Applying the CASP Framework


The critical review of any journal article is important because it helps to evaluate and analyse the strength and weaknesses of the idea and content of the article to determine its true value. The CASP framework is to be used because it provides effective indication of the procedural aspects in the study to be analysed to report in detail the value and reliability of the evidence presented in the article (Long et al., 2020). In this review, the study by Rebecca et al., (2007) is to be critically analysed by following the CASP framework.


The CASP framework mentions identifying if a clear statement of aim is presented in the study (CASP, 2018). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), it is seen a clear aim is mentioned which is determining the relationship between internalisation of negative stereotypes regarding weight gain and eating behaviour along with emotional well-being in obese and overweight women. The presence of a clarified aim is the strength of the study because it indicates the reader regarding the key facts to be explored and the way the topic is to progress to relate if the article is relevant for their focussed learning progress (Haynes et al., 2018). The theoretical basis and existing literature regarding the topic explored in the article is to be effectively informed. This is because it helps to provide an overview regarding the topic and assist the readers to develop basic understanding of the topic (Doolan et al., 2017).


In this study by Rebecca et al., (2007), effective literature and theoretical views regarding overweight and obesity in women are mentioned. This is evident as the existing information present regarding the topic is mentioned along with a brief documentation about the importance of focussing on the topic. Thus, the current study helps the readers to have an effective understanding of the basic research problem been focussed and to be investigated that promotes confidence in them to determine the importance of the analysis and findings in the study in relation to their area of focussed topic. The CASP framework mentions to determine if the hypothesis in the study is explained (CASP, 2018). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), the hypothesis is appropriately mentioned which is that women who accept the fact regarding weight stereotypes are more inclined to make efforts in losing weight compared to those women who avoid considered the stereotypes to be evident.


The tool mention to determine if the research approach used in the methodology of the study is appropriate for execution of the study (CASP, 2018). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), the mixed methodology is used which is appropriate. This is because the quantitative survey of the participants helped in determining the weight-based stigma, response for coping stigma, eating behaviour and their psychological functioning efficiency of the participants. Moreover, the qualitative content analysis of the participants helped in determining the negative stereotypes internalised and faced by them due to weight gain and hindered eating behaviour to identify to the extent it influenced them in comparison to others involve in weight loss action. It also mentions that the research design used in appropriate for addressing the aim of the study because it helped in exploring all the valuable variables mentioned to be focused in the aim of the study.

The use of appropriate data collection tools is significant in the study because it allows to gather information used for explanation and generation of questions being raised to meet the aim of the study (Moser and Korstjens, 2018). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), the wide number of data collection tools are used for gathering variety of data. The Myers and Rosen’s Stigmatizing Situations Inventory (1999) tool is used for gathering experiences regarding stigma of weight gain among participants. The Cronbach α value recorded for the tool is 0.97 which indicates that it is highly specific and reliable to be sued in gathering formation for the study. This is because Cronbach α helps in assessing the scales of the tools developed for research purpose to determine if it is fit for the study. The higher the value of Cronbach α which extends from 0-1 it indicates greater internal consistency and reliability of the tool to be used in performing the study (Taber, 2018).

The other data collection tools used are Myers and Rosen’s Coping Responses Inventory (1999) for examining how often strategies are used by participants to cope with weight stigmatisation, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Questionnaire (20) for assessing emotional condition of the patient and Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns Revised that specifically assess binge eating for determining binge eating patterns. The Cronbach α values of the first two tools are 0.91 and 0.76 which indicates that they present good reliability to be used in performing the study (Rebecca et al., 2007). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), the sample participants included 1013 women who are determined for inclusion from a wide set of 2671 adults (2560 women, 111 men) from non-profit non-commercial national weight-loss organisation. The selection of the final sample participants is made based on the response against two question related to weight-based stereotypes. Thus, the study effectively informs the way the sample participants are chosen for the study which is one of the criteria mentioned to be assessed by the CASP framework (CASP, 2018). The explanation of the method of sampling is important as it informs regarding the way potential participants are chosen for the study to develop significant results (Braun et al., 2019).

The CASP mentioned determining the way data analysis is been made (CASP, 2018). In The study by Rebecca et al., (2007), the multivariate data analysis is performed, and qualitative content analysis is made for evaluating quantitative and qualitative data gathered in the study. Thus, details regarding the way data analysis is to be made are informed which acts as strength for the study as it informs regarding the way data are evaluated to reach the determined findings. The CASP mentions that ethical principle if followed in the study is to be examined (CASP, 2018). The use of effective ethical consideration is important for the study because it ensures the researcher has followed moral principles and avoided violation of the legal principles in executing the study (Bracken-Roche et al., 2017). In the study by Rebecca et al., (2007), no information regarding the ethics been maintained is mentioned. The study does not specify if informed consent from the participants are received or any forced inclusion was avoided which raises doubts regarding the extent to which ethical aspect in the study been maintained. The study by Rebecca et al., (2007) also did not mention if rigour in the study is faced and way it is managed which raised confusion regarding the quality and accurateness of the study to be used as evidence in healthcare practice.


The CASP tool mentions determining if the results are well-explained (CASP, 2018). The results mention that 95% of the women in the sample were white and the average age of the women was 49.33 and their mean BMI rate was 37.66. The participants who relied on the fact that weight-based serotypes are true involved more in frequent binge eating along with show refusal to maintain diet. However, the participants who considered the stereotypes to be false involved in diet control and weight loss. It led to make the hypothesis in the study to be false as it was considered that participants who internalise stereotypes are more likely to involve in weight loss actions. The diversion from the determined hypothesis is mentioned due to binge eating serving as support for the participants to escapes from self-awareness of the internalised stigma. The other deviation explained is that the stigma creates less confidence in the mind of the obese or overweight women due to which they develop more binge eating and avoid to successfully lose weight.

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The study concludes that obese individuals who internalise the negative weight-based stereotypes are likely to be more vulnerable to negative eating behaviour and show challenge to accept weight loss actions. The strength of the study is that it used mixed methods of study execution due to which limitation to be faced by using quantitative method is resolved by the strength of the qualitative method and vice-versa. However, the limitation of the study is that it included only white women which makes the results fail to be generalised among individuals of all ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, the information gathered in the study for data analysis are self-reported by the participants which creates limitation of the information being alerted by the influence of belief and perception of the participants. The other limitation is that sample participants included individuals from weight-loss organisation which is atypical of general population. The study is valuable because it raised information about the various gaps present regarding weight gain stigma and its consequence allowing future scope for the researchers to work on the gaps to be resolved. However, the study fails to inform the way gathered information are to be used in practice in healthcare due to which the way it can be used in performing evidence-based practice remains unclear.


Bracken-Roche, D., Bell, E., Macdonald, M.E. and Racine, E., 2017. The concept of ‘vulnerability’in research ethics: an in-depth analysis of policies and guidelines. Health research policy and systems, 15(1), pp.1-18.

Braun, M.T., Converse, P.D. and Oswald, F.L., 2019. The accuracy of dominance analysis as a metric to assess relative importance: The joint impact of sampling error variance and measurement unreliability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(4), p.593.

CASP 2018, Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) Tool, Available at: [Accessed on: 5 August 2021]

Doolan, D.M., Winters, J. and Nouredini, S., 2017. Answering research questions using an existing data set. Medical research archives, 5(9).pp.34-56.

Haynes, A., Rowbotham, S.J., Redman, S., Brennan, S., Williamson, A. and Moore, G., 2018. What can we learn from interventions that aim to increase policy-makers’ capacity to use research? A realist scoping review. Health research policy and systems, 16(1), pp.1-27.

Long, H.A., French, D.P. and Brooks, J.M., 2020. Optimising the value of the critical appraisal skills programme (CASP) tool for quality appraisal in qualitative evidence synthesis. Research Methods in Medicine & Health Sciences, 1(1), pp.31-42.

Moser, A. and Korstjens, I., 2018. Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 3: Sampling, data collection and analysis. European journal of general practice, 24(1), pp.9-18.

Puhl, R.M., Moss‐Racusin, C.A. and Schwartz, M.B., 2007. Internalization of weight bias: implications for binge eating and emotional well‐being. Obesity, 15(1), pp.19-23.

Taber, K.S., 2018. The use of Cronbach’s alpha when developing and reporting research instruments in science education. Research in science education, 48(6), pp.1273-1296.

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