The study was approved by an Institutional Review Board as it is a requirement of the journal where it was published. Notably, the article is peer reviewed. Though it is not explicitly stated that the informed consent was obtained from subjects, participants were volunteers and competed questionnaires where ethical issues were mentioned. There is no explicit information on anonymity or confidentiality. Vulnerable subjects (children under 12) took part in the study but their parents helped them to complete questionnaires.
In fact, it is possible to note that most part of the participants can be regarded as vulnerable as they are diagnosed with such mental disorder as autism. It does not appear that subjects might have been forced to participate in the research. Since a new shorter assessment measures have been developed, benefits outweigh risks associated with the study.
Thus, healthcare professionals will be able to get the necessary information quicker and people completing questions will be more attentive and diligent as they will provide more comprehensive data. Since the subjects were volunteers and completed certain questionnaires, it is likely that they had the opportunity to contact the researchers. Nonetheless, there is no such information in the article in question. It is unlikely that each participant was told about the way they could get the results of the research. However, this information is not given explicitly in the article.
The research area is clear as the introduction part of the article contains some information on the need of a proper assessment of autism. It is clear that existing assessment tools are effective but time-consuming and this is associated with frustration of patients and their close ones. The research question is not highlighted but there is a purpose statement as Allison, Auyeung and Baron-Cohen (2012, p. 202) note that the study is aimed at identifying “10 items on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ)” and “the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Q-CHAT)”.
The article contains sufficient information on the population and variables including age and DSM-IV criteria. It is possible to note that the study was totally quantitative as quantitative research methods (the number of people and a short list of question were central to the research, not their evaluations or opinions) were used and these methods were described in detail in the methods section of the article. Clearly, empirical data were gathered on the topic of interest as people with certain disorder completed questionnaires on the symptoms they or their children experience and the most informative criteria were extracted.
It seems that the study was ethical as participants were volunteers who eagerly participated in the study. Importantly, the study’s feasibility is apparent as a large number of participants completed the questionnaires and a shorter set of criteria could be developed on the basis of this research. The present study is very important for nursing as effective and quick assessment of the symptoms can help healthcare professionals including nurses to develop proper treatment.
The article does not have a separate section for the literature review but there is a comprehensive review in the introduction and discussion sections. The literature review is concise as major issues concerning symptoms assessment are highlighted as well as researchers’ ideas on the matter. Thus, it is possible to state that the review flows logically from the purpose of the study which is aimed at defining major criteria for an efficient assessment. It is clear that the existing assessment used by psychologists is not very effective as it requires significant amount of time.