Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Mental Health Nursing Diploma
September 2009 Cohort
Describe the key issues surrounding reliability, validity and trustworthiness as applied to Evidence Based Practice
The findings from good, current, reliable, valid or trustworthy research are the basis for maintaining high standards of care and all nurses must practice based on the most up to date evidence (NMC 2008). It is now an important part of nursing to actively participate in research and evidence based practice in order to continually improve the standard of the health care system. This process ensures that nurses are kept up to date with relevant information needed to provide the most effective care for patients.
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be sure that your questionnaire asks relevant questions). To improve on this there is content validity. This involves a review from a group of experts, where they ask whether ‘the items or questions on a scale are comprehensive and appropriately reflect the concept that they are suppose to measure’ (Macnee 2004). The third method is criterion validity which uses an already known external criterion (i.e. a doctor or highly regarded member of the health profession) to consult on the relationship of the measuring instrument. There are two forms of this, concurrent validity which focuses on the strength of correlation between two instruments and predictive validity, which examines how predictable future out comes may be (Dempsey 2000). Finally there is construct validity which focuses on the ability of an instrument to measure a specific hypothetical trait (e.g. depression). When discussing research design two common types of validity are frequently mentioned. The first type is internal validity which is relevant to the previous as it examines the accuracy of the findings within the study itself. External validity describes the extent to which the study’s results can be applied to a broader population. This refers to how accurately the knowledge can be applied to other groups. (Macnee 2004)
Reliability and validity is essential in the quality checks of both quantitative and qualitative studies. When conducting a qualitative study, open ended questions and