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Qualitative Critique

March 26, 2016

Qualitative Critique

Descriptive Vividness

The authors explicitly stated the purpose of the study as outlined in the statement of purpose. The purpose of the research was to describe and explain first-time mothers’ lived experiences when breastfeeding their newborns, and to explore the perceived usefulness of the information provided by the healthcare professionals (Adewale, 2006).

With regard to the congruency of the transcripts with the themes under study, it is apparent that the excerpts obtained from transcripts were congruent with the themes under discussion. For instance, the participants consisted of five first-time breastfeeding women who has uncomplicated deliveries and had stayed in the hospital for at least a day after childbirth. This indicates a high degree of congruency between the transcripts and the themes under study, which relates to breastfeeding. In addition, the women’s descriptions of their lived experiences associated with breastfeeding were matching the stated research purpose. All of the participants expressed a number of difficulties with breastfeeding and reported that prenatal classes were not helpful in preventing the difficulties such as poor latching of the baby, which results in painful and sore nipples (Adewale, 2006). An example of an excerpt from the transcript that is congruent with the theme under study is “one woman expressed that prenatal classes did not prepare her for the initial breastfeeding challenges such as nipple pain. Other women commented that inverted nipples were never discussed at the prenatal classes and wished that it had been discussed by nurses at the prenatal classes…” The fundamental argument is that there was a match between the transcripts and the research questions and objectives. The transcripts provided a channel through which the researcher could address the underlying research questions and meet the objectives. In addition, the researcher attempted to relate the results to the existing literature, particularly with regard to the importance of breastfeeding. Overall, it can be argued that the interview guide questions were congruent with the identified themes, which is clearly outlined in the Table1 titled correlation of the interview guide questions to the identified themes.

Methodological Congruence

With regard to the documentation of participants, it is evident that the author provided a sufficient documentation of the participants. For instance, the author states that “the sample consists of five first time breastfeeding women who had uncomplicated deliveries and had stayed in the hospital for more than one day…” In addition, it is evident that the researcher provided an inclusion and exclusion criteria for the participants. For instance, the breastfeeding women who participated in the research ranged from 20-45 years, and had stayed in Canada for a minimum of three years. The only limitation with the selection of the participants is that the sample selection process was non-probabilistic, which imposes significant limitations with regard to the generalizability of the findings (Burns & Grove, 2007).

With regard to the attention to procedural approach, it is evident that the researcher failed to identify a philosophical base of the study. However, it is evident that there was sufficient trust between the researcher and the participants. The researcher also documented the data collection methods and procedures (Adewale, 2006). For instance, all participants in the study were asked the same basic questions and the interview was guided by a semi structured approach. The researcher also used an interview guide using open ended questions, with each interview lasting for one hour, which is adequate. It can be concluded that the study had minimal methodological flaws.

With regard to the adherence of ethical standards, the researcher took into consideration the principle of voluntary participation and confidentiality. For instance, participation in the study was voluntary, and the researcher reminded the participants that the meeting in their respective homes was confidential. In addition, the researcher guaranteed no harm to the participants since there were no anticipated risks associated with taking part in the study. Moreover, the researcher informed the participants of the study and their involvement. Confidentiality and anonymity was guaranteed by ensuring that the no names were included in the data collection process (Ritchie & Lewis, 2003).

Regarding auditability, there is a link between the findings presented and the data collected, which implies that the researcher used the collected data to make conclusions. In addition, the study has presented enough participant quotes that can be used to substantiate the findings.

Analytical and Interpretive Preciseness

The analysis of the data collected was done by the extraction and synthesis process that started by sorting the data to determine the themes, after which the researcher identified the themes.

Philosophical/Theoretical Connectedness

According to Laurel (2003), the methodology adopted by any research should be guided research philosophy. In this study, the researcher did not outline any research philosophy when describing the research methods and procedures. Nevertheless, there is a clear connection between the data and nursing practice.

Heuristic Relevance

The phenomenon being described in the study is easily identifiable, which in this case, is the first-time mothers’ lived experiences when breastfeeding their newborns. It is also evident that the findings are consistent with the common experiences.

Adewale (2006) also correlated the findings of the study with the existing body of knowledge by comparing and contrasting the findings of the study with the findings of other studies. In the Relationship of the Results to the Literature section, Adewale (2006) sufficiently examined existing body of knowledge relating to the phenomenon under study.

Regarding the applicability of the findings to nursing practice, research and education, it is evident that the findings of the study are relevant to nursing. In addition, the study made a significant contribution to the existing literature. The study also provided recommendations for further research.


Adewale, O. (2006). The lived experience of first-time breastfeeding mothers. International Journal of Childbirth Education , 21 (3), 21-25.

Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2007). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders.

Laurel, B. (2003). Design research: methods and perspectives. New York: MIT Press.

Neuman, W. (1997). Social Research methods: Qualitative and Quantitative approaches. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Ritchie, J., & Lewis, J. (2003). Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. Sage Publications: London.

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