Quantitative Article Critique

Article Critique

Craig, J. (2014). Nursing Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Pain Management . Nursing Theses and Capstone Projects.


The study by Craig (2014) adopts a quantitative design to survey the knowledge and attitudes of the nurses with regard to the assessment and treatment of pain. Quantitative study aims at gathering fact on human behavior to use as a means of verifying or elaborating a theory thereby making it possible to state the causes and prediction of human behavior.  The goal of the quantitative research is to establish relationship between variables, offer statistical description and establish facts (Nieswiadomy, 2012). For this research the aim was to establish the relationship that existed between knowledge and attitudes and pain management.

Type of quantitative research

The research study adopted a correlational study where two or more variable with quantitative measures are adopted and the study seeks to establish whether there is any existing relationship between the variables. This type of research aims at identifying the trends and patterns of data but does not engage in determining the causes of the observed patterns (Nieswiadomy, 2012).  The variables are not manipulated but are only identified and studied in their natural setting. 


The research was conducted at an academic trauma Medical center. This was the natural setting where the nurses carry out their day to day activity. The medical Center where the study was carried out had a capacity of 850 beds on general medical and surgical zone as well as 61 beds under the ICU and trauma/burn. The trauma and burn section is said to receive over 3000 patients annually with 500 of these patients being in need of ICU admission. The natural setting under investigation in this study was relevant as the nurse were exposed to many patients in need of pain management. The Medical Center was performed over 14000 inpatients and 19000 outpatient surgeries (Craig, 2014). 

Steps in carrying out the study

The permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Medical Center Institutional Review Board. The nurses were informed of the study and were required to give their consent to be engaged in the study. Participation was voluntary and the survey maintained anonymity of the respondents. The article identifies the steps followed during the process of conducting the research. The article identifies how selection process of the subjects where they were selected based on the type of nursing unit where they operated following a convenience sampling plan. A sample of 384 postsurgical nurses was selected for the survey of which only 102 nurses responded. The sample size was determined using statistical software that used a standards deviation of .5, margin of error being 0.5 while the confidence level was 95%. The study was carried out within a time frame of 14 days (Craig, 2014).

 The process required nurses to complete the survey during their break to avoid disruption of patient care and other duties. The data collection instruments were sent through the work email to the nurse.  The data collection instrument used during the study was the Nurse’s knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain (NKASRP) tool. The data analysis was conducted using descriptive analyses such as means and standard deviations of continuous variables and frequencies. Other tests that were conducted to analyze the data include Pearson’s correlation, Kruskal-Walliss, test, and one-sample t-tests. These tests sought to find out the relationships among demographic variables. The categorical data from the knowledge and attitudes survey were calculated using frequency tables, correlations, percentages. The numerical data related summarized by the means of means, frequency tables, and correlations. Data was analyzed using the Statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. The p-value adopted was p<0.05 was defined as statistically significant (Craig, 2014).

Structure of Research Article

The research article is divided into chapters with five chapters in total. The first chapter covers the introduction. This includes problem statement, significance, purpose, conceptual framework, research questions and definition of terms. Chapter two of research article has research based evidence which includes literature review, theoretical literature review, strengths and weaknesses. It further identifies the research gap that the research aims to fill. It also identifies limitations expected in the study. Chapter three of the article entails the design of the study, setting under which the research was conducted, sample, methods used during the study, protection of human subjects, data collection instruments, data collection , and data analysis. Chapter four of the research article presents the demographics and the primary analyses for the data. Chapter five involves the discussion of the findings that discusses implications of the findings, how the theoretical and conceptual framework, limitations, recommendations, and conclusion.

Logical flow of the research paper 

  The paper commences by identifying the problem at hand that is related to the presence of clinical barriers creating knowledge deficits in pain assessment and management principles. The study gets its foundation from this as it tries to find out more insights on the nurses knowledge and attitudes on management of pain among postsurgical patients. To address this problem statement, the study has a connected research question which seeks to find out the nurse’s knowledge and attitude regarding pain. From the problem statement, the study then conducts a comprehensive review of relevant literature related to management of pain among the nurses. The literature gathered is analyzed to identify the strengths, weakness and limitations. From this analysis, the knowledge gap is identified for which the research seeks to fill. 

The nature of the research question which aims to establish the knowledge and attitudes that nurses possess with regard to postoperative surgical pain informs on the type of design adopted for the study. The selection of quantitative design for the research has a major influence on the research methods adopted, data collection process, data analysis and presentation of the findings.  

The discussion section elaborates on the findings and relates it to other literature on the same subject. The article also identifies the significance of the findings by indicating the overall strengths and limitations of the study. The article identifies the clinical significance and relevance of the study. These findings can be applied in practice to help create better informed nurses in terms of pain management. The study makes meaningful suggestions on intensive and comprehensive initiatives that can be structured in to help attain the specific needs of the nurse at all levels of nursing.


Craig, J. (2014). Nursing Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Pain Management . Nursing Theses and Capstone Projects.

Nieswiadomy, R. M. (2012). Foundations of Nursing Research (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson. 978-0-13-211857-6

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