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Conducting a Literature Review

The DNP Literature Review

Is a structured and defined process involving literature searches for current evidence 

  • uses critical appraisal frameworks, e.g. PICOT, to focus the topic
  • is based on evidence syntheses in the form of literature reviews, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and evidence-based practice content that informs the defined topic
  • clearly states where the evidence is retrieved from, e.g. databases, indexes, grey literature, etc.

Be sure to consult the DNP Research Support and the Nursing Programs guides for further information on resources available for your literature review.

Systematic reviews, scoping reviews and meta-analyses based on evaluating unfiltered original studies are increasingly used in the biomedical field.  
These knowledge syntheses are disseminated as evidence-based clinical recommendations in medical settings.
  • Evidence-based content such as systematic reviews, scoping reviews, literature reviews, and meta-analyses are at the highest level of research evidence to answer health research questions.
  • These analyses aggregate unfiltered information (such as original research studies) after critical appraisal and evaluation to recommend them for application in practice.
  • In contrast, while credible, scholarly, and often peer-reviewed, original research is unfiltered information that is not considered evidence-based
The linked articles provide insight into the structured reviews used in the medical field and define evidence synthesis. 

The Literature Review Process

For comprehensive literature searching, it is important to be systematic in your approach. This includes developing a plan for your search (including the search terms you will use and the resources you will search) and keeping records of the searches you carry out.




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