Free «Autism Spectrum Conditions in Adults» Essay Sample


Article critique is a way of evaluating a scientific or literary work done by other scholars. It is a review process that improves the quality and reliability of the article (Cutcliffe & Ward, 2007). Article critique mainly evaluates whether the writer used supporting, applicable, and reasonable material to support the claims offered. The current paper focuses on reviewing the article by Brugha et al. (2012). The critique comprises the assessment, analysis, and examination of various aspects included in the work. Sufficient evidence will also be provided to support the presented viewpoints.


The title of the article is “Estimating the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Conditions in Adults: Extending the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.” It is a good title since it incorporates both the research problem and the study population. As highlighted, the study targets adults and seeks to investigate the occurrence of autism conditions. The title concisely reflects the content of the report and stimulates readers’ interest.


Abstract is the first section that readers encounter prior to proceeding to the rest of the paper. Authors should ensure that, by reading an abstract, a reader becomes familiar with the entire paper. It should succinctly recapitulate the main points of the report (Cutcliffe & Ward, 2007). In the current paper under review, the authors provided a clearly written executive summary. Initially, Brugha et al. (2012) outlined the purpose of the study. As highlighted, investigating and estimating the number of persons with autism allow the relevant establishments to enhance their lives. This gives a clear picture to the audience on what the study seeks to investigate. The methodology, including the sample, population, and location of study, were also offered. According to the authors, including various groups of the entire population in the study, such as individuals with learning disability and those in communal care institutions, was paramount. A summary of results, key findings, discussion, and general conclusion were also outlined. Consequently, the executive summary was written in line with what was required for any scientific work (Boswell & Cannon, 2014).


The introduction section sets the background for the study. In scientific research paper, the introduction should offer the foundation of the research, enabling readers to understand the entire concept under study. It includes various concepts such as the problem statement, which explains the need to conduct the investigation, background information as well as objectives of the study. In the current paper, Brugha et al. (2012) provided a succinct introduction that sumed up three concepts: brief information about autism, background, and aims and objectives. In this section, the problem statement of the research was clearly stated, and it is easy for the readers to identify. As affirmed, enhancing the standard of services offered to adults (persons aged 18 years and above), a new state strategy for the disorder as well as guidance measures was published by the government of England in 2010. In view of this, the need to quantify individuals suffering from autism was paramount in achieving such improvements. In addition to being clearly stated, this statement also identified the population being studied. It also outlined various concepts under study, including the concept of unrecognized and recognized autism and quantifying the number of persons with the condition. By doing this, the authors incorporated different aspects at the beginning of the article, which provided a good preamble to facilitate the understanding (Boswell & Cannon, 2014). When readers become familiar with the concepts at the beginning of the paper, it becomes easy for them to comprehend the rest of the report without any difficulties.  In general, the introduction identifies the study problem to the readers.

Literature Review

Giving credit, critically appraising, and citing the works of past scholars is a requirement for any scientific research (Maltby, Williams, McGarry, & Day, 2014). It means that, while doing a scientific or literary study, authors should search for related and relevant past studies and integrate hem to their current works. In addition to increasing reliability, appraising the works of other scholars allows researchers to identify existing gaps in literature (Cutcliffe & Ward, 2007). In the current study, Brugha et al. (2012) focused entirely on a single survey conducted in 2007 to establish the occurrence of autism among adults who lived in private homes in England. However, the authors explained the reasons why they reviewed only a single work. According to them, no other studies regarding the prevalence of the condition had been done in the general population. The review is up-to-date as it was performed in 2007. In addition, Brugha et al. (2012) provided a comprehensive review of the study. For instance, they included the study population, setting, limitations, as well as results. The literature review has acted as a foundation for the current study. In fact, the research by Brugha et al. is an extension of the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.

While writing the literature review, the authors’ main aim was to communicate to the readers the ideas and knowledge already established regarding the topic (Boswell & Cannon, 2014). It is important as it acts as a platform in which authors validate the need to perform their own studies. Brugha et al. (2012) chose the literature which directly related to the research question. Besides, they classified the results into both what was known and unknown. The independent and dependent variables, which included sex, age, residential homes, and learning disabilities, were also highlighted.

Conceptual/Theoretical Framework

The current research lacks a conceptual framework. However, a framework is important in a research work as it helps elucidate concepts besides proposing relationships among them (Maltby et al., 2014). It offers a background for interpreting the findings and explaining observations of the study. It also encourages the development of theory that is constructive.

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Hypothesis/Research Questions

Hypothesis and research questions were not included in the study. Nevertheless, Brugha et al. (2012) stated the aims and objectives of the study in a clear and succinct manner. Through this, readers get a good understanding of what the research seeks to investigate.


The methodology used in any research is essential in determining validity and reliability. Data used for this study was collected from learning disability registers situated in England. They included Lambeth, Leicestershire, and Sheffield. The sites chosen were within the estimated range of 4.3, 4.9, and 5.4/1000 of the whole population. The three sites were appropriate, considering that they had been comprehensively employed in past research. The research design used was suitable for minimizing threats to both internal and external validity. According to the research, maintaining validity of a study is paramount (Boswell & Cannon, 2014).


The populations and sample size used in a scientific study are essential in determining outcomes and making generalizations (Maltby et al., 2014). Brugha et al. (2012) identified and described the population of the study. The general population chosen comprised adults from private households and communal care establishments from three locations in England. A sample size of 500 participants was chosen based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Out of the whole sample, 300 respondents were selected from Leicestershire, while the remaining 200 were from Sheffiled and Lambeth in an equal number. The sample size chosen was not adequate considering that it was obtained from three locations and the same would be used to make generalizations. The authors should have equalized the sample size for the three settings. The sampling method used, which was a random sampling, was described. While this was employed in private households, communal establishments used a two-stage sampling design.

Data Collection and Measurement

The study used questionnaire and different assessment methods to collect data. The assessment methods included ADOS-1, ADOS-4, APMS, and ADI-R. The selection of the method depended on the population. Although no definition or description of these instruments was provided, they were outlined well in a table. It connsisted of the method, target persons, target number, and completed assessments. The instruments were good choices considering that questionnaires are highly regarded for data collection. Besides, the assessment methods were used in other studies, and their validity was evidenced. The obtained data was reliable and valid as more than half of the population returned the questionnaires. The report also provided the evidence to support data quality.


The procedures used in the study were sufficiently described, and they were appropriately implemented. Fieldwork procedures included arranging for interviews and making contacts. A senior research psychologist performed a validation study among primary caregivers. It was necessary considering that the psychologist had been involved in the 2007 study; therefore, he had knowledge of what was required. The rights of the participants were protected as they had been sent an invitation letter to take part in the study. Those who wished to participate contacted or were contacted by the researchers via telephone. By doing this, Brugha et al. observed ethics in research.


The initial step in analyzing data entailed calculating prevalence estimates by combining the results of the current study with the APMS 2007. This was followed by a sensitivity analysis, where credible upper and higher limits for the prevalence were used (Brugha et al., 2012). It was a suitable statistical method employed in regard to the variables being compared. It was also in line with different assessment methods used to collect data.


As evidenced in the study, there are adequate tables and figures used to summarize the findings. For each variable tested, including communal establishments, private households, age, sex, and ethnicity, Brugha et al. (2012) provided a detailed summary, tabulations, and graphs to explain the outcomes. The use of tables and figures is important as it gives the readers a clear picture of the report (Boswell & Cannon, 2014). The findings are also consistent with the objectives of the study. In order to minimize type I and II errors, a confidence level of 0.95 percent was used.


The discussion is short and precise. It focuses on interpreting and discussing the major findings and is consistent with the study results. The discussion part is fundamental in a scientific study as it provides a clear picture of what the researchers have evidenced. It interprets the tabulations, figures, and graphs to enable the reader to have a better understanding (Maltby et al., 2014). Every research is conducted in order to comprehend what is happening in the whole population. It means generalizing the findings. The current study did not address this issue.

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To show the applicability of a study, it is paramount for researchers to discuss its implications. However, Brugha et al. (2012) did not provide any recommendations or implications of their study.

Global Issues

In general, the report was written in a systematic manner that made it readable. The study is easy to understand since it is well-written and uncomplicated. It is also detailed, containing different aspects; thus, it can be critically analyzed. The study is applicable to clinical practice, and, considering that only a few researches have been conducted in this area, it is useful and easily accessible to practicing nurses.

Summary Assessment

The current research was an extension of a similar study conducted in 2007. The findings indicate that the results are consistent. Comparing the two studies and the reliability of data used, it is fair to say that the findings are valid. Estimating the prevalence of autism among adults is important to ensure service provision. Therefore, the study is helpful in the nursing discipline.


From the above analysis, it is clear that the work by Brugha et al. (2012) is well-written. It combined all the aspects of a scientific research, enhancing its validity and reliability. The research topic is interesting and to the point, while the rest of the paper was written in a systematic manner, making it easy to read. The paper is detailed and can be applied in the nursing practice.

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