What is the purpose of a literature review in nursing research

Identification or development of new or refinedclinical interventions to test through empiricalresearch. Development of hypothesis to be tested in a researchstudy. Helps in planning the methodology of the presentresearch study. It also helps in development of research instruments. Count…Place each in the context of its contribution to theunderstanding of subject under review. Describe the relationship of each study to otherresearch studies under consideration. Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictoryprevious studies. Identify areas of prior scholarship to preventduplication of effort.

Point a way forward for further research. Count…Develop general explanation for observed variationsin a behavior or phenomenon. Identify data sources that other researchers haveused. Develop alternative research projects.

Discover how a research project is related to thework of others. Literature can be reviewed from twosources Primary sources2. Secondary sourceswww. Feelingsafe the psychosocial needs of ICU patients.

Finding Reviews

Journal ofNursing Scholarship, American Journal of criticalcare, Electronic Sources:Computer-assisted literature search hasrevolutionized the review of literature. These searches, however, for a variety ofreasons may not provide the desiredreferences. Count…General literature search can be conductedthrough search engines like Yahoo www. A free search may be carriedwww. It may be searched atwww. Writing the Introduction…While writing the introduction, following steps shouldbe taken care of:Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area ofconcern, thus, providing appropriate context forreviewing the literature.

Writing the Body…Following measures need to be undertaken while writingthe body of the literature. Example…Sexual harassment has many consequences. Example of a badreviewExample of a better reviewwww.

Hilton C. Buley Library

Literature reviews are not the place for long quotes or in-depthanalysis of each point. Integrative review: What is it? How to do it?. Einstein , 8 1 , Forward, L. A practical guide to conducting a systematic review.

Nursing Times , 98 2 , Whittemore, R. The integrative review: updated methodology.

Evidence Based Nursing

Journal of Advanced Nursing , 52 5 , We have already covered different types of literature reviews and the tools that can help you write one, as well as how to achieve the right mental attitude and […]. In integrative review, these six phases are followed: Preparing the guiding question this determines which studies will be included. Searching or sampling the literature searching different databases and, ideally, including either all relevant studies or a representative sample of studies dealing with the subject.

Data collection extracting data from the selected articles. Critical analysis of the studies that are included in the review articles are assessed for their rigor and characteristics. Discussion of results data from different articles are compared, identifying knowledge gaps and direction for future research. Presentation of the integrative review data are presented clearly for the reader, using tables, graphs, charts. December 28, at am. The overriding tendency is to undertake a comprehensive review, critical appraisal and analysis, following the formula prescribed by Cochrane, even if this is not required by the literature review method stated in the paper.

Other researchers [ 52 ] have questioned whether the dominance of the Cochrane review should be questioned. We argue that emergence of different methods for doing a literature review in a systematic way has indeed challenged the perceived dominance of the Cochrane approach that characterised the dichotomy era, where the only alternative was a less rigourous and often poorly described process of dealing with literature.

It is positive that there is widespread acknowledgement of the validity of other approaches. But we argue that the expansion era, whereby robust processes were put forward as alternatives that filled the gap left by polarisation, has gone too far. The magnitude in the number of different approaches identified in this review has led to a confused field. The terms used for doing a literature review are often used both interchangeably and inconsistently, with minimal description of the methods undertaken.

It is not surprising therefore that some journal editors do not index these consistently within the journal. For example, in one edition of one journal included in the review, there are two published integrative reviews. In another edition of a journal, two systematic reviews with meta-analysis are published. One is listed as a research article and the other as a review and discussion paper.

It seems to us then, that editors and publishers might sometimes also be confused and bewildered themselves. Whilst guidance does exist for the publication of some types of systematic reviews in academic journals; for example the PRISMA statement [ 8 ] and Entreq guidelines [ 51 ], which are specific to particular qualitative synthesis, guidelines do not exist for each approach.

As a result, for those doing an alternative approach to their literature review, for example an integrative review [ 15 ], there is only general publication guidance to assist. In the current reviewing environment, there are so many terms, that more specific guidance would be impractical anyway. However, greater clarity about the methods used and halting the introduction of different terms to mean the same thing will be helpful.

This study provides a snapshot of the way in which literature reviews have been described within a short publication timeframe. We were limited for practical reasons to a small section of high impact journals.


  • A Brief Overview of Three Types of Literature Review.
  • Writing the Lit Review - Evidence Based Nursing - LibGuides at University of West Florida Libraries.
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Including a wider range of journals would have enhanced the transferability of the findings. However as we were interested in the range of reviews that fall outside the scope of a meta-analysis, we did not consider that this limited the scope of the paper. Our review is further limited by the lack of detail of the methods undertaken provided in many of the papers reviewed which, although providing evidence for our arguments, also meant that we had to assume meaning that was unclear from the text provided. The development of rigorous methods for doing a literature review is to be welcomed; not all review questions can be answered by Cochrane style reviews and robust methods are needed to answer review questions of all types.

Therefore whilst we welcome the expansion in methods for doing a literature review, the proliferation in the number of named approaches should be, in our view, a cause for reflection. The increase in methods could be indicative of an emerging variation in possible approaches; alternatively, the increase could be due to a lack of conceptual clarity where, on closer inspection, the methods do not differ greatly and could indeed be merged. Further scrutiny of the methods described within many papers support the latter situation but we would welcome further discussion about this.

Meanwhile, we urge researchers to make careful consideration of the method they adopt for doing a literature review, to justify this approach carefully and to adhere closely to its method. Having witnessed an era of dichotomy, expansion and proliferation of methods for doing a literature review, we now seek a new era of consolidation. Bettany-Saltikov J.


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How to do a systematic literature review in nursing: a step-by-step guide. Maidenhead: Open University Press; Doing a literature review in nursing, Health and social care. London: Sage; Aveyard H. Doing a literature review in health and social care. Davis D. A practical overview of how to conduct a systematic review. Nurs Stand. Higgins and Green. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions version 5. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. York: University of York; Aromataris E, Munn Z, editors.

Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols. Br Med J. Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; Greenhalgh T. How to read a paper. Systematic appproaches to a successful literature review Sage London; Meta-ethnography, synthesising qualitative studies, qualitative research methods, volume Walsh D, Downe S. Meta-synthesis method for qualitative research: a literature review. J Adv Nurs. Thomas J, Harden A. Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. Whittemore R, Knafl K.

Chapter 1: Introduction – Literature Reviews for Education and Nursing Graduate Students

The integrative review: updated methodology. Methodology for Joanna Briggs institute scoping review. Joanna Briggs institute reviewers manual: Australia; Redefining rapid reviews: a flexible framework for restricted systematic reviews. Advancing the science of literature reviewing: the focused mapping review and synthesis as a novel approach.