Critical Analysis of an Article

Critical Analysis of an Article



Critical Analysis of an Article

Hee Lee, K., Wu, B., & Plassman B. L., (2013). Cognitive Function and Oral Health–Related Quality of Life in Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Vol. (61) 9.

Title Evaluation

            The title of the article is “Cognitive Function and Oral Health–Related Quality of Life in Older Adults”. This is an appropriate title for an article discussing the mental capabilities and oral health of older people within the society. Most of the words used in the title are basic to the professionals in the field. Appropriate titles should contain an overview of the whole document. However, the article uses the term “quality of life” in a way that demands increased clarification. The concept of quality of life is very broad and the meaning of the paper may be lost on individuals that focus on this element. Nonetheless, in general, the title was befitting, appropriate, succinct and informative as far as the content of the rest of the paper are concerned.

Abstract Evaluation

            In the article, an abstract was used to brief the reader about the major parts of the paper. Abstracts are designed to capture all the different sections and present it in a way that is easy to understand. In this case, the authors opted to use simple points to outline the objectives, design, participants and conclusions. Also included were the key words used in the paper. The conclusion of the paper, as captured in the abstract, revealed that participants having an ordinary cognitive function had a better reading for Oral HRQoL. The measurement section revealed the different instruments used in the paper such as Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). Other aspects included were the criteria used for the participants. In other words, it offered the simplest of overviews and failed to cover the detailed aspects of the paper.

Introduction and Literature Review

            In the introductory paragraphs of the paper, the author embarked on the explanation of the significance of oral health. Consequently, they tied the topic of oral health and adequate cognitive function to that of quality of life. One of the strengths of this section is the progressive flow of information from basic and fundamental to complex. In this way, there was a deliberate arrangement of thoughts to usher the audience from simple health and hygiene to the significance that they held on the quality of life for elderly people. The authors also included the conventional claim that their chosen topic contained little literature. This statement was useful in reinforcing the need for the study. The introduction was equally appropriate as it reiterated the purpose of the study. In terms of the literature review, it suffices to add that the paper contained a limited amount of previous studies that could be used to strengthen the justification. Using approximately three external papers was insufficient. The absence of an independent literature review section in this paper is disadvantageous but expected considering the scientific nature of its main topic. In general, this section was very thorough, scientifically accurate and devoid of speculation.

Sample Evaluation

            The paper merged the study participants along with the data source as part of the methodology. However, this had little effect on the quality of this section. The paper used participants that were at least 70 years or age, living exclusively in West Virginia and having at least four natural teeth. The study ended up with 22 participants. This is an insufficient number to use as a sample since it is not representative of the greater population of elderly people. However, all measures were taken to ensure that the participants passed the psychological and mental evaluations. For a paper of this magnitude, it is expected that the sample cohort and number should be bigger. The physical examination of the participants was guided by previous clinical experience as well as the Fourth National Health and Nutrition Examination

Survey that contained guidelines for such a study.

Evaluating Instrumentation

            The study applied the GOHAI as the main instrument for data collection. Choosing this specific tool was advantageous to the study as it is popular for generating highly accurate and reliable results from previous studies. The instrument contained basic questions answered in terms of the degree of a particular aspect. The alternatives include fairly often, occasionally, hardly ever, and never. This form of data collection was a questionnaire having simple options. The choice of a qualitative instrument was appropriate especially considering the age of the participants that would have created a cognitive bias. The paper used cognitive function as the independent variable. This variable had three categories based on the presence and extent of dementia among the participants. Extra caution was awarded towards this bias by applying a Dementia Severity Rating Scale (DSRS) threshold. Covariates in the study instrumentation included sex, age, education and dental insurance. The level of thoroughness awarded to separating the independent and dependent variables was vital in coming up with accurate results. In addition, sources from which the supplementary information concerning the data collection items were obtained were properly included. There was sufficient information concerning the reliability and authenticity of the collected data. As long as the questionnaire was correctly formulated, it appeared one of the most effective instruments for this nature of research.

Evaluating Methods

            The authors posited the presence of a correlation between cognitive processes and oral health quality of life (HRQoL) in older adults living within the community. The null hypothesis read that there was no relationship between the two variables. The study methodology, environment and participants were elaborated with a high accuracy the intention being to eliminate any aspects of redundancy in the research. Information from twenty-two older participants were gathered, but as initially noted, the study’s validity and reliability was founded on the GOHAI questionnaire. Cognitive function was labeled as the independent variable, whereas the dependent variable was the deterioration of oral HRQoL. The study used the one-way analysis of variance to establish the level of depreciation in quality of life and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were used to calculate the dependent variables. Additionally, the paper contained covariate models to compensate for other common risk factors that held the potential of influencing the outcome: age, sex, age, education, dental insurance, family history and nutritional state. SPPS software was selected to carry out the data analysis.

Evaluating Results

            The results section was organized in a logical manner starting with a general summary and progressing into complicated details. The results section of the paper was categorized into simple tables and this served to increases the organization of the whole paper. In general, the study discovered that participants with a worrying case of mild dementia also had worse dental conditions. The results were also categorized into different sub topics making it easier to understand such as the factors linked to Oral HRQoL and Oral HRQoL according to cognitive function. The results reinforced the claim that there was a relationship between cognitive processes and oral health quality of life (HRQoL) in older adults. A unique aspect of the results section is the addition of discrepancies in the study. The results noted that study participants having an ordinary cognitive function showed higher scores on GOHAI examinations compared to participants suffering from CIND and mild dementia.

Evaluating Discussion

            The discussion section of the research is deigned to cover the findings of the study in a manner that can be easily understood. In this particular paper, the discussion section was very detailed and contained several tables that assisted in describing the relationship between en the two variables. The discussion section adequately covered the way in which the paper focused mainly on the primary data collected through the questionnaire. It also brought out the potential flaws in the paper such as the insufficient number of participants with mild dementia and CIND.

It is sufficient to add that most of the aspects captured in the discussion section could have probably been posted in the methods section. However, this is a technical oversight that does not affect the outcomes of the study whatsoever. Comparison with other similar studies on older people living within the community was a useful inclusion. In the included tables, the study brought out the main difference between the outcomes and those in other studies. Much of the difference lay in the number of items within the instrument used for data collection. The authors noted a common trend in their study: patients with lower cognitive function exhibited poor oral health conditions. The conclusive sections of the discussion focused on the limitations that included the cross-sectional design. Additionally, the authors proposed that, when used appropriately, oral HRQoL is an effective indicator particularly for physicians and dentists as they practice medicine.

Putting it all together

            In teems of seeking out the relationship that exists between cognitive processes and oral health quality of life (HRQoL) in older adults living within the community, the authors made the best choice for their study. For a long time, many people have wrongly assumed that there is no solid relationship between these two variables. In fact, many illusions exist concerning the effect of deteriorating cognitive functions on the state of oral health among older people. The two authors definitely increased the existing amount of knowledge on this issue.

            The authors were also careful in maintaining the accuracy of the methodology used in their study. This is an equally important element that increases the validity of the paper within the scientific environment. The aftermath of the findings of this paper is endless. For one, it has set the foundation for public health stakeholders that have struggled with identifying and mitigating problems affecting the elderly population enrolled in their welfare programs. The common citizen also stands to benefit from this type of revelation. Confirming causalitybetween the previously mentioned variablesmight set off significant publichealth changes designed to sensitizeabout the disadvantages of keeping elderly citizens under home care instead of nursing homes where their medical needs can be addressed early. In general, the paper exhibited both strong qualities as well as weak ones. However, it managed to pass the threshold of a useful paper in as far as investigating the relationship between cognitive function and oral health-related quality of life is concerned.

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