Journal Critique Article – Health

For a health outcome or disease that interests you and will be of use to you after you graduate from JMU or graduate school, identify 4 epidemiologic studies to use in a critical appraisal of your thesis statement.

All articles should be original (human) research, not reviews or meta-analyses, published in the last 6 years.

Use PubMed or CINAHL to identify and locate your articles. (Also, do not use articles that I have used in class or that were used in group presentations.) You should include one cross-sectional study, one case-control study, one cohort study, and one randomized controlled trial.

Complete the matrix for each article in your own words with significant detail.

Then, in a paper (approximately 6 pages, double-spaced, 11 point font, 1 inch margins), compare and contrast the studies in terms of their designs, populations, and the findings in your own words: INTERPRET / SYNTHESIZE/

APPLY. Present and critically examine evidence to justify the main idea of the paper. Do not use direct quotations from the articles in the matrices or in your paper. Do not paraphrase (or “mosaic”) individual sentences. Complete the assignment in your own words.

Include a reference page following APA guidelines. Use in text citations as appropriate. Papers without references, major/numerous errors, or not written in your own words will be returned with a grade of 0. The matrices should also be in your own words. Your submission will go through “Turn it in.”


This is a paper, not an annotated bibliography of 4 different studies. Topics to be cover in your analysis include, but are not limited to:

1. Introduce the topic:
a. What is the incidence or prevalence of the health outcome (from additional source).
b. Provide a main idea for the paper. (X is/is not a risk factor/determinant/cause for Y among Z people. Why are these 4 studies chosen/appropriate?)
2. Introduction of articles (concise, but thorough): (Consider the organization of this material for the reader. Often each study is briefly introduced in its own paragraph).
a. The purposes of the studies
b. The populations of the studies
c. The study designs and methods of the studies
3. What are the findings of the studies?
a. Discuss/explain/evaluate the similarities and differences in findings
b. Consider attributable risk (as appropriate)
4. The strengths and limitations of the study designs as applied to these studies: (Do not provide only generic strengths and limitations.) [Causation/causal criteria & Bias]
a. How do the study designs affect the validity of the results?
b. What do the findings mean given these strengths and limitations?
c. Critically examine causality (Chapter 14) and bias/confounding (Chapter 15) as it applies to your central thesis.
d. Synthesize the findings across the studies to support / defend your thesis statement.
5. How do the studies relate to the objectives of epidemiology?
a. How could you use this information in your career?
6. Reference page in APA format
7. Insert the 4 completed matrices after your reference page. (It must be one document to upload to “Turn it in”.) Also, you may choose to create a diagram and results table for each of the articles.

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