Assignment: Appraising the Literature

Assignment: Appraising the Literature

Assignment: Appraising the Literature

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Appraisal of literature allows researchers to identify strengths, benefits, and applications of such content and the inherent weak areas. The articles by Oppenheimer (2010) and Elliott et al. (1999) have particular strengths and weaknesses and potential sources of bias. The strengths in Oppenheimer’s article include the quantification and detailed description of chronic pain in the community under investigation based on social demographic status, sex, and age. The strengths of Elliott et al. article include offering a separate database to test a host of non-CVD issues and identifying aspects that statisticians and healthcare providers experience in developing an epidemiological study. The authors also draw the community under review into research support.

Conversely, the two articles also have weaknesses. The weaknesses of Oppenheimer’s article include the inability to provide feedback on areas where participants failed to give. Secondly, the author didn’t use responses from the participants during data analysis (Oppenheimer, 2010). The weakness of the second article is the multiple investments by different authorities in the project, which may demonstrate a conflict of interests.

Potential sources of bias in the articles include the failure to consider all possible variables, which leads to inaccurate interpretation of outcomes. Both articles used an inadequate representation of their respective populations. Researchers can avoid this bias by expanding the samples in their studies to represent the entire population. Convenience bias is evident in the first article due to selecting individuals aged 25 years and above. Researchers need to give equal chances to all potential subjects to be part of their survey. Again, the bias of self-selected cohort is evident in the second article. This leads to an unbiased estimate of the prevalence of aspects in the research (Elliott et al., 1999). Researchers can correct this by using a collective model in data collection so that all participants have an equal chance.

Confounding variables are extra variables that researchers fail to consider when doing trials. These variables can affect results and render them useless, increasing bias and affecting variance. The founding variables in the two articles include the inability to consider feedback from respondents during their data analysis. The studies should have also considered having control variables to mitigate bias.


Elliott, A. M., Smith, B. H., Penny, K. I., Smith, W. C., & Chambers, W. A. (1999). The

epidemiology of chronic pain in the community. The Lancet, 354(9186), 1248-1252. DOI: 10.1016/s0140-6736(99)03057-

Oppenheimer, G. M. (2010). Framingham heart study: the first 20 years. Progress in

            cardiovascular diseases, 53(1), 55-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.pcad.2010.03.003.

Appraising the Literature

For the DNP-prepared nurse, it is important to hone skills related to reviewing and evaluating research literature to implement evidence-based practices. As you examine epidemiological research, in particular, it is essential to ask, “What are the strengths and weakness of the research method(s)? Are the data analysis and interpretation sound? Is there any evidence of bias?” This Discussion provides you and your colleagues valuable practice in critically analyzing research literature.

To prepare:

With this week’s Learning Resources in mind, reflect on the importance of analyzing epidemiological research studies.
Critically appraise the Oppenheimer (2010) and Elliott, Smith, Penny, Smith and Chambers (1999) articles presented in the Learning Resources using Appendix A in Epidemiology for Public Health Practice as a guide.
Determine the strengths and weaknesses of the research methods and data analysis of each study.
Ask yourself, “Is any bias evident in either study? What did the researchers do to control for potential bias?”
Finally, consider the importance of data interpretation in epidemiologic literature and the issues that may arise if potential confounding factors are not considered.
By tomorrow 04/05/2018 3pm, write a minimum of 550 words in APA format with at least 3 scholarly references from the list of required readings below. Include the level one headings as numbered below”

Post a cohesive scholarly response that addresses the following:

1) Appraise the Oppenheimer (2010) and Elliott et al. (1999) articles, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of each study (see attached files for those articles).

2) Analyze potential sources of bias in each study and suggest strategies for minimizing bias.

3) Suggest possible confounding variables that may have influenced the results of each study.

Required Readings

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Chapter 10, “Data Interpretation Issues”

Chapter 15, “Social, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Epidemiology”

Appendix A – Guide to the Critical Appraisal of an Epidemiologic/Public Health Research Article

In Chapter 10, the authors describe issues related to data interpretation and address the main types of research errors that need to be considered when conducting epidemiologic research, as well as when analyzing published results. It also presents techniques for reducing bias. Chapter 15 features psychosocial, behavioral, and social epidemiology. Appendix A includes criteria to consider when reading an empirical journal article.

Elliott, A. M., Smith, B. H., Penny, K., Smith, W. C., & Chambers, W. A. (1999). The epidemiology of chronic pain in the community. The Lancet, 354(9186), 1248–1252.

This article describes an early epidemiologic study on chronic pain. Carefully review this article noting the structure of the research design, assessment and data collection, and analysis strategies. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2. (see attached file)

Oppenheimer, G. M. (2010). Framingham Heart Study: The first 20 years. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 53(1), 55–61.

The Framingham Heart Study is a landmark epidemiologic study that began in the 1940s. The author of this article reviews the history of the Framingham Heart Study and its contribution to population health. As you read this article, consider any sources of bias or potential conflict of interest. You will refer to this article for Discussion 2. (See attached file).

Phillips, C. V., & Goodman, K. J. (2004). The missed lessons of Sir Austin Bradford Hill. Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations, 1(3). Retrieved from

Assignment: Appraising the Literature

In 1965, Austin Bradford Hill worked on a paper that has become a standard in public health and epidemiologic study about how to make decisions based on epidemiologic evidence. Hill put forth strategies for inferring causation and stressed the need for considering costs and benefits when planning health-promoting interventions. Review this article, which examines how Hill’s strategies are often misused or misinterpreted.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC health disparities and inequalities report—United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Supplement, (60), 1–114. Retrieved from [Read pages 11–32]

This report consolidates national data on disparities in mortality, morbidity, behavioral risk factors, health care access, preventive health services, and social determinants of critical health problems in the United States by using selected indicators. The required section of reading introduces the social determinants of health and environmental hazards.

World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from

According to the World Health Organization, “The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities—the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.” This article presents an introduction to social determinants of health.

World Health Organization. (2011). Social determinants of health: Key concepts. Retrieved from

This article outlines key concepts related to the social determinants of health.

Healthy People 2020. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from

This website presents an overview of the social determinants of health and addresses how the information relates to Healthy People 2020.

UCL Institute of Health Equity. (2012). ‘Fair society healthy lives’ (The Marmot Review). Retrieved from

Re: Topic 3 DQ 2

Institutional Review Board (IRB) was formed under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review and monitor translational research using human beings as subjects. IRB plays several roles not limited to approving or disapproving research proposals (Nurunnabi, 2014). For instance, for a study to be approved by IRB, some of the ethical requirements must be met, including informed consent, scientific validity, fair subject selection, respect for subjects, and many others. If the research lacks or fails to meet IRB requirements, the study can be disapproved or required to modify the design. Further, IRB has been assigned to offer training on how investigators can protect human subjects against harm during the research (Nurunnabi, 2014). Also, before investigators submit research proposals for funding, IRB must review the research proposals to determine whether ethical principles have been followed or not. Among the ethical research considerations specific to population health include fidelity, non-maleficence, and beneficence (DeCamp et al., 2018). Fidelity entails an individual’s respect, trust, and autonomy that the investigator should consider before starting the research. Non-maleficence means do no harm to human subjects, and beneficence implies that the study should act in the patients’ best interests (DeCamp et al., 2018).

Indeed, investigators should ensure respect for the persons, potential benefits, and burden of the research, and justice is kept balance during translation research. For example, selected individuals should be treated as autonomous subjects and are entitled to absolute protection from harm. Investigators should ensure the research is in the patients’ best interests; that is, the findings will improve population health. Again, the cost associated with research should be reasonable and affordable. After the research, participants should be distributed with benefits of research fairly and equitably. Once an investigator puts all these factors into consideration, the research has been kept balance from an ethical point of view.


Dong, Y. (2017). Translational Research: Ethical Considerations. Sound Decisions: An

Undergraduate Bioethics Journal3(1), 2.

Hostiuc, S., Moldoveanu, A., Dascălu, M. I., Unnthorsson, R., Jóhannesson, Ó. I., & Marcus, I.

(2016). Translational research—the need for a new bioethics approach. Journal of Translational Medicine14(1), 1-10.


Optional Resources

Genaidy, A. M., Lemasters, G. K., Lockey, J., Succop, P., Deddens, J., Sobeih, & Dunning, K. (2007). An epidemiological appraisal instrumental – a tool for evaluation of epidemiological studies. Ergonomics, 50(6), 920–960.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from


Assignment: Appraising the Literature

Assignment: Appraising the Literature

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.