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Custom Meta-synthesis Critical Appraisal essay paper sample

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Meta-analysis plays a critical role in nursing because of its ability to help researchers generate new insight on various topics of interest.  In nursing, meta-analysis provides a robust approach that can be used to summarize various trails that have been conducted on a particular area of nursing. Despite the usefulness of this technique, studies conducted using this approach need to be appraised in order to determine their validity, which will lend credence to the research findings.  Using critical appraisal tools used in meta-analyses, this paper will address the validity of a study done by Finfgeld-Connett on caring in nursing.

The first step in testing the validity will entail looking at the research used in the study. In the study presented, the author has clearly defined the question that guides the research. In her study, Finfgeld-Connect investigated how caring could be better understood based on the previous meta-synthesis approach.

Regarding the question of appropriated inclusion of article in the study, the journal article indicates that appropriate criterion was used in choosing article for use in the study.  For instance, there researcher restricted herself to the use of articles that mentioned caring along and not any that had the keyword of caring along other terms. Indeed the elimination of article with words such as caring presence indicates the strict inclusion criteria used in the article. Nevertheless, the strictness of this approach may have rejected some of the articles that did not have the sole construct used in the study.

The design of the study centered on the use of an electronic database, but not on contacting researchers who had done studies on the own. When carrying out the study,  Finfgeld-Connect concentrated on using the electronic version of Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature where she was able to search articles posted between 19988 and 2006. Whereas searching the database was a quick strategy to locate the relevant articles, there are chances that important research articles on caring were omitted. In addition, the use of one database could have led to bias of data since only one source of article was used. With the exclusion of unpublished trial in this study, this study seems to lack the rigor associated with meta-analyses. Equally important, the study may have failed to include the role of unpublished meta-analysis that would have reduced the impact of publication bias. This is a term that refers to erroneous conclusion when unpublished data are not included in the research work. 

The validity of the study also stems on whether carried out an appraisal of the studies used. As per the journal article, the author provides explicit information on the studies she used in the meta-analysis.  When conducting a meta-analysis, appraisal of methodological quality is an important step to make as it allows reader to evaluate the effective of the study and at the same time review the validity of individual studies used in the research. Appraising the studies used provides an assessment on the validity of the studies she used, which has an influence on the validity of the entire meta-analysis study conducted.

Meta-analyses studies are expected to reproducible (Piantadosi, 2005). When carrying a study, researchers are expected to have independent reviewers. However, the study carried out by Finfgeld-Connect did not involve any independent reviewer. Without independent reviewers, there is a great possibility that the study can have some bias especially in selection of articles. Nevertheless, the use of a strict criterion during the sampling process is an advantage that adds to the validity of the study.

In conclusion, the meta-analysis seems to provide valid results that have a significance in nursing especially in understanding the concept of caring. Nonetheless, lack of peer independent reviewers and publication bias may erode the validity of the study to some extent.

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