Appraising Nursing Studies


  1. Does the introduction demonstrate the need for the study?
  2. Is the problem clearly and concisely identified?
  3. Is the problem presented with enough background material to acquaint the

reader with the importance of the problem?

  1. Is the purpose of the study clearly stated?
  2. Are the terms and variables relevant to the study clearly defined?
  3. Are the assumptions clearly and simply stated?
  4. If appropriate to the design, are hypotheses stated?
  5. Does the study use a theoretical framework to guide its design?

Review of the Literature

  1. Is the ROL relevant to the problem?
  2. Is the review adequate in terms of the range and scope of ideas, opinions, and points of view relevant to the problem?
  3. Is the review well organized and synthesized?
  4. Does the review provide for critical appraisal of the contribution of each of the major references?
  5. Does the review conclude with a summary of the literature with implications for the study?
  6. Is the ROL adequately and correctly documented?


  1. Is the research approach appropriated?
  2. Was the protection of human subjects considered?
  3. Are the details of data collection clearly and logically presented?
  4. Are the instrument(s) appropriate for the study both in terms of problem and approach?
  5. Are the instrument(s) described sufficiently in terms of content, structure, validity and reliability?
  6. Is population and the method for selecting the sample adequately described?
  7. Is the method for selection of sample appropriate?
  8. Is the sample size sufficient?
  9. Is attrition of sample reported and explained?
  10. Does the design have controls at an acceptable level for the threats to internal validity?
  11. What are the limits to generalizability in terms of external validity?


  1. Is the presentation of data clear?
  2. Are the characteristics of the sample described?
  3. Was the best method(s) of analysis selected?
  4. Are the tables, charts, and graphs pertinent?


  1. Are the results based on the data presented?
  2. Is the evidence sufficient to draw conclusions?
  3. Are the results interpreted in the context of the problem/purpose, hypothesis, and theoretical framework/literature reviewed?
  4. Are the conclusions and generalizations clearly stated?
  5. Are the limitations of the findings clearly delineated?
  6. Are the generalizations within the scope of findings?
  7. Does the study contribute to nursing knowledge?