Discussion Board-Study Critique Sample Paper


The intention of any research is to educate and provide a window for further studies in any given area or topic, in addition to expanding knowledge of the topic. As such, research is expected to be reliable and valid to ensure that it can be considered in future research. The unique characteristic of some of the nursing researches is that they are accessible through nursing databases such as Medline and EMBASE. Research studies may have different characteristics, but they are useful as long as they can meet particular standard criteria. There is also more emphasis on the levels of study, which helps determine the relevance of every study done. This is a critique of a 2019 scientific study on preventing cerebral small vessel disease and inflammation in aging done by Bowman et al.

The study included 102 participants and used words like potential participants, and determined the group of people who were a good fit for the study (Bowman et al., 2019). The study states the study population. It is possible to determine the target population in the study based on the research interests and the location that the study is focused on. The target population included tindividuals at risk of suffering from dementia but had not shown the symptoms. According to the authors, while upto 1100 individuals were screened for eligibility, only 102 proved eligible for the study. A study population includes a group of people involved in the study through informed consent and has agreed to participate in a study. The target population defines the population that should be included in the study to ensure the reliability and validity of the study (Forman et al., 2017).

It is possible to determine the probability sampling approach in the study. The study description of methodology makes it possible to determine that the study considered a probability sampling approach since it is a randomized control trial. Furthermore, the technique is specified, emphasizing that the probability sampling technique has been used by describing the random sampling technique. The research describes the sources of the participants. It describes the previous studies and the importance of incorporating a specific study sample, a factor that according to Forman et al. (2017) ensures that the data presented can meet the required research criteria.

Bowman et al. (2019) have adequately defined the inclusion criteria for the study. The inclusion criteria included individuals aged at least 75 years with a clinical dementia rating of ≤ 5 and a mini-mental state exam (MMSE) ≥ 24. The eligibility also required one not to have any of the noticeable depressive disorders before participating in the study. Individuals who already had dementing illnesses were excluded from the study. The inclusion criteria of the study are sufficiently described in the study population. The study describes the geriatric populations without the signs of depression as people who score less than six points on the geriatric depression scale–15 (GDS) and who have good hearing and visual acuity. People who had significant problems with the brain, including traumas, brain disorders, and brain tumors were excluded from the study since the study focuses on prevention. As the authors identified, having the population in the study would limit the effectiveness of the research in determining the effectiveness of the fatty acids in the prevention of dementia.

The research environment has been sufficiently described. The research describes that the participants were from Oregon, Washington, counties near Portland and Oregon. The study considers the specific regions in which the study takes place. The study also considered aging centers, community organizations, and retirement communities. The environments described show the various groups of people that were considered in the study had no specific predispositions other than age. The focus on aging centers, retirement centers, and community organizations show that the study focused mostly on the elderly. The potentiality of every participant was evaluated, and they were given letters to inform them concerning their participation in the study. Arguably, the environment within which a research is done sometimes helps to judge whether the findings thereof are reliable. It is possible to consider a source valid or reliable if the study’s intention matches the data collection techniques. Further, the description of the variable in the study shows that the authors controlled the variables affectively. Thus, based on the data collection and analysis procedure leveraged by Bowman et al. (2019), one can confidently conclude that the data is accurate.

However, the authors seem not to have considered explaining the measures that were included when testing for the reliability of the results. In fact. there is no use of either the Cronbach’s alpha or the kappa statistic to test for the reliability of the tests. Further, the study does not compare the probable reliability coefficients with the previous researches. Reliability, as Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2017) observe, helps determine the levels of stability within which the research can produce consistent results. The approach helps in determining whether one can depend on the study to inform practice/ intervention or not. Thus, failure by the authors to include reliability measures may put into question the accurace of the findings.

The study did not address issues that relate to validity outrightly. However, sufficient information could be used to determine the validity of the information (Clifton, 2020). For example, the analysis of previous researches that was done within the same topic could be of great help. The authors considered determining the effectiveness of every approach that the study was supposed to take. The research mainly relied on the effectiveness of the previous approaches to ensure that the data is also possible to control at some point. As such, the study is accurate towards ensuring a relationship between fatty acid and the incidence of dementia. Finally, it is possible to identify the main variables used in the study. The variables measured in the study include fatty acids, the occurrence of dementia, and the age of the participants.


  • Bowman, G. L., Silbert, L. C., Dodge, H. H., Lahna, D., Hagen, K., Murchison, C. F., Howieson, D., Kaye, J., Quinn, J. F., & Shinto, L. (2019). Randomized Trial of Marine n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids for the Prevention of Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Inflammation in Aging (PUFA Trial): Rationale, Design and Baseline Results. Nutrients11(4), 735. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040735
  • Clifton, J. D. (2020). Managing validity versus reliability trade-offs in scale-building decisions. Psychological Methods25(3), 259-270. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/met0000236
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2017). Validity and reliability. In Research methods in education (pp. 245-284). Routledge.
  • Forman, D., Santanasto, A., Boudreau, R., Harris, T., Kanaya, A., & Satterfield, S., Simonsick, E. M., Butler, J., Kizer, J. R. & Newman, A. B.. (2017). Impact of Incident Heart Failure on Body Composition Over Time in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study Population. Circulation: Heart Failure10(9). https://doi.org/10.1161/circheartfailure.117.003915