to establish that the participants from the first focus group “had obtained scientific knowledge on infant feeding from EHS nutrition educators and health care professionals” (Cheney et al, 2019, p. 4). This provoked the researchers to establish an additional question to ask the following groups because they identified certain underpinnings of the study early. A research tradition was not identified. Sample and Setting The article identified the study’s sample as nineteen women between the ages of 18 and 40, who identified as Latina, and had children ages 0-2 years of age. EHS enrolled families, recruited mothers for the study during regular program visits and staff of EHS later contacted the mothers with the day, time, and location of the focus group, which was an appropriate method used to recruit participants. However, this was the best method for sampling used to promote the study’s richness. The authors report that data saturation was achieved, and participant answers were similar.

Data Collection Data was collected by one method in the study, semi- structured interviews. Therefore, we cannot assume that triangulation was achieved. Several questions were asked of the participants. Interviews were audio- recorded, with participant consent, and later transcribed by bilingual student assistants, which was appropriate for this type of study. Data sufficient in richness and depth was gathered by the researchers.Procedures The data and recording procedures were adequately described in the article and appear appropriate and free from bias. The investigators of the research had disciplinary training in anthropology, pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology, making them credible for facilitating the study.Enhancement of Trustworthiness The researchers made sure to provide information on other studies done on the same topic. It also provided studies that had similar results as what this study found which enhanced the trustworthiness of the study. The researchers did not provide a detailed description of those strategies, but after re-scanning the article, it was evident that strategies were used. No evidence of research reflexivity was found. Although the sample size was small in this study, transferability can be supported by the study because other community agencies can employ the same strategies for Latina women in their nutrition programs.ResultsData Analysis The data management and analysis methods were clearly described in the study. The data analysis was compatible with research tradition. It was also compatible with the nature and type of data gathered. The findings of the study yielded results appropriate to the study’s theory. Bias was kept to a minimum. The researchers asked questions of the participants that may have elicit personal opinions and experiences, which could have prompted or provoked personal bias.


The findings were effectively summarized, with good use of excerpts and supporting arguments. It appears that the researcher satisfactorily conceptualized the themes/ patterns in the data provided. The data analysis provided an insightful and authentic picture of the problem being studied.Theoretical Integration The themes of the study were logically connected and formed a convincing and integrated whole. There were no figures, maps, or models used to summarize the study’s conceptualizations. The Family Ecological Model was used to contextualize individual-level infant feeding, growth, and obesity within a social ecological context, and were linked in a cogent manner.