Sample Nursing Coursework Paper on The Practice of Nursing Research: Appraisal, Synthesis, and Generation of Evidence

Research Critique Paper

            The research was based on the effects of providing nurses with educational interventions to control their beliefs and attitudes towards patients with heart failure who suffer from depression. The article’s author is Patricia Lea, and the Hindawi publication corporation published the study. The date of publication is 3 September 2014. The article appeared in the Hindawi journal on 5 November 2014 after being revised and published. The study aimed to investigate the effects that educational interventions have on nursing behavior and attitude towards patients.

            The research design was descriptive research. The study was based on a quantitative approach and was conducted on a single group of nurses. The pre-test, post-tests, and interventions carried out on one group were effective because it was time effective. Involving more groups was unnecessary and would have demanded a lot of time, which was not tenable. The failure to use a control group might have affected the results of the study as it was hard for the researcher to differentiate the main changes between the nurses who took part in the research and those who did not receive any education (Lea, 2014; Grove, Burns, & Gray, 2012). However, the method was effective because the researcher could identify the changes taking place among her participants during the study duration.

            The data analysis method in the research entailed the use of an excel spreadsheet for coding and use of Social Sciences program (SPSS) version 20.0 for analysis. Data obtained was used to define the population and assess the tendencies among study variable. The data obtained aimed to answer the research hypothesis and show influence of nurses’ perception on the need to assess for depression among patients.

            Some of the strengths of the research included the absence of past studies linking nurses’ beliefs to their intent to assess patients for depressive symptoms. The study also supported the hypothesis on a positive correlation between the nurses’ beliefs and their intention to assess patients for depression. The sample of the research consisted of 206 nurses from a medical-surgical unit who were selected randomly. The selection method was effective because it eliminated bias. One of the limitations of the study was a low response rate, which affected the applicability of the results from the study in other settings. The interpretation of the results demonstrated a significant correlation between the mean that were measured before and after the analysis of the results. The mean increased after educational intervention was implemented. The results showed the effects of nursing education on patient care and the attitude of nurses towards care provision. Additionally, the pre and posttests should have also included control groups to promote reliability (Haws, Ramjeet, & Gray, 2011; Kop, Synowski, & Gottlied, 2011). Bias in the study might have been introduced by the lack of a control group. Although the research can be replicated, there is a need for future researchers to consider the inclusion of a control group. Other studies assessing behavior change also use pretest and posttest methods to determine the change in behavior among participants in a single group (Ski, Munian, Rolley, & Thompson, 2014). The research revealed the importance of nursing education as an intervention for promoting care provision among patients at risk of developing depression.

            The realistic and feasibility of this method is based on the pretests and posttests conducted on the nurses during the research to determine behavior change practices. This nursing research can be used to educate other nurses about attitude and beliefs change when dealing with heart failure patients. It can also be used to determine nurses’ perceptions of and attitudes towards their patients in other studies. New information provided by the researchers included the intent to conduct patients’ assessment for depression based on the high number of depressive cases seen among patients with chronic illnesses. This research is significant as it offers insights into the mental status of patients with health failure and their increased risk of being depressed. As such, it educates nurses on the importance of assessing patients with heart failure and other chronic diseases for depressive symptoms.


Grove, S. K., Burns, N., & Gray, J. (2012). The Practice of Nursing Research: Appraisal, Synthesis, and Generation of Evidence. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Haws, J., Ramjeet, J., & Gray, R. (2011). A National Survey of GP and Nurse Attitudes and Beliefs towards depression after myocardial infarction. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20(21-22). Retrieved from

Kop, W. J., Synowski, S. J., & Gottlied, S. S. (2011). Depression in Heart Failure: Biobehavioral Mechanisms. Heart Failrue Clinics, 7(1), 23-38. Retrieved from

Lea, P. (2014). The Effect of Educational Internvention on Nurses’ Attitude and Beliefs about Depression in Heart Failure Patients. Hindawi, Article ID 257658. Retrieved from

Ski, C. F., Munian, S., Rolley, J. X., & Thompson, D. R. (2014). Evaluation of nurses’ perceptions of the impact of targeted depression education and a screening and referral tool in an acute cardiac setting. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(1-2). Retrieved from