The Literature Review and Searching for Evidence

The Literature Review and Searching for Evidence (graded)



This week’s graded topics relate to the following Course Outcomes (COs).

 Discussion Questions

You must access the following article to answer the questions:

Boyle, D. K., & Thompson, S.A. (2020). CMSRNs’ continuing competence methods and perceived value of certification: A descriptive study.  MEDSURG Nursing, 29(4), 229-254. to an external site.

1. Locate the literature review section. Summarize using your own words from one of the study/literature findings. Be sure to identify which study you are summarizing.

2. Discuss how the author’s review of the literature (studies) supported the research purpose/problem. Share something interesting to you as you read through the literature review section.

3. Describe one strategy you learned to help you create a strong literature review/search for evidence. Share your thoughts on the importance of a thorough review of the literature.

The Literature Review and Searching for Evidence

A literature review comprehensively analyzes existing research on a particular topic. It provides an overview of significant findings, theories, methodologies, trends, and gaps in the research. In the context of healthcare, literature reviews often focus on evidence-based practice, aiming to identify the most effective treatment approaches based on the best available evidence.

Here are the key steps involved in conducting a literature review and searching for evidence:

  1. Define Your Research Question: Your research question should be clear, focused, and relevant to your field. It guides your literature review by specifying what you seek to understand or investigate.
  2. Develop a Search Strategy: Determine which databases or resources you’ll use to find relevant studies or articles. These might include databases like PubMed, CINAHL, or PsycINFO. You’ll also need to identify keywords related to your research question.
  3. Conduct the Search: Use your keywords to search the databases. Remember, searching is an iterative process; you may need to refine your search terms and strategy based on what you find.
  4. Screen the Results: Review the titles and abstracts of the studies you found to identify those that are relevant to your research question. Discard studies that are not relevant.
  5. Assess the Quality of the Evidence: Not all studies are equally reliable. Use appropriate criteria to evaluate the quality of the research. This might involve considering the study design (e.g., randomized controlled trial, observational study), the sample size, the control of confounding factors, and the relevance and applicability of the findings.
  6. Extract and Analyze the Data: Extract the necessary information from the selected studies and analyze it. This might involve comparing results, noting patterns or trends, and identifying gaps in the existing research.
  7. Write the Literature Review: Organize your findings and write the literature review. This typically involves summarizing the current state of research, highlighting key findings, identifying inconsistencies or gaps, and suggesting areas for future research.

Throughout the process, keeping careful records of your search strategy, the articles you’ve found, and the information you’ve extracted from them is important. This ensures that your literature review is transparent and reproducible, key elements of good research practice.

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