Critical analysis of a qualitative study

Subject: Health Care
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1132
Topics: Nursing, Ageism, Medical Ethics


Quality patient care involves correction of mistakes done in nursing healthcare and adoption of solutions provided after study findings (Admi, Tzischinsky, Epstein, Herer and Lavie, 2008). Conducting a critique for various published research works is also an essential tool towards supporting the validity of the results reported. As a result, research evaluation improves the practice of nurses since it helps them correct the identified and proven problem during practice. They are also able to understand better the topic under discussion through the vast covered literature searches by the researchers. It is from the literature that the basis of the study is understood since the importance of the topic will have been supported by various sources. Critiquing research also enables the incorporation of findings into practice to prove the proposed changes (Arnott & Pervan, 2014). This paper will give an appraisal of an article that provides a report on research that was performed on Australian nurses to find out effects of old age on patient care.

Problem Statement and Study Purpose

The study points out old age as a contributing factor towards poor patient care in Australia. The biggest problem here is that Australian remote areas will continue suffering the effects of such nurses since such areas have a very high workforce old healthcare workers (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011). The poor care is likely to come as a result of the old nurses being unable to manipulate various essential tasks during general patient care. Old age in this article is defined to be above fifty years old hence the title of the article, “Beyond 50 challenges at work for older nurses and allied health workers in rural Australia”. Therefore, the study purposes to find out the specific tasks that old nurses are unable to do, or the ones they do unsatisfactorily. The research question, therefore, becomes; are there specific challenges faced by older nurses during the day to day patient care, apart from usual difficulties that healthcare workers face? However, delivering quality service depends on upon an array of integrated aspects hence inability to perform certain tasks may not be the only reason for poor performance. It may occur that if the old nurses are offered assistance in the stated tasks, they will deliver quality service since most of them are driven by the passion to keep on working at such ages (Admi et al., 2008).

Literature Review

The research is supported by literature searches on the effects of old age on normal body functioning and specifically how old age can affect the quality of care given to nurses. Through the literature searches, the article was able to follow the statistics of nurses who had been deployed in the remote areas of Australia since 2005 (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011). The sources have proven that the healthcare workforce in this region is 75% female and of the age of more than 50 years. The Literature sources used for this section are relevant since they range from the years during which the statistics were conducted. The other sources that are not statistical are aimed to establish how the physiology of a person’s body is likely to be affected by age (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011).

These sources are relevant to the question of study because they create a general point of view which will then be narrowed down to apply to nurses. It was established that people at old age develop both physical and mental changes that would differentiate how they operate when compared to younger individuals. This difference is visible in their physical strength, acuity of individual senses, and speed of action. This section has been characterized by sources that range from 1995 to 2009. Using old sources has the advantage of originality of the information while newer ones are also advantageous since they contain more current information about the subject (Arnott & Pervan, 2014).


The research involved a qualitative study design to obtain the information needed from the research question. The participants were mainly nurses and other workers allied to healthcare, and they were to indicate the tasks they found difficult to perform during their service (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011). The study design was relevant towards giving accurate results since the nurses gave their responses willingly, creating high chances of fidelity. Since the researchers interacted directly with the response group, they could offer help to those individuals who would be unable to comprehend what was expected of them (De Vaujany, Walsh & Mitev, 2011).

However, this effort may alter the results since some respondents may feel manipulated to respond in a certain way. The research concentrates on the subjective nature of human experience since the nurses were allowed to indicate the tasks thy considered difficult to perform, owing to their old age. They responded to questionnaires, interviews and simple observation to these challenges. Age was the core factor of consideration for this study because the respondents were also asked to compare the ease with which they performed the stated tasks when they were at a younger age (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011).

80 respondents were used for this research that lasted from August to November 2008. Their selection and description are well outlined since the article reports the number and gender distribution of participants. However, this creates a limitation of the study which only used four men out of a sample size of 80. The study reports limitations such as the inability to notify as many HCWs as possible to participate in the research as well as the lack of individualized data because participants respondents in groups of five (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011).


The research came up with results clearly tabulated to show the tasks that the respondents found difficult to perform. They included reading labels on drug stickers and other written work, computer skills, and fatigue brought about by the shifts they consider too long for them. Since serving the entire community involved driving around, they were unable to serve them since they are unable to drive efficiently (Fragar, & Depczynski, 2011). Addressing such issues in nursing can help come up with a strategy to combat the challenges. Although most nurses may have the passion to continue serving even in their old age, the challenges they face may alter patient care (Admi et al., 2008). Article analysis and critique, therefore, provides a platform for validating the results of research before implementing the results (De Vaujany, Walsh & Mitev, 2011).


The analyzed article provides useful insights of the challenges faced by old age nurses in Australia. Although this may seem to be centralized information, it may apply to healthcare facilities globally. Such articles, therefore, provide information that can be used in other parts other than the research are to provide guidance in the healthcare sector.

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  1. Fragar, L. J., & Depczynski, J. C. (2011). Beyond 50 challenges at work for older nurses and allied health workers in rural Australia: A thematic analysis of focus group discussions. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1), 42-54.
  2. Admi, H., Tzischinsky, O., Epstein, R., Herer, P., & Lavie, P. (2008). Shift work in nursing: Is it really a risk factor for nurses’ health and patients’ safety? Nursing Economics, 26(4), 250-7.
  3. Arnott, D., & Pervan, G. (2014). A critical analysis of decision support systems research revisited: The rise of design science. Journal of Information Technology, 29(4), 269-293.
  4. De Vaujany, F., Walsh, I., & Mitev, N. (2011). A historically grounded critical analysis of research articles in IS. European Journal of Information Systems, 20(4), 395-417.
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