NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

This assignment is an adapted literature review. It aims to assess your ability to conduct the main components of a comprehensive/ methodical literature review but due to constraints (time and word count) it has been reduced to the components above. Hence, you can gain valuable insight into what is required for the assignment from published literature / systematic reviews and guidelines e.g. in the recommended core text BUT you need to be aware that this is not a full literature review.
NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment

Section 1: Components of the Critical Review
1.Submission Sheet / Title page
2.Abstract and Introduction
3.Search Method / Search Strategy
4.Table of Evidence
5.Critical Appraisal of two papers
6.Reference List

Section 2: Purpose of a Literature Review
The purpose of a literature review is to:
1.Enable the student to develop skills to search, read, interpret and summarize the literature on a particular subject.
2.Enable the student to select a topic; the focus of the topic should be related to a nursing/midwifery issue.
3.Determine what is known and not known about a subject, concept or problem in the area of nursing/midwifery
4.Determine gaps, consistencies and inconsistencies in the literature about a subject, concept or problem.
5.Describe the strengths and weaknesses of designs, methods of inquiry and
instruments used in earlier works.
6.Discover conceptual traditions used to examine problems. 4
7.Generate useful research questions/projects/activities for the discipline.
8.Determine an appropriate research design to answer the research question.
9.Determine the need for replication of a well-designed study or refinement of a study.
10.Promote development of protocols and policies related to nursing practice.
11.Identify a new practice intervention, or provide evidence for changing a practice intervention.
12.Enable the student to develop a research question and/or provide discussion on the relevance of the literature review findings to nursing/midwifery practice in a UK context.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment

Section 3: Writing a Literature Review
Your literature review must focus on a Nursing issue or have a Nursing focus.

Step 1 Identify Area of Interest
• Stop and think.
• Pick an area that is of interest to you.
• Play around with an idea, rephrase it and try to focus your thoughts into a
more specific review question.
• Identify key words that can be used for the literature search.
• The topic should be sufficiently complex to merit rigorous enquiry but narrow enough to yield clear guidelines for practice.

Step 2 Planning a Time Scale
• The time taken should not be underestimated.
• Include commitments not connected with work, other study demands and
domestic responsibilities.
• Plan a proposed timetable.
• The time scale should be realistic and achievable, making allowances for
delays such as, difficulty locating important references.

Step 3 Literature Search

  • Having defined your question and narrowed down the area of interest, head to the library.

• It is of benefit to have narrowed down your area at this stage to minimise the amount of information to sort through.

• Identify the scope of the literature search in terms of the dates of publication and countries of origin.

Types of Literature to Include

  • Research studies are central to a literature review and should be critiqued appropriately. ‘
  • The subject may also appear in the literature as debate or description and the reviewer must make an informed judgement about what to include.
  • A review should reflect and comment upon the type of literature available i.e. anecdotal / empirical.
  • Include literature from other disciplines if appropriate.

How to Use Data Sources

  • Search using a recognised health database such as CINAHL, PubMed . Medline and PsycINFO, Cochrane
  • The Internet is another option when searching for information – use reputable sites, i.e. NICE, NHS Evidence. Google / Google Scholar and other internet search engines may be used as an adjunct but should not be your main source (see lecture on use of the Grey Literature)
  • Books may give comprehensive accounts of a subject and help with background / definitions.
  • Peer reviewed journals should be your main source to provide more recent data.
  • Use libraries such as UEL, Royal College of Nursing, NHS Trust libraries and Hospital Libraries.
  • Keep a record of the search you undertake so you can present this in a PRISMA style flowchart in the final assignment (see lecture).

Pointers for Use

  • Scan-reading the references as the search progresses is useful, once one keeps the original purpose in mind. This can highlight additional or alternative key words.
  • It also broadens the scope of the search and enables seminal work to be identified.
  • Read the abstracts to establish if the article meets your requirements.
  • Identify and earmark relevant articles.
  • After this first search sit down and read these articles.
  • Skim them at first to get a flavour of what they are about.
  • Then read them in-depth, critically.
  • Arrange articles into categories and subcategories.

Step 4 Conclusions from Materials Read

  • Having brought information from various sources together, you need to conclude and summarise what has been read.
  • A consensus between writers may become apparent or disagreement may be obvious.
  • Having brought information from various sources together, you need to conclude and summarise what has been read.
  • A consensus between writers may become apparent or disagreement may be obvious.
  • Try to draw comments and findings together and make statements about what you have found.
  • Identify what further work may be required in order to take things forward and make suggestions as to how your findings can be taken into practice areas.
  • Draw together your findings in a Table of Evidence (see lecture).

Step 5 Preparing Drafts

  • Early drafts of the final presentation allow the student to think further about the data as a means of developing the issues, which arise from the review.
  • Writing a draft as soon as possible is recommended because it helps define ideas and develop arguments and conclusions.
  • Proof reading is essential. Ask someone else to check for spelling and grammatical errors and to establish the clarity of the material. Final responsibility for the work however lies with the student who submits the work.

Section 5: Facilitation Arrangements
Many of the techniques and processes you need to follow will be demonstrated and you will practice as part of the seminar programme.

There is an opportunity to via the first formative assignment (see separate
guidelines) to present your plan and initial search findings. Feedback will be given in week 6.


There is an opportunity to complete a Literature Review Plan as a formative
assignment to support your development of the final assignment. This will be in a structured form as a series of short answer questions detailing your initial literature review chosen topic and initial search information. This will be completed via a Microsoft Form.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment

We will have covered enough ground for you to complete this after week 3 and to submit it by the end of week 5 (before the holiday period).

Guidelines – steps to take

1.Look through the following questions and make notes to start to formulate your answers.
2.Review the lecture material, as required, e.g. how to formulate a research
question, or what Boolean Operators are; and then apply this to your chosen topic to help answer the questions.
3.When you think you can answer all the questions then complete the online form. You can view the form to check the questions and layout BUT you can only submit it once.
4.The link to the form is on Moodle/ Teams.

Questions to Answer in the formative

The questions for you to address are:
1.Topic: What is your general topic area?
2.Research Question: Specify the research question your review will address using your chosen mnemonic to structure the research question (as discussed in the lecture e.g. PICO, PEO)

3.Search Terms: What are the search terms you will use to conduct your
database search. Use Boolean Operators (commands) to describe how these
will be combined. E.g. Pressure AND (sore OR ulcer)

4.Which database do you intend to use to complete your literature search?

5.What inclusion and exclusion criteria will you use a) to narrow your initial search, and b) to choose your final papers to include in your review?

6.Correct Reference: Please provide the reference citation for ONE journal
paper you have already found/ read. Please use UEL’s Harvard format as
presented in “Cite Them Right”.

Feedback will be provided to the group in week 6. It is planned that this will be done in two ways:

  • General feedback to the whole group.
  • Small group feedback in groups which will be allocated specifically for this(not your usual seminar groups). The groups will be assigned based on your topic areas and responses, so feedback in the group can be more specific.

Submission of the Literature Review
All literature reviews should be submitted in accordance with UEL regulations and on the appointed date for individual courses. Please refer to the Module Guide for further details. Any queries about the process of facilitation should be addressed to your module leader and not your literature review facilitator.

Section 6: Presentation of the Critical Review
Total Word Count: 2000 words +/- 10% as per standard UEL regulations and
guidance. Marks will be deducted from each section as appropriate if the number of words submitted falls outside this requirement.

1.Abstract and Introduction
a) Abstract – 150 – 200 words
• Summarise the content of your review.
• Narrative or structured abstract is acceptable
• You should leave this until the end of the review, as you need to have completed the review before you can summarise it.
• It gives the reader an immediate idea of what the review is about.

b) Introduction

  • Introduce your topic with reference to key literature / research and state if your chosen topic is an area that has been widely researched or not.
  • Explain/ define any conditions, treatments or aspects of care which are key to your review e.g. prevalence of a specific disease in the UK.
  • The literature review is to focus on a nursing issue or have a nursing focus on your chosen topic.
  • State the purpose and rationale for choosing this topic.

2.Search Method / Search Strategy
This section will mainly be presented in table and flowchart form. There are two parts:
a.A table setting out your search strategy e.g. databases used, search terms,
how combined with Boolean operators, inclusion and exclusion terms.
b) A flowchart (e.g. using the PRISMA format) detailing the process of the
search undertaken.

3.Table of Evidence / Research Summary Table
You should present a summary of between 8 and 12 papers which you have
identified through your search (above). The table format should enable you to include details of the research methods and findings. See the lecture guidelines for different table formats.

4.Critical Appraisal
You should choose two papers from your table and critically appraise the studies.This appraisal should include analysis of the findings and also the research quality of the papers selected. Ideally you should compare and contrast the findings and/or methods of the two papers. See the lecture on critical appraisal.

5.Academic Presentation:
A mark will be given based on the academic presentation throughout the
assignment. This will be based on:

  • It is expected that students will use a fluent writing style demonstrating clarity of thought with accurate grammar and spelling.
  • Students are also expected to adhere to the conventions of academic writing including use of the Harvard Referencing Guide; see UEL’s policy on using “Cite Them Right”.
  • The Reference List is not included in the word count).
    -This should be presented according to UEL regulations that is using Harvard referencing format as presented in Cite Them Right. See referencing guidelines in the student study skills tab on Moodle.
    -In summary, references should be presented alphabetically based on Authors names using the following format:
    – Use of the DOI (digital object identifier) can be included (See Cite Them Right).
    -All sources referred to in the assignment text should be included in the reference list – this will include the references for the Table of Evidence and also any other sources referred to e.g. other non-research literature possibly used in the introduction, the reference for the PRISMA flowchart or CASP checklist.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

General Comments
In Literature Reviews It is Appropriate to:

  • Focus on the literature in detail to support the themes.
  • Link different research studies to support your point. The following are two examples of how this may be achieved:
    o “Further evidence to support such claims is provided by Blogg’s (1998) study, which claims that…”
    o “These findings are consistent with research carried out by Bloggs (1998)

Examples of literature reviews will be given to you to read as part of the teaching and facilitation sessions.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment-Trinity College Dublin Ireland.

NS5103 Critical Appraisal Literature Review Assignment

In Literature Reviews it is NOT Appropriate to:

  • State your own opinions on the subject (use evidence to support such claims).
  • State what you think nurses should do (again use research to state evidence based guidelines).
  • Provide long descriptive accounts of your subject with no reference to research studies.
  • Provide numerous definitions, signs/symptoms, treatment and complications of a particular illness without focusing on the nursing implications.
  • Discuss research studies in isolation from each other.

Section 7: Submission Guidelines
The assignment should be submitted via TurnItIn using the Moodle cirtual learning environment (VLE).

Please check Module guide for UEL regulations.

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