Table 2

Quantitative paper appraisal checklist

Critiquing sub headingsAreas to considerNotes
Believability and credibilityTitle: Is it clear, what is the length, is it accurate?
Keywords: Are the key words reflective of the paper?
Author: What are the author’s credentials, do they instil credibility and trustworthiness?
Abstract: Is the abstract present, and does it conform to an acceptable convention?
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Hypothesis, research question, aimsHypothesis: Is the hypothesis or null hypothesis stated?
Research question: Is the question clear or are there clear aims and objectives?
Robustness and rigourLiterature review: Is the literature used peer-reviewed, current and does it support the topic of the paper? Sample: Is the sample appropriate, and does the size allow generalisation?
Ethics: Does the study have ethical approval and if not, is this adequately justified?
MethodologyDesign: Is the research design clearly stated?
Data collection: Is the data collection process clear including recruitment and consent?
Reliability and validity: Is the reliability and validity of the data collection adequately described? Have any tools been piloted or pretested?
Data analysis and resultsData analysis: Did the researcher follow the steps of data analysis and is how the data was managed clear?
Results: Are the results accurate and presented in the correct format?
Discussion, recommendations and conclusionDiscussion: Is there a logical flow and is the data placed in context of the study and literature reviewed? Has the rejection or acceptance of the hypothesis been discussed and developed? Does the study consider the strengths and limitations of its findings? Is the clinical significance or application to practice identified? Are their future recommendations for practice?