Nursing Research: A Critique of Five Research Undertakings on Phlebitis

Introduction

Scholars are constantly involved in research in efforts to provide solutions to different problems in their area of expertise (Boswell and Cannon 16). There are several instances where researchers publish their studies only to have their findings challenged by their peers. This appears to be the norm. The need for relevant and credible research calls for studies to be critiqued. Boswell and Cannon (97) suggest that constructive criticism improves the accuracy and credibility of a given study. The recommendations provided in a critique help future researchers to avoid mistakes that would lower the quality of their results. As such, a peer-reviewed research undertaking is regarded higher than a study that was not taken through the critiquing process.

The current paper is written against this backdrop. It is a critique of five research articles reporting the findings of different studies on several components of Phlebitis. According to Kaplan (par. 24), an effective critique is expected to address three main areas of a study. The areas of focus include the content and structure of the article reporting the findings made in the study. The other area of focus includes the ‘level’ and quality of the findings made in a study. A critique that fails to address these areas is regarded as incomplete. In addition to the three elements above, a critique should examine the applicability of the recommendations made in a study to a given practice (Kaplan par. 24).

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In light of the above, the current paper critically examines the accuracy of the title used in the research articles reviewed. In addition, the ‘intactness’ of the body of the paper is weighed in terms of the appropriateness of the objectives and conclusive response to the research questions (Boswell and Cannon 32). The critique examines the relevance of the methodology employed, as well as the consistency of the analysis adopted by the authors. Further, the current paper examines whether the discussions provided are consistent with the relevant nursing theoretical frameworks.

The Studies Critiqued

As mentioned above, the current paper provides a critique of five research articles touching on phlebitis. The following are the studies reviewed:

  1. IV- Related Phlebitis Complications and Length of Hospital Stay: 1 by Campbell (1304-1312).
  2. Predisposing Factors to Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: A Descriptive Study by Esin and Samiye (172-180).
  3. Incidence and Severity of Phlebitis in Patients Receiving Peripherally Infused Amiodarione by Boyce and Yee (27-34).
  4. Phlebitis in Amiodarone Administration: Incidence, Contributing Factors and Clinical Implications by Norton et al. (498-505).
  5. The Incidence of Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: The Influence of some Risk Factors by Salgueiro-Oliviera, Parreira, and Veiga (32-39).

The five articles above will be reviewed individually. In the review, the articles’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their contributions to their respective fields, will be analyzed. To this end, the conclusion section in this review is used to determine the relevance of the studies to the nursing profession.

A Critique of Article 1: IV- Related Phlebitis Complications and Length of Hospital Stay: 1

Title and Abstract

According to Boswell and Cannon (24), the title of a study is expected to provide the reader with an overview of the research contents. The assumption is that any person who comes into contact with the research paper should know what to expect from the study without reading the whole article. The topic is bolstered by the abstract, where an overview of the study is highlighted. Using the title of the research article, Campbell (1304), develops a hypothesis for the study. The hypothesis is that phlebitis is associated with intravenous (IV) therapy and the duration that a patient stays in a hospital.

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The initials ‘IV’ in the research topic is used universally to refer to the number ‘four’ Roman numeral system. As a result, a person skimming through the title may assume that the heading is referring to four types of complications related to phlebitis. Kaplan (par. 3) argues that a title must accurately describe the study reported in a research paper. Consequently, the inability to tell whether ‘IV’ implies four or intravenous suggests that the title of the article by Campbell is inaccurate. The title is very ambiguous. An ambiguous research topic is not regarded highly in academic circles (Boswell and Cannon 32).

Research Methodology

In their study, Campbell (1304-1312) seeks to prove that phlebitis complications are associated with a patient’s stay in hospital and IV. However, the approach used by the researcher does not give the study much credibility. Boswell and Cannon (32) opine that studies that use their hypothesis as a title should maximize both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. More specifically, such studies are expected to rely on primary sources of data to increase their credibility. Campbell fails to do this in conducting their study.

Campbell (1304) relies on description as a research method. The same is evident in the many secondary sources of data the author relies on to support their arguments and to prove their hypothesis. The study appears to be more of a literature review than actual research on a hypothesis. Boswell and Cannon (24) suggest that researchers should illustrate the type of study they have selected. In the case of Campbell, an appropriate title should have read like this: “A Descriptive Study of Phlebitis Complications Associated with Prolonged Stay in Hospital and Intravenous Therapy”.

Predisposing Factors to Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: A Descriptive Study

Theoretical Frameworks

According to Esin and Samiye (172), several factors contribute to the development of phlebitis among patients with peripheral IV catheters. This study is descriptive in nature. In such cases, Boswell and Cannon (53) suggest that a conclusive illustration of the key elements of the study should be provided. The conclusive illustration should be backed by, among others, a pragmatic theoretical framework. However, the research by Esin and Samiye does not outline the theoretical framework employed. Boswell and Cannon (88) cite Florence Nightingale as a nursing practitioner who understood the need to rely on theoretical frameworks in descriptive studies. Esin and Samiye fail to live up to the expectations of this icon.

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Another issue with the study conducted by Esin and Samiye (172-180) involves the presentation of findings. The research should have more statistical presentations like graphs, which was the case with Nightingale. However, Esin and Samiye (175) use only one graph for a study of this magnitude. Additional graphs in the article would have improved the overall structure and appearance of the study. According to Boswell and Cannon (88), graphs improve the visual illustration of the different issues highlighted in a study.

Literature Review

Another flaw identified in the study is contained in the literature review section (Esin and Samiye 173). Kaplan (par. 7) suggests that among other things, the literature review section must be relevant to a given study topic. The credibility and quality of a study are enhanced by the researcher’s use of recent and credible sources of information.

Esin and Samiye (173) cite a study by Olgun, Durademir, and Etiaslan, which was done in 1997. Given that the purpose of Esin and Samiye’s study was to highlight the process of insertion of IV catheters, the researchers should not have included the article by Olgun et al. The study is outdated. The instruments used in the 1990s have changed a lot. Citing such an obsolete source reduces the relevance of the study in general.

Incidence and Severity of Phlebitis in Patients Receiving Peripherally Infused Amiodarione

A Critique of the Research Questions

Boyce and Yee (27-34) sought to determine what happens when patients are peripherally infused with Amiodarione. Boyce and Yee’s focus shifts to phlebitis when they analyze the severity of the outcomes among these patients. The title of the study suggests that it is inquisitive.

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According to Boswell and Cannon (101), it is important to respond to a given hypothesis by addressing several research questions. The study by Boyce and Yee does not list any questions. In the absence of a list of research questions, a study becomes ambiguous. Boyce and Yee should have formulated several questions. One such question would have been: “what are the symptoms of phlebitis in patients with peripherally infused Amiodarione?”. Such a question would have helped the two researchers in data collection (Boswell and Cannon 101). In table 2, Boyce and Yee (30) indicate the degree of phlebitis. However, the table would be more meaningful had data collection focused on a given symptom of phlebitis. Such information would help a person going through this article to understand the advancements made with regards to this medical condition.

Phlebitis in Amiodarone Administration: Incidence, Contributing Factors and Clinical Implications

A Critique of the Literature Review

Norton et al. (498-505) were interested in determining the clinical implications of the administration of Amiodarone about Phlebitis. In addition, they wanted to highlight the factors that lead to incidences of Phlebitis as a result of the drug. The study is both qualitative and quantitative. As a result, a detailed literature review was expected. However, the literature review provided does not satisfy the objectives of the study. As much as the literature review expounds on the factors contributing to incidences of phlebitis, little information is provided on the clinical implications of the drug.

According to Boswell and Cannon (23), a literature review allows a researcher to build on existing theories. The clinical implications of contributing factors with regards to Phlebitis incidences form the basis of the research by Norton et al. (498-505). Based on this, the researchers should have outlined other studies where such implications are discussed. Information of that nature helps in arriving at an academic conclusion.

Limitations

Researchers are constantly faced with challenges in the process of carrying out their studies (Boswell and Cannon 105). Due to this, researchers are expected to highlight any limitations encountered. An indication of the limitations helps the reader to interpret the implications of the study. Unfortunately, the study by Norton et al. fails to outline the limitations encountered. The credibility of this study is diminished since some scholars may shun it. Researchers prefer studies that point out the challenges faced and how they were overcome (Boswell and Cannon 105).

The Incidence of Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: The Influence of some Risk Factors

Literature Review

Salgueiro-Oliviera et al. (32-39) made efforts to highlight the risk factors associated with incidences of Phlebitis among patients with peripheral IV catheters. Such a research paper is expected to have a detailed literature review section. Boswell and Cannon (23) argue that any research undertaking must rely on the opinions of other researchers in the field. To achieve this, a research undertaking should make use of a literature review where the researcher cites concepts used in previous studies. Such researchers are capable of arguing out their thesis statement by building on the concepts cited.

Salgueiro-Oliviera et al. (33) introduce the topic of their study but fail to provide a detailed literature review. According to Kaplan (par. 7), a study like the one conducted by these scholars needs a detailed literature review. The articles cited by Salgueiro-Oliviera et al. (33) should be relevant, current, and credible. The study lacks this vital component of research. Consequently, its credibility as an academic paper is reduced (Boswell and Cannon 23).

Ethical Considerations

According to Boswell and Cannon (345), a study that involves interactions with patients requires approval from a medical authority. Thus, access to records of patients with a given condition should be sanctioned by a hospital administrator or a superintendent (Boswell and Cannon 345). If such permission is not obtained, the privacy of patients is put at risk. As a result of this, the study may be regarded as unethical.

Salgueiro-Oliviera et al. (33) indicate that they obtained permission from the hospital administrator. However, they should have obtained further permission from a regional health official owing to the magnitude of the number of patients that were engaged in the study. Approval from a regional officer in charge of health increases the validity of the findings made in such a study due to the high ethical standards (Boswell and Cannon 345).

Recommendations

Several issues negatively affect the validity of each of the studies reviewed in this paper. The issues cited constitute the flaws of the research reported in these articles. Boswell and Cannon (403) suggest that a research undertaking may be improved by recommendations provided by an external critic. The author of this review provides the following recommendations with regards to the five articles critiqued:

  1. Researchers should ensure that the title and abstract of their studies reflect the contents of the research undertaking.
  2. Scholars should make sure that their studies use updated literature with the necessary theoretical frameworks.
  3. Researchers should ensure future studies use data that is qualitative enough to meet the standards set in their profession.

Conclusion

Boswell and Cannon (400) argue that a credible study should have conclusions and recommendations that apply to a given practice. A review of the conclusions made in the five articles addressed in this paper reveals that the findings made in each of the studies apply to the nursing practice. However, the applicability of these studies can be improved if the recommendations made above are adhered to.

Works Cited

Boswell, Carol and Sharon Cannon. Introduction to Nursing Research. 3rd ed. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2012. Print.

Boyce, Brenda and Barbara Yee. “Incidence and Severity of Phlebitis in Patients Receiving Peripherally Infused Amiodarione.” Critical Care Nurse 32.4 (2012): 27-34. Print.

Campbell, Linda. “IV-Related Phlebitis, Complications and Length of Hospital Stay: 1.” British Journal of Nursing 7.21 (1998): 1304-1312. Print.

Esin, Uslosoy and Mete Samiye. “Predisposing Factors to Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: A Descriptive Study.” Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 20.4 (2008): 172-180. Print.

Kaplan, Louise. Reading and critiquing a research article. American Nurse Today 7.10(2012): n.pag. Web.

Norton, Linda, et al. “Phlebitis in Amiodarone Administration: Incidence, Contributing Factors and Clinical Implications.” American Journal of Critical Care 22.6 (2013): 498-505. Print.

Salgueiro-Oliviera, Anabela, Pedro Parreira and Pedro Veiga. “Incidence of Phlebitis in Patients with Peripheral Intravenous Catheters: The Influence of some Risk Factors.” The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 30.2 (2012): 32-39. Print.

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