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Abstract

Critical appraisal of articles in the vet profession is vital for the learning of those in the vet profession, in order to identify critical mistakes in articles that are used to fund the wider knowledge of veterinarians. It is also important to know what a positive article looks like and how most articles from reliable authors are helpful, informative, and backed up by evidence, with only a few natural human errors that can usually be ignored.

1.0 Introduction

It is important in the veterinary profession that vet nurses educate themselves to reinforce knowledge of enhancements in animal medicine on a regular basis. Such ways to go about this include the use of critical appraisal of journal articles since it is very important that vet nurses understand the validity of what they are reading, and how their wider reading can affect the practice. In this essay, it will be discussed what a good article looks like and also the negatives of the said article used in the example.

2.0 Discussion

The majority of the article is positive and professional with its approach to the subject material, however, there are a few negatives to be addressed too. The abstract is clear and concise, as shown by its simple formatting and labeling of the objectives, methods, and results. An example of this would be in the conclusion, where they mentioned that apomorphine administered SC or IV reliably induced emesis in dogs (Fischer et al 2021). However, during the abstract, references were included when there should not be, as seen in the final line of the abstract where the reference ‘J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:283-287 was used. References should not be included here as the abstract discusses the report rather than the work reported (McGirr 1978).

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The introduction starts by setting the context of the research carried out. For instance, the introduction mentions that apomorphine is an opioid derivative (Fischer et al 2021) used to induce emesis in dogs. This gives a clear context of what the drug used in the study is and also states its function. This enables the target audience to understand, in further detail, what the main focus of the study is and why that equipment is specifically used. However, the introduction is at fault for being written in the past tense, as seen when the introduction concluded with ‘we also hypothesized that when the introduction of such articles are more formally written in a present or future tense as this is useful for the organization and focus (Dietrichs 2018) of the paper.

In the method, the author included various information, such as the materials and animals used. Despite this, only 42 dogs were used in the study and this may have been an unwise decision due to the small sample size leading to a lack of evidence later on, and larger sample sizes being known as a better representative picture (Boddy 2016) of the whole population. They also mention throughout the method that the data was collected on spreadsheets and that the type of material ingested was determined and categorized into toxicant, fabric, or other (Fischer et al 2021), which is an accurate and professional way to record data.

During the results, there are several tables included, making it easy to understand the data from the reader’s perspective. An example of this is when the author wrote that there were no significant differences (Fischer et al 2021) between dogs that received apomorphine SC or IV with regard to breed (P = 0.19), sex (P = 0.38), or age (P = 0.57; Table 1). However, an improvement to this would be the use of a graph, to demonstrate wider implications of the gathered data. Using other studies to compare results has also made sure that the study was reliable and repeatable, backed up by evidence from other similar sources. Although, the author noted that a study used, in reference to their own, failed to provide data (Fischer et al 2021) about the time to emesis. This could be a downside to the article as using missing data is not widely helpful to the study as it can threaten the validity of the trials (Kang 2013) and lead to invalid conclusions.

3.0 Conclusion

This article describes a clear method, results, and conclusion based on the study conducted by the authors. Its faults are mostly based on human error and not because the article is inaccurate and unhelpful. It would benefit veterinary nurses to view this article to inform them of information surrounding this topic.

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