A practical approach to evidence-based dentistry: VIII
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BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW: Because of qualitative researchers' abilities to explore social problems and to understand the perspective of patients, qualitative research studies are useful to provide insight about patients' fears, worries, goals, and expectations related to dental care. To benefit fully from such studies, clinicians should be aware of some relevant principles of critical appraisal. In this article, the authors present one approach to critically appraise the evidence from a qualitative research study. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Critical appraisal involves assessing whether the results are credible (the selection of participants, research ethics, data collection, data analysis), what are these results, and how they can be applied in clinical practice. The authors also examined how the results could be applied to patient care in terms of offering theory, understanding the context of clinical practice, and helping clinicians understand social interactions in clinical care. By applying these principles, clinicians can consider qualitative studies when trying to achieve the best possible results for their own practices.
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