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Critical appraisal of qualitative literature

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Joanne Patterson


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Critical appraisal is central to delivering and implementing evidence-based healthcare. It is important that clinicians are able to evaluate different research methodologies, understand their appropriateness, and ultimately make an assessment as to whether evidence is of sufficient quality to translate into practice. This paper focuses on the critical appraisal of qualitative research. Qualitative research stems from an inductive, exploratory approach, generating new theory from data. It is largely person-centred and concerned with the social world and therefore is an important methodology for dysphagia research. The nature of data collection may include interviews, observations, and document review, leading to rich and detailed information. There are numerous methods of data analysis, but all follow a structured system. Quality appraisal includes an assessment of the reliability, validity, and interpretation of findings. This paper describes ways in which qualitative methodology has been applied to dysphagia and gives examples of published work. Although important contributions to dysphagia research have been made using quantitative methodology, qualitative research has much to offer, especially in understanding its impact on the person, their family, and their environment. Furthermore, it can be used to develop and evaluate service delivery, and inform effective and efficient research processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Patterson JM, Dawson C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups

Year: 2017

Volume: 2

Pages: 122-128

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Acceptance date: 06/08/2017

ISSN (print): 2381-4764

ISSN (electronic): 2381-473X

Publisher: ASHA


DOI: 10.1044/persp2.SIG13.122


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