“Critical Appraisal is the systematic process used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a research article in order to assess the usefulness and validity of research findings.” I am going to attempt to critically appraise the following article, Seers et al (2008) “A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a single session of nurse administered massage for short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain”. The aim of this research is to assess the effectiveness of nurse administered massage on the short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain. The research findings conclude that massage is effective in the short term relief of moderate to severe pain. The research paper is useful in that it answers the question proposed however there is no reasoning as to why the massage works as it is stated in the paper that the reasons are not known. This perhaps brings into question the validity of the research findings as they are based on the opinions and pain interpretation of the patients, qualitative research rather than quantitive research, scientific facts. Moreover there is no reasoning as to why the massage effect is short term, and the effect of pain relief after several sessions of nurse administered massage. In addition the patients use of analgesic meant that the effect of massage could no longer considered in the study. This meant that there was a large dropout rate of patients that requested analgesic, and the sample is considerably smaller in both the study and control group affecting the validity of the results. This gives at least an indication that because patients who dropped out did so because they requested an analgesic, those in the massage group who stayed in the study did so because they had less pain. To conclude my critical appraisal on this research paper although the research findings answer the question asked the reasoning behind is not identified thus questioning the research papers validity. References
References: Jane M Young and Michael J Solomon. (2009). How to critically appraise an article. Available: http://www.nature.com/nrgastro/journal/v6/n2/full/ncpgasthep1331.html. Last accessed 3rd April 2013.
Kate Seers1*, Nicola Crichton2, June Martin3, Katrina Coulson4 and Dawn Carroll5. (2008). A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a single session of nurse administered massage for short term relief of chronic non-malignant pain. Available: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6955/7/10. Last accessed 3rd April 2013
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