What is the role of nutrition in tissue availability?

• Outline of chapter: Briefly explain what is included in this chapter.
• Background/rationale to literature review: Background information on the topic – definitions of important terms could be included here. Why this area? Why now? Why are you personally interested in this area / how does it relate to your practice? Whom will it benefit and how (e.g. your profession, yourself)? It should give a justification and rationale for the chosen topic.
• Research question(s): State which question(s) this literature review will help to answer.
• Aim(s) of the literature review: What will you achieve at the end?
• Objectives of the literature review: What actions will you take to achieve at the aim – this can be a bulleted list.

Chapter 2: METHOD

• Outline of chapter: Briefly explain what is included in this chapter.
• Literature Search: Explain how you approached the search: searching, locating and recording information including key words used, search filters and databases used. We recommend you present this information in the form of a flow chart.
• Inclusion and Exclusion criteria: Explain selection criteria for articles showing scope and focus of the review and state inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria used. This should be in the form of a bulleted list.
• Outcome of the literature search: Give an overview of how many papers were found and how many are left in the literature review after the inclusion and exclusion criteria have been applied.
• Critical appraisal tool: State the critical appraisal tool(s) you are going to use and why this/these are appropriate.

Chapter 3: FINDINGS

• Outline of chapter: Briefly explain what is included in this chapter.
• Article summary table: Provide a table with the following headings: full article reference, country, design of study/method, measures/questionnaires used (if any), sampling/sample size, key findings, recommendation for practice (if any), notes on how it answers the research question(s). Landscape format for this table is recommended.
• Critical appraisal of articles: You can structure this section by grouping your articles according to research design (e.g. randomized controlled trials all come under one sub-heading) and then apply an appropriate appraisal tool.
• You will consider what methods were used to study the area and how rigorously they were applied. For example, look for bias (was the person doing the research known to the participants) or conflict of interest (was the research carried out on behalf of a drugs company). To do this you will need to use the information obtained from applying the critical appraisal tool to your chosen research papers.
• Synthesis of findings/shared themes: This section requires an in-depth examination of the findings from your articles. You should compare and contrast the findings from the studies and comment on the body of the literature on the topic. You need to draw out overarching findings from your papers and present these under common thematic headings.

Chapter 4: DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE

• Outline of chapter: Briefly explain what is included in this chapter.
• Discussion: In this section you should discuss what the findings mean in the wider context. You can draw on the wider body of literature about your topic area. This is the place to draw on all the relevant articles and other literature reviews that you found which make important points but which do not directly relate to your chosen research question.
• Implications for future practice, education, management and research
Building on your discussion, you want to describe how the findings from the review could be used to change or improve your area of practice. You can acknowledge the difficulty in translating research into practice change – how might this be done in relation to your work? What are the barriers? Can you be specific about how your findings might influence the quality of care or professional development of health practitioners? This might include an education package for nurses, an assessment tool for practice or a set of policy guidelines. You will also need to comment on whether further research should be undertaken and if so how should it be designed?

Chapter 5: CONCLUSIONS

Briefly summarize the main points of the literature review including reference to your research question, the common themes from the literature you reviewed, key points of your discussion and the implications for future practice. Do not introduce new information or ideas in your conclusion provide only a summary of what has gone before.

General points:

• Make sure you carefully use the correct Harvard referencing system and find out how to reference web resources.

• Your reference list will contain many more references than your selected research papers used in the literature review. You will need to reference all areas of this dissertation including the background, method and discussion sections.

• This is a very academic piece of work and such requires a competent academic style. Do seek help if this is suggested by your supervisor.

• This piece of work does not require any formal reflection. You may refer to reflection in stating why you have an interest in this topic area.

Structure and presentation

Neatly presented, within prescribed length and correct use of a recognized referencing system; e.g. Harvard 5%
Evidence of wide reading and a competent academic literary style 5%
Content

An introduction to the research topic is included. Definitions of important terms included. The
research question is developed; aims of the review and rationale are clear. 10%
Search strategy is explained, databases are appropriate and comprehensive, inclusion and
exclusion criteria are systematically applied. Critical appraisal tool discussed and rationale
for use included (refer to handbook for recommended tools). 20%
Review demonstrates critical analysis of the study designs and findings, using an appropriate
appraisal tool. Well supported conclusions (themes) are drawn about the literature included in
the review. 35%
Review discusses implications of the findings in relation to other literature.
Recommendations for future practice, education, management and research are discussed. 25%

Exuceeding the word limit will incur the following sanctions:

0-10% over word limit – no sanction
11-20% – minus 5 marks
21-40% – minus 10 marks
41-60% – minus 20 marks
Over 60% – to be resubmitted

What types of research should be included in the literature review?
Any type of original research. You can include both qualitative and/or quantitative research articles. The only thing that should be excluded are literature review/systematic literature review articles including meta analysis.

You can use other literature reviews for discussion.

Can I use literature review articles in my dissertation?
Yes you can, but only in chapters such as Introduction and/or Discussion.

You cannot use literature review articles as one of your core articles (articles that you are going to critically appraise).

What should the Discussion chapter contain?
Discussion chapter in your dissertations should at least contain the following :

1. Amplification of the study results (Findings chapter).

2. Importance of the study results.

3. Relationship of the results to earlier research and theories formulated previously by other researchers.

4. Shortcommings of the study.

5. Implications for research.

6. Implications for practice.

(Other interesting information to be found in: Research evidence-based practice in healthcare, written by Robert Newell and Philip Burnard)

Did you know that about the word count?
You have 6000 words to spend on your dissertation; +/- 10% which we don’t like to see but don’t penalize.

Other questions related to word count:

1. What is included in the 6000 words?

Chapter 1. Introduction, Chapter 2. Methods, Chapter 3. Findings, Chapter 4. Discussion, Chapter 5. Conclusions.

2. What is not included in the 6000 words?

Abstract, Reference list, Appendices.

3. Is there any prescribed length (word count) for each chapter?


 

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