Journal article critique - Reducing the risk of surgical site infection

Journal article critique

Article reviewed: Critical review of “Reducing the risk of surgical site infection: a case-controlled study of contamination of theatre clothing” by Indu Sivanandan, Karen E Bowker, Gordon C Bannister, and Jasmeet Soar


The research paper starts with an opening sentence that briefly explains the title before continuing with an exploration of the topic. However, it takes long before a reader is made aware of what the researcher is attempting to do and what prompted the research. There is good use of materials from the recent past that seem to support the research goal although a few are more than five years old. For example, Plowman et al. (2001) are more than 8 years old. At the introductory stage, there is a need to see recent papers to assess if there is a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed. There was a need for a statement of the problem and gap rather than fusing an introductory paragraph, the background of the research, and the significance of the research. The credentials of the author were where given at the end of the paper where. They were all specialists in their fields of study with qualifications in Ph.D., and MDs among others, thus making the research more plausible.

There is an express statement of what the aim of the research is although there is no indication of what the following objectives are. They were littered around the essay in graphical form and given as tasks such as “identify and reflect on the methods that help you update your knowledge and practice on the new research studies and guidelines related to reducing the risk of surgical site infection. The objective had actions word but was located between the discussion and conclusion. This was confusing to readers as this was supposed to flow from the introduction throughout to the conclusion on how each of the objectives was solved. The aim indicates what the researcher intended to find out in one sentence which makes it easier for the audience to follow. What was conspicuously missing although there were few statements that mentioned that indicated in the introductory stage that there is a need to observe NICE guidelines on Surgical site infections to reduce morbidity. At this stage, there was a need to observe what is done in the practice and as followed by the latest publications and relate to how this research would be generalized in the medical field.

A literature review on the subject was missing before doing the methodology part. A literature review acts to provide a critical analysis of the topic and lays the ground for methods to be used where variations or duplications are made. The paper did not include this section. It was necessary to assess how surgical site infections are handled in various places and best practices in the industry.


This was a primary research where persons were involved in data collection and this meant that there could be serious ethical considerations to be made. The part is major as it connects the introductory and results page. Like other chapters, this one was not broken into different sections to enable all readers to understand how various issues were handled such as research type, research philosophy, instruments, and strategy among others.

The context of the research was mentioned by participants and also explained. Convenience sampling was mentioned but the rationale for the choice of the 20 respondents was missing. Being an experiment, 20 were seen adequate for collection though this seemed less for adequate data collection to be done. The nature of the research didn’t permit the use of many respondents as only a few could be involved in an area where surgical procedures are done. Doing so meant only those that possessed specific characteristics could be used, as was recommended by  (Jones, 2012). The was a need to understand why convenience sampling was thought to be better than random, cluster, or stratified design. The researcher assumed the audience was aware of these designs and the appropriateness of convenience design is obvious. The research design, from the title, was a case study but this was also missing in mention and description in this journal. Research design is necessary to communicate the intention of the researcher, purpose, and rationale (Kumar, 2013).

The research used an experimentation strategy but this was not also mentioned. All steps were all well outlined in prose. The selection of participants who were professionals in the medical field was appropriate to ensure data was collected as desired from the field. References in this section and related theories were not mentioned. References are among the ethical concerns relating to this research and the only one mentioned in this research was the use of gaining permission of concerned institutions to conduct research. Ethical issues common in primary research such as privacy, anonymity, confidentiality, and use of participants not vulnerable in any way were not mentioned.


These were presented in a table for ease of reading and interpretation of the results. This was necessary to lead the audience on how they were transferred from an experiment, and which ones were needed for the specified tasks.


The paper discussed the results but with missing literature review, there was no literature to compare findings with except for NICE which was mentioned in the introduction paragraph. Indeed, only one reference was a few were mentioned in this discussion, meaning the authors were probably authorities on the subject.

Study limitations were noted in the report. Two were mentioned and this was good in highlighting the effect on the quality of research attained. There was a need to mention alternative causes of action and the effect they could have in on the research (Teichert, 2013). The use of the first person was also noted in this section, which is informal in most professional papers.


The report ended with a conclusion but the use of “should” meant that this was supposed to be a recommendation linked to the objectives or tasks of the research. The concluding remarks were well-linked to the title of the research paper. Further research was suggested, which is expected to show gaps in findings and what needs to be done to improve results.


These were given and although some journals were more than five years, they helped in building the background for this research. The format and style used were acceptable, indicating the source of materials used.




Jones, A. M., 2012. The Elgar Companion to Health Economics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Kumar, R., 2013. Research Methodology. New Delhi: APH Publishing.

Teichert, N., 2013. Innovation in General Purpose Technologies: How Knowledge Gains when It Is. Karlsruhe: Scientific Pulblishing.




$ 10 .00