schou l., høstrup h., lyngsø e.e., larsen s. & poulsen i. (2012) Validation of a new assessment tool for qualitative research articles. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(9), 2086–2094.
Aim. This paper presents the development and validation of a new assessment tool for qualitative research articles, which could assess trustworthiness of qualitative research articles as defined by Guba and at the same time aid clinicians in their assessment.
Background. There are more than 100 sets of proposals for quality criteria for qualitative research. However, we are not aware of an assessment tool that is validated and applicable, not only for researchers but also for clinicians with different levels of training and experience in reading research articles.
Method. In three phases from 2007 to 2009 we delevoped and tested such an assessment tool called VAKS, which is the Danish acronym for Appraisal of Qualitative Studies. Phase 1 was to develop the tool based on a literature review and on consultation with qualitative researchers. Phase 2 was an inter-rater reliability test in which 40 health professionals participated. Phase 3 was an inter-rater reliability test among the five authors by means of five qualitative articles.
Results. The new assessment tool was based on Guba’s four criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of qualitative inquiries. The nurses found the assessment tool simple to use and helpful in assessing the quality of the articles. The inter-rater agreement was acceptable, but disagreement was seen for some items.
Conclusion. We have developed an assessment tool for appraisal of qualitative research studies. Nurses with a range of formal education and experience in reading research articles are able to appraise, relatively consistently, articles based on different qualitative research designs. We hope that VAKS will be used and further developed.