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Validity and Reliability in Quantitative Studies

To be able to critique quantitative studies is crucial in each evidence-based process. In healthcare, an appropriate appraisal ensures the quality of one’s medical practice and patient treatment. The following factors should be assessed when appraising a study: validity, reliability, and applicability. A critical analysis of all three elements should be performed to identify the suitability of a study. In this paper, these factors and their components will be contemplated; a comparison of the three criteria will be implemented.

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First of all, validity and its inherent categories will be considered. Validity is described as “the extent to which a concept is accurately measured in a quantitative study” (Heale & Twycross, 2015). The study, which is supposed to explore depression but instead measures anxiety, cannot be valid. There are three major categories of validity – content validity, face validity, and criterion validity. The first one refers to the accuracy to which the instrument covers all the content (Heale & Twycross, 2015). The face validity includes the expert opinion on whether the instrument measures the concept intended. Criterion validity refers to another instrument measuring the same variable.

The next measure tools of quantitative study are reliability and applicability. According to Heale and Twycross (2015), reliability refers to the consistency of a measure, which means a person who completes the test should have approximately the same results each time it is completed. Applicability, in turn, refers to the extent to which “the results of an observation, study or review are likely to hold in one’s practice setting” (“Glossary of Terms,” n.d.). With this in mind, one may consider which instrument might be more important in the healthcare realm. While all three should be assessed when conducting or critiquing a study, validity is critical to any research. The extent of the accuracy of research, validity, constitutes a crucial factor in a study. If the subject of research is treated inappropriately or the evidence provided is unreliable or incorrect, then the other factors, reliability, and applicability are automatically considered unnecessary.

The quantitative study appraisal plays a crucial part in any evidence-based process. An ability to critique a quantitative study enhances the quality of one’s medical practice. To evaluate a study, one should assess such factors as validity, reliability, and applicability. These criteria ensure the extent to which a study’s data is credible, relevant, and applicable to a real case. If appropriately assessed, one may apply it to their practice or conduct further research if necessary.


Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative studies. Evidence-Based Nursing, 18(3), 66-67. Web.

Glossary of terms. (n.d.). Evidence Based Emergency Medicine. Web.

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