The purpose of this guidance is to assist you in undertaking a narrative literature review of published evidence on an aspect of general nursing, mental health nursing, or midwifery practice. A narrative review “critiques and summarizes a body of literature and draws conclusions about the topic in question” (Cronin et al. 2008:38). You will develop conclusions by analyzing and synthesizing the literature. The writing and critiquing skills you have gained over the past three years of your program will help you undertake this
piece of work. You may choose to review a topic on any aspect of nursing/midwifery that interests you. It is important that you can identify the relevance and the contribution of this narrative literature review to support your current and future practice.
The purpose of undertaking a narrative literature review
The purpose is to:
- Develop skills in searching, reading, critiquing, interpreting, and synthesizing the literature on a particular aspect/ topic relevant to nursing/midwifery.
- Identify what is known (or remains unknown) about a topic.
- Generate useful insights to inform nursing/midwifery practice and future research.
Undertaking a narrative literature review involves a process of:
- Identify a topic of interest and develop a clear objective for your literature review.
- Searching electronic databases using a systematic approach and appropriate search methodology.
- Specifying eligibility criteria for including studies in your review.
- Applying techniques of critique / critical appraisal to examine the strengths and limitations of the research.
- Synthesizing the research to uncover some insights, (possibly new ones), to underpin practice.
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