Osteoporosis: Critical Appraisal Framework

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Register to read the introduction… Hek, G., Moule, P. (2006).

Purpose of the study

Is the knowledge sought readily available?

Research into osteoporosis is readily available from many sources including peer reviewed journals, the Cochrane database and books, but there is little available that only addresses the psychological experience of people receiving a positive diagnosis of osteoporosis. Research is available that addresses the psychological experience of people receiving a positive diagnosis of other long term conditions e.g. diabetes.

Is there an important reason for the research to be undertaken?

Psychological harm (increased levels of anxiety) have been reported in patients who have received a positive diagnosis of diabetes or other long term condition. The authors assert that the advantages of being screened for osteoporosis should outweigh any potential psychological harm caused by receiving a positive diagnosis. If the authors found that a positive diagnosis cause psychological harm (increase anxiety levels, reduced quality of life) then this could have implications for the development of future health policy in relation to population screening
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Data based on small homogeneous sample from a single centre in UK. Data may not be generalizable to heterogeneous/wider population.

Were limitations of the findings of the study identified, as well as limitations of the study design and techniques?

Yes. Size of study and limitations of IPA methodology mentioned in relation to generalizability of findings to wider population (non – homogenous sample e.g. heterogeneous – dissimilar characteristics).

General points including ethical issues

• Ethical issues should be considered at all stages of the study. • There should be clear evidence that privacy, dignity, anonymity and confidentiality were maintained throughout the study. • The researcher should have identified ethical issues related to the study. • The researcher should acknowledge sources of support and funding. • When critically appraising research, readers should acknowledge their own limitations and gain assistance when necessary.


Weston et al (2011) used a interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA),

which is an “inductive approach that does not test a hypothesis and prior

assumptions about individuals experiences are avoided, “ according to

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