Critique of a quantitative article

Alasagheirin, M. H., Clark, K., Ramey, S. L. & Grueskin, E. F. (2011). Body mass index misclassification of obesity among community police officers. AAOHN Journal, 59(11), 469 – 475, doi:10.3928/08910162-20111017-01 Alasagheirin, Clark, Ramey and Grueskin (2011) set out to access the validity of using Body Mass Index (BMI) as a tool to measure obesity in police force. This paper makes a critique of Alasagheirin et al. (2011) article.

Problem Statement

The study presents an important problem for nursing. Obesity is associated with a heightened risk of chronic health conditions such as type II diabetes and a high economic burden. Validation of approaches used to assess obesity help to delineate those that are effective thus ensure that the approaches implemented can identify obesity cases accurately to enable early interventions that avoid the adverse outcomes of chronic obesity. The identification of such approaches and implementation of validated approaches is a concern for nursing professionals, especially occupational nurses involved in assessment of obesity in various settings.

Study Purpose

The authors expressly identify the study’s purpose. The study aims to achieve three objectives:  (a) determine how prevalent obesity is in three community police departments based on body fat percentage (BF %), (b) compare obesity identification by BMI and BF % and, (c) determine the relationship between BMI misclassification of obesity and C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of the risk of developing CVD and metabolic syndrome. This purpose is important to nursing since it helps highlight the potential limitations of using BMI as a means to assess obesity in particular settings.

Research Questions

The researchers do not expressly state the research questions but such can be implied from the purposes identified. The research questions in the study are: (a) what is the prevalence of obesity in the studied population? (b) Does BMI correctly identify obesity as compared to BF % in the studied population? (c) Is there an association between BMI misclassification of obesity and CRP? The main research question in this respect is that evaluating whether using BMI is a correct approach to measure obesity in the population under study (question b). Although the study does not indicate the hypotheses expressly, such can also be identified from the study’s purpose. The null hypotheses for the study would be that there is no difference between obesity cases identified via BMI and those identified via BF % and that there exist no association between BMI misclassification of obesity and CRP. Thus, the researchers set out to disprove these null hypotheses. Go to part 2 here.

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