IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 5040: Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Studies of Muslim Females` Perceptions of Physical Activity Barriers and Facilitators (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Muslim women’s perceptions of cultural, religious, and secular determinants of physical activity have been studied for many years, with information typically acquired through focus groups or interviews. Multiple reviews synthesizing the research have been published, however, individual studies have not been scrutinized for their quality/rigor. Therefore, I critically appraised the quality of the body of qualitative research studies that utilized focus groups to identify Muslim women’s perceptions of physical activity barriers and facilitators. I utilized 26 items from the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) to assess the quality of 56 papers published between 1987 and 2016. Using crosstabulations, I also examined associations between paper quality (low vs. high) and binary categorical variables for impact factor, maximum paper length allowed, publication year, and database the paper was indexed. Overall, papers averaged only 10.5 of 26 COREQ reporting criteria and only two out of 26 items were reported in more than 75% of the papers. Paper quality was not associated with impact factor and length. High quality papers were more likely published more recently (i.e., 2011 or later) and in journals indexed in the PubMed database compared to low quality papers. There is contention among qualitative researchers about standardizing reporting criteria, and while the trend in quality appears to be improving, journal reviewers and editors ought to hold authors to greater accountability in reporting.