Qualitative Research Article Critique

Select a qualitative research article related to social work practice and answer the following questions. Please respond “by the numbers”.

  1. What is the purpose of the study, that is, the key research question(s)?
  2. If a theory is examined, please state the theory’s major tenants. If the study is a theoretical and thus more exploratory, please also describe that.
  3. Summarize the reviewed literature. Is this literature grounded in social work (and human services) practice?
  4. As in quantitative research, qualitative research has a specific approach. What type of qualitative approach was used in your study?
  5. How did the researcher(s) describe the participants in this qualitative study? How were the participants selected for the study (convenience, purposive, snowball, etc.)? Describe some key characteristics of the study sample (age, gender, ethnicity, key identifying features not mentioned in replying to prior question, etc.).
  6. Describe the specific criteria and rules used to select the sample. This includes identifying the method of sampling as probability or non-probability. Also, indicate what particular type of probability (simple random, systematic, stratified, cluster, PPS, etc.) or non-probability (convenience/availability, purposive, snowball, etc.) is utilized.
  7. Qualitative research uses data analysis techniques such as, but not limited to, thematic content analysis and open coding. What did the researcher(s) do to analyze data of your chosen qualitative study?
  8. Assessing the quality of measurement of variables is essential in all types of research. In qualitative research, this is often referenced as the “trustworthiness” of the data (Guba, 1981). Common techniques used to assess the trustworthiness of the data in a qualitative study include triangulation and “member checking.” For your study, please discuss the techniques the authors used to establish the trustworthiness of the measurement of the variables in your selected qualitative study.
  9. What are the key study results? (Don’t interpret results here, instead describe them in straightforward, reasonably detailed fashion).
  10. Depth of inquiry and/or observation is often a feature of qualitative research. Did this research study help you gain an intuitive, “in depth” understanding of the research question(s)? Explain.
  11. Relatedly, the depth of inquiry of qualitative research often generates new ideas, insights, and ways of viewing a topic or issue – sometimes qualitative research even generates a new theory. Describe new ideas, conceptualizations, and/or theory (if any) that this research study generated.
  12. To what degree can the results be applied beyond the study sample? In quantitative research this is described as “generalizability,” while in qualitative research this concept is known as “transferability.” Please describe your understanding of the transferability of the results of your qualitative study. In other words, to what populations, groups, and/or settings (if any?) do you think this study’s findings can be transferred? Discuss cautions and/or limitations regarding transferability.
  13. Assess your strengths and limitations of the study design that have not been addressed in your responses to prior questions. For instance, what kinds of conclusions can and cannot be drawn?
  14. Identify key practice or policy recommendations made by the author and/or that you would make based on the study.
  15. Identify recommendations for future research made by author and/or that you think flow from the study.
  16. Your comments: Did the study’s methods effectively address the research question(s)? What caught your attention? Did the study results turn out as you expected? How could the study be improved? Is the study an important one?

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