Leah is a 21 year old health science’s student at an Australian university. She has travelled from her home country (United States [US]) to study a semester in Australia. While living with three
other international students she has reported gaining weight particularly around her abdomen, from not eating healthy meals, and not exercising regularly. Leah is enjoying living away from home,
socializing and going out to parties and experimenting with different mixed alcoholic drinks and Australian take-away foods. At home in the US she enjoyed going to the gym regularly, at least four
times a week. However, whilst in Australia Leah has decided not to participate in a gym, but rather spend her money elsewhere on social activities, such as going out and partying. In her spare time
Leah has casual employment to supplement her lifestyle in Australia. She likes travelling and is not homesick. She would like to make changes to her lifestyle which will have a long term positive
impact on her weight and eating patterns. Leah visits the university student health clinic and asks you (as a student undertaking placement there) to provide guidance with respect to her health
concerns. After your initial meeting with Leah you locate two relevant research studies that you would like to critically evaluate for quality.
The following PICO question is used for a systematic search:
In female university students does healthy eating compared to exercise lead to weight loss?
The following questions in Part A and Part B form the basis of your critical evaluation of each research study. Please provide answers to all questions for each study.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses by critically evaluating the two research studies that Leah found during her CINAHL search (Rogerson, Soltani & Copeland., 2016; Share et al., 2015).
a. Make a judgement regarding the authors’ expertise, qualifications and affiliations.
b. Are there grounds for conflict of interest related to the authors of the paper and the
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2. Research Aims
a. What were the research question, aims or hypothesis (if stated)?
b. Explain how the authors justified the need for the study?
a. Examine the research methodology and methods used in the study?
b. Justify why the methodology and methods were appropriate to meet the aims of the
c. Who were the participants in the research study?
a. Discuss how the findings/results/conclusion answers the stated research question,
aim or hypothesis?
1. Discuss how Leah’s personal circumstances may create a barrier for the application of evidence.
2. Discuss how closely the research aligns with the PICO question.