Book review: Doing a Literature Review in Nursing, Health and Social Care (Second edition)

★ ★ ★ ★

This book provides a concise and informative guide to the process of literature reviewing in nursing, health and social care, and is applicable to students and professionals.

It is well-structured and easy to read, covering topics from 'what is a literature review?' to how to write and disseminate findings. Although there are many texts available to assist with writing a literature review, this one offers the additional elements of useful tips and practical guidance.

The authors set realistic learning targets and activities in each chapter, accompanied by examples. References are relevant and up to date, providing suggestions for further reading. A vital skill for reviewing the literature is the ability to appraise the current evidence. An in-depth section on critiquing research is set out in the appendix, with suggestions for applying existing frameworks.

The authors do not shy away from the fact that undertaking a literature review is no easy task, however their guidance through each step makes the process feel much more manageable. The student comments and perspectives are a refreshing addition, reassuring readers that they are not alone in the challenges encountered.

This book acknowledges the different purposes for a literature review, whether it is for an academic piece, a project in the workplace or a paper for an academic journal. Its applicability to a wide audience is a strength.

Overall, this book is of great value, with lots to offer to students and professionals working in health and social care.

Michael Coughlan & Patricia Cronin | Sage Publishing | 184pp | £19.99 | ISBN: 9781412962049

Reviewed by Claire Lee, paediatric research nurse, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge


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