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From The CriticsReviewer: Alexandra A. Garcia, RN, MS (University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing)
Description: This book guides the reader through the process of evaluating research studies and applying research findings to healthcare practice.
Purpose: The purpose is to fill gaps in the literature on research utilization, particularly on the appraisal of collective evidence from two or more studies.
Audience: The book is written for healthcare professionals and students and presupposes a basic level of knowledge of statistics, research designs, and principles of data analysis.
Features: The book begins with a nice discussion of the importance of research-based practice. Rather detailed guidelines are provided for individuals, groups of clinicians, or students on how to conduct an appraisal of the research literature. A flow chart or algorithm is provided to prompt the investigator from the initial step of formulating the question to beginning the literature search, appraising the reports, planning and making changes in clinical practice, and evaluation of the change. An entire chapter is devoted to locating literature via paper and electronic resources and databases. Basic information is provided on research designs and the reporting of findings including measures of effect size. One chapter includes a review of issues related to validity and the difference between statistical versus clinical significance. A series of appraisal questions are furnished in the chapters on evaluating findings from single studies, as well as collective evidence from two or more studies and research reviews and summaries covering a variety of research designs. The reader is also counseled on the evaluation of evidence from qualitative studies. The appendixes include several examples of research appraisals and tools to help the reader conduct an appraisal.
Assessment: This is a useful tool for the clinician and beginning consumer of research. Issues related to research evaluation and utilization are clearly addressed; this is a practical and efficient guide to research appraisal.