Critique of a Research Article

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Concise description of the paper

Having analyzed the article in question, it shall be stressed out that the article is of immense significance for the both theoreticians and practitioners of nursing. The reviewed article is titled “the Comparison of Two Recovery Room Warming Methods for Hypothermia Patients Who Had Undergone Spinal Surgery”.  The article is composed in full accordance with the existing medical in general and nursing practices in particular.  The structure of the article is rather conventional in its nature, beginning with detailed literature review, stratified by the parsed subject matters of the research. Then, conventionally the research methods, discussion section, results and conclusions are outlined and analyzed respectively.

Purpose of the Paper

As far as the objective of this paper is concerned, the authors targeted two most common patients warming methods and concluded on their efficacy and practical usability issues. The hypothermia affected patients have been designated as a research group, and the general aim of the project was to find out the time required to reach a specific temperature using two most popular warming methods – cotton based blankets and radiant warmers. The research method involved the monitoring and analysis of the 130 patients diagnosed with hypothermia. The design of the method was primarily quasi experimental. The data collection procedure was exercised in the referral center, northern Taiwan. The overall goal of the project was to identify the most effective method to reach an internal body temperature, since optimal body temperature is one of the most basic fundamentals of effective treatment procedures.

Credibility of the Authors

This article is considered a result of co-joint efforts of Hsiu-Ling Yang, , Hsiu-Fang Lee, Tsung-Lane Chu, Yu-Yun Su, Lun-Hui Ho, , & Jun-Yu Fan. The research team contains a number of professionals, including PHD-degreed research professors. The references utilized in the article are all credible and from well-reputed sources. The assumptions and the inferences made in the article do seem to be valid and academically sound, since they are corroborated by the practice.


The research was focused on several important issues that are to be regarded separately. The first aspect to be considered by the research team is the thermoregulatory mechanisms biologically developed by human beings in order to retain the temperature that is physically required to support the life-cycling processes of a typical human being.  The complications generated by the performed surgeries or other medical interventions of similar character are also mentioned in this section.  However, a particular accent is laid on the hypothermia complications and the way they determine the temperature regime of the analyzed human being.  The most popular warming devices used nowadays by the medical communities are radiant heaters and cotton blankets, the tools ubiquitously used by the medical staff in the different hospitals across the globe.

Hereby, following the assumptions outlined above, the analyst is expected to conclude that the variables of this cross-sectional, quasi experimental study are the cotton blankets and radiant warmers applied to increase artificially the temperature level of the patients. In general, the research team analyzed thermoregulatory conditions of 130 patients undergoing post-spinal surgery treatment. The division of the targeted groups was made on the equal basis, 65 being treated traditionally with radiant warmers and 65 with cotton blankets. The temperature was the determinant of the study and its vacillations was used to conclude on the efficacy of the particular warming method. It shall be considered as an invariable figure of the study in question.

Strengths of the Research

The research is of particular academic soundness due to multiple reasons, with the most important one being the overall character of the study, detailed analysis of the relevant research limitations and most importantly  the temperature fixing and patients perception on thermal vacillations reaction.

First and foremost, the unanimous opinion of the contemporary medical communities is that there is definitely a crying need to find out the most effective warming method for the patients who experience grave repercussions of the post-spinal surgery, since the stabilization of the temperature regime is considered to be among the most essential conditions for a proper recuperation of the patient at issue. The medical scholars have expressed numerous convergent opinions that proper temperature regime which is fully consistent with the normal temperature of an average human being (36 Celsius) is among the most the most positive conducive factors that condition the overall recuperation of the human being.  Therefore, this very study is of particular importance due to the fact that it is practically relevant for the entire practical medical community. The task of proper temperature preservation and stabilization thereof is pertinent not after post-spinal surgeries exclusively but it is equally relevant in the post-traumatic treatments of other physical or mental disorders of the inward patients of the medical facilities.

Secondly, the strong point of the paper is the detailed outline of the limitations thereof.  In other words, the drafters of the paper have made a close accent on the criterion formulation of the discussed patients group. Moreover, the increased number of the used criterions is globally considered positive in terms of academic soundness and relevance.  Five criterions have been devised by the analysts in order to select the examined group, therefore it is reasonable to assume in this context that the patients are in no way affected by other factors than the ones taken into consideration by the drafters of the article.

Thirdly, the evaluation method involved the use of highly technologically sophisticated equipment which allowed measuring the temperature of the patients with particular certainty and accuracy. Moreover, the use of the applied toolkits enabled the researchers to measure the temperature of the patients on the regular basis (every ten minutes) in order to identify the amplitude of the internal and external bodily vacillations of the discussed patients group.  Considering the application of the technologically relevant tools, it can be reasonably assumed that the results obtained as a result of the study are valid, legitimate and academically sound.

Weaknesses of the Research

However perfect the research method may seem to be, having made a practical evaluation of the article in question, the one shall invariably reach the inferential conclusion that the targeted analyzed group represented only a small number of patients selected on the basis of particular criterions. Secondly, the research didn’t take into consideration collateral factors that may determine the side effects of the study as well and hereby the distortion of the ultimate results in highly possible in this context. Lastly, the article didn’t consider other heating methods that are becoming universally popular nowadays, and which can appear to be more effective than the two analyzed ones. Hereby, the results of the conducted research study are relevant and applicable for the health care units where more technologically updated heating facilities and tools are not available.

First and foremost, the patients used to test the efficacy and efficiency of the blankets and the heating techniques have been selected on the basis of definite and clearly formulated criterion. These criterions were both of thermal and physical character. Moreover, the age particularities and time after the surgery was performed have been taken into consideration by the research team as well. The patients tested for the analyzed internal and external body temperature stabilization have been subjected to general anesthesia, while the type of the anesthesia utilized was not taken into consideration, whereas abundant techniques thereof do exist and they vary greatly in their nature and scope.  Hereby, the application of these warming methods after other tranquilization methods, local anesthesia for instance is challenged and contested by the medical communities.

Secondly, the collateral effects of the treatment that may directly or indirectly affect the stabilization of the internal and external body regimes were not taken into account by the analytical team that completed the study on the basis of the conducted research. For instance, the internal body blood pressure and infectious contaminations of the patients have not been taken into account. More importantly, the diagnosed presence of other diseases, physical and mental deviations were not considered by the research team. Hereby, the collateral effects are omitted and specific individual increase or decrease of temperatures of the patients can be attributed not to the general regularities of the analyzed trend (the efficacy of the warmer or efficacy of the blanket), but due to the individual peculiarities of the observed patient. The most important factor that is to be considered in this regarded is the presence of a particular disease of a patient that was not analyzed before the test procedure was initiated. Although, it does seem to be highly improbable practically, it is still highly possible that the internal bodily temperature of a particular patient can be increased due to the presence of parasites in his intestines, but not to the use of the discussed technological tools.

Thirdly, the tranquilization methods used by the research team in question are limited to the use of general anesthesia. The majority of surgical procedures is nowadays perpetrated with the use of other means of tranquilization, which completely excludes the use of anesthesia as a method to stabilize the condition of the patient before and after the surgery is perpetrated ( Cooper, 2006).

Practical Evidence and Application

Having analyzed the state of contemporary medical practice, it can be reasonably concluded that nowadays the medical community is extensively employing the toolkits elaborated by the analytical team in question. Having proven that the blanket based heating techniques are considerably less effective than the heaters-based ones, the medical practitioners are nowadays demonstrating the recurrence to the use of artificial warming technologies. Nowadays, the vast majority of the United States clinical healthcare departments have installed similar warming technologies to rewarm their patients and to carry out  the treatment procedures accordingly. 71% of the European clinical healthcare units have established their rewarming practices in accordance with the findings of the article in question.


The findings of the reviewed article clearly suggest several important conclusions of inferential nature. First and foremost, the findings of the article are indeed practically substantiated, academically sound and relevant for the needs of the modern medical practice. The research methods and research criterions have been formulated in full consistence with the existing standards of the contemporary medical practice. Hereby, the practical medical relevance and importance for the needs of the medical community is indeed undisputed as the use of proper rewarming method significantly facilitates the general recuperation and treatment procedures of the patients (Wierich, 2008).

However, the study contains a number of limitations as well. Most importantly, it does not take into consideration other popular patients rewarming techniques and the small number of the targeted patients conditions the limited character of the study.  The practice in its turn indicates the use of the heaters in question has assumed global recognition and therefore the assumptions of the study have been fully substantiated.


Hsiu-Ling Yang, Hsiu-Fang Lee, , Tsung-Lane Chu, Yu-Yun Su, Lun-Hui Ho, & Jun-Yu Fan,(2012)  The Comparison of Two Recovery Room Warming Methods for Hypothermia Patients Who Had Undergone Spinal Surgery, Journal of Nursing Scholarship; 44:1, 2–10.

Weirich, T. L. (2008). Hypothermia/warming protocols: Why are they not widely used in the OR? AORN Journal, 87(2), 333–344.

Cooper, S. (2006). The effect of preoperative warming on patients’ postoperative temperatures. AORN Journal, 83(5), 1073–1084.