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A Comprehensive Critique of the Research Paper

A critique of a research paper is the systematic evaluation of the paper in terms of analysing the validity, applicability and truthfulness of the piece of research presented in that research paper and its findings. This study will make a critique of the primary research article "older patients experiences and perceptions of having their wounds treated with medical-grade honey", by using Caldwell et al. (2005) critiquing tool to present a critique of this article. This study will begin with a critical evaluation of the reliability and validity of the title of the selected article, in which the relevance and suitability of the title will be critically analysed. Then the study will present a critical evaluation of the credibility of the authors of the research article. After that, this study will make a critical analysis of rationale and literature review which will be followed by a critical analysis of whether all research ethics are maintained in the research paper by the authors. After that, a critical analysis of research methodology will be done which is followed by a critical analysis of conclusion presented in the research article to evaluate its usefulness, relevance and comprehensiveness. Finally, this study will make the overall discussion, in which it will summarise the findings of the discussion.

According to Caldwell et al. (2005), while critiquing any research article, the first thing that needs to be analysed is the title of that article. A good title represents a concise explanation of the entire content of the article before readers delve into the specifics. On this note, the title of the chosen research article is brief that contains clear and appropriate words that adequately explain as well as describe the purpose and entire content of the article. As stated by Kerans et al. (2020), a good title is important for any research paper to provide clear ideas on what is going to be discussed throughout the article. In the primary research article, the title is concise in which authors have used good as well as highly relevant language that represents the clarity of this title in relation to the subject of the article.


Based on Caldwell critiquing tool (2005), another important aspect that needs to considered while critiquing any research study is the credibility of authors to conduct the research study. As mentioned by Thon and Jucks (2017), the appropriate selection of a research article is dependent on its validity and reliability that is largely dependent on the credentials of authors. The primary research paper mentioned the professional background of each author in which it is explained that Author A.M. Seckam is a stroke research and innovation manager at Cardiff Metropolitan University and J. Mercer is the principal lecturer of Cardiff Metropolitan University. In this context, Dale et al. (2019), opined that the academic background of authors is also important in presenting the validity, creativity and reliability of any research paper. On this note, the research article does not mention any academic qualification and educational background of authors which can be considered as the major backdrop in presenting the validity and reliability of this research study.

The abstract is important part in any research article that summarises the discussion of entire research paper that assists readers to develop a clear idea about what the content of the research article is going to represent and what are the objectives as well as aim of this research study (Caldwell and Bennett, 2020). On this note, the chosen research article has a clear concise abstract that gives a clear summary of overall discussion. In this context, Athens et al. (2017), argued that, a good abstract will not only have concise summary of entire content but also it will use subheading to give summary of each section of entire research such as aims, objectives, research methods, research design, data collection and findings, that will make a clear and transparent understanding of what the research paper is going to represent throughout the content. On this note, the primary research article summarises the entire content in a single paragraph and does not present brief description of each section of the research study by using subheadings, that raise questions on the level of clarity of the abstract in relation to make good as well as clear summary of entire research.

As mentioned by Erlandsen et al. (2018), a rationale is considered as the reason behind conducting any research. In rationale section, the primary research article has explained the current context of susceptibility of wounds in older people of above 65 years and the importance of medical-grade honey to heel their wounds. As mentioned by Impens (2018), a good rationale needs to answer the reason for undertaking a research study, in which authors need to justify the novelty and significance of conducting any research study. The primary research article highlights the statistics of increasing number of wounds in older people in the UK, in which the usage of antibiotics become increasingly ineffective and unresponsive against the pathogens responsible for these wounds. On this note, the rationale behind undertaking this research study is relevant in relation to the current context of wound in older people presented in the study. From this discussion, it is clear that the primary research has represented the clear rationale to provide a new insight on usefulness of medical-grade honey in healing wounds in older people as compared to use of antibiotics that become ineffective day-by-day to the wound pathogens.

While it comes to analyse literature review Snyder (2019) mentioned that, a well-constructed literature review will represent an in-depth and clear evaluation of previous research. Literature review is described as the synopsis and summary of the researches that have been previously done by other researchers that can assist the authors to explain why they pursue the research in that particular research topic. On this note, the primary research article does not have any literature review section which can be considered as the huge backdrop of truthfulness, authenticity and reporting standard of the entire research study. In this context Hopia et al. (2016) mentioned that, a good research study should contain a clear and well-explained literature review section which will represent the reason behind selecting particular research objectives and questions. Unfortunately, in this primary research article there is no literature review and research questions, that put a big question on the quality and reliability of the resources used in this research study.

As mentioned by Lohan et al. (2017), a good research article will mention a clear aim and objective by stating what the study is going to achieve through conducting the research. In abstract and rationale section, the primary research article has mentioned that the purpose behind this study is to capture the life experience of participants regarding using medical-grade honey in terms of treating their wounds. This highlights the fact that study aims to analyse the perception and opinion of participants about the usefulness and drawbacks of using medical-grade honey to treat their wounds, which assist authors to evaluate that how society visualises the use of honey while it comes to heel the wounds of older people. For achieving a good evaluation reporting standard, a research article should have a different section named research aim and research objective that would highlight not only the purpose of conducting research study but also represents the desired goals that authors intend to achieve after completing the research (Carson-Stevens et al. 2016). On this note, the primary research article does not have any research aim and objective section, which can create difficulties for readers to find out the purpose and achievable goals of the research study if they do not read the abstract minutely.

Research ethics are important aspects to be followed and implemented by researchers while conducting any research to maintain the validity, authenticity and reliability of the research study. As stated by Ryen (2016), research ethics are the moral values and principles that researchers should follow while conducting data collection, data analysing and finding, data reporting process and publication methods. Before conducting any research study, researchers need to first take permission from concerned research ethics committee or board. Research ethics committee or board will analyse that whether there is any risk or harm is associated with using human subjects to conduct the research. On this note, the primary research article mentioned that, authors have taken ethical approval from Comprehensive Local Research Network (Wye Valley NHS Trust)) and the South West Wales Research Ethics Committee West Midlands. Therefore, it can be stated that authors of this research study are able to prove that the entire process of involving human subject in the research study is non-maleficent that means there are no chances of harm and risk to the participants recruited for the data collection process. While involving human subjects in data collection process, researchers need to ensure that they respect participants’ autonomy in each stage of the research study and will provide each participant with a fair, safe and positive environment that makes them relax and comfortable (Dooly et al. 2017). On this note, the primary research article does not mention how patients’ autonomy has been maintained throughout data collection process and whether authors have conducted data collection process in a positive, liberal and fair environment. These backdrops pose questions on the ability of authors in maintaining all research ethics accordingly to conduct a good research study.

Order Now As mentioned by Mohajan (2018), methodology is important part of any research study that represents a clear outline in which the entire research study will be conducted. The primary research study has mentioned that phenomenological research design is selected by authors to conduct the research. Here the primary research paper has given clear explanation of reason of selecting interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) in which it has been stated that through using this phenomenological study authors are able to interpret the experiences of participants regarding using medical-grade honey in treating their wounds. A research design will not only explain the reason behind choosing it but also mention the study setting, type of investigation, time horizon, methods and techniques used the study (Zangirolami-Raimundo et al. 2018). On this note, in the primary research study, there is no discussion on the methods and techniques that are used by authors while implementing interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). As mentioned by Basias and Pollalis (2018), in research methodology, a good research paper will mention the experimental hypothesis that will represent the difference between the control group and experimental group. There is no discussion about the experimental hypothesis in the primary research article that can create difficulty in identifying the differences in experimental and control group. While it comes to analyse the validity of population and sampling of a research study, Taherdoost (2016), mentioned that a research study needs to clearly mention different aspect such as type of sampling method, reason behind choosing the sampling method, population size, characters and relevance of sampling method in relation to research aim. On this note, the primary research article clearly mentioned the number of participants (six participants from Leg Club group) and criteria used in selecting sample (exclusion and inclusion criteria) but the study does not mention the sampling type, sampling methods and techniques that are used to recruit the participants. In data collection section the primary article has used a brief description of data collection in which the total time scheduled for data collection, informed consent, interview type (semi-structured interview) and the type of interview question (open-ended question) are clearly mentioned. As mentioned by Mohajan (2018), a good data collection section will highlight the challenges and backdrops that are faced by researcher to collect data, which were not encountered by this primary research article. Additionally, it did not mention whether participants face any kind of difficulties in sharing their experiences regarding usage of medical grade honey to healthier wounds. These aspects can raise questions on the overall ability and reliability of data collection process to meet research objectives. On a positive note, in analysis and finding section, the verbatim of each participant is quoted and explained with using proper in-depth analysis which assists this primary research study to interpret the experiences of participants regarding use medical grade honey to treat their wounds and evaluate their perspectives and viewpoint regarding the usefulness of this ancient remedy. The conclusion section of this primary article is able to summarise the overall finding of entire discussion by mentioning the future benefits of this research study and challenges faced by researcher while conducting the research.

From the overall discussion, it can be concluded that, the primary research article cannot achieve a good reporting standard and it can be rated as an average standard research paper. This article has several research gaps and backdrops that could have been improved during the study to enhance its standard. On a positive note, it can be stated that despite some limiltations, this primary article is able to provide a new insight into the usefulness of medical-grade honey to treat the wound in older people

Reference list:

  • Athens, B.A., Caldwell, S.L., Umstead, K.L., Connors, P.D., Brenna, E. and Biesecker, B.B., 2017. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials to assess outcomes of genetic counseling. Journal of genetic counseling, 26(5), pp.902-933.
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  • Lohan, M., Aventin, Á., Maguire, L., Curran, R., McDowell, C., Agus, A., Donaldson, C., Clarke, M., Linden, M., Kelly, C. and McDaid, L., 2017. Research aims and objectives. In Increasing boys’ and girls’ intentions to avoid teenage pregnancy: a cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial of an interactive video drama-based intervention in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. NIHR Journals Library.
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