Book Review of "Succeeding in Literature reviews and Research Project Plans for Nursing students"

Laurence Leonard

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


The complexities of modern healthcare necessitates that nurses and other healthcare practitioners are continuously being challenged to review and update their knowledge and skills. The ability to choose the most up to date evidence is a central component of such knowledge and skills in providing evidence based care. This is reflected in the introduction to the book which provides a very good summary of the Nursing and Midwifery Council documentation, highlighting the need for nurses to be able to utilise research evidence in order to link theory to practice. With the move of nursing education to a degree profession, the introduction also highlights the expectation that the quality of such degrees would meet Quality Assurance Authority requirements by ensuring that students have a solid underpinning understanding of research methods. Students undertaking a research methods module as part of their undergraduate degree will find this book to give them a solid basis on which to develop their knowledge of research, but nurses who already have a solid foundation in research will also find it a useful and helpful to build on their prior knowledge.
Research studies provide the best means of contributing to the body of knowledge and developing a sound basis for practice. However with such a plethora and variations in quality of published research, nursing students may feel overwhelmed and struggle to know where to begin or how to evaluate the best available evidence. While the title of this book suggests that it aims to help nursing students to undertake a literature review or a research project, it is also a helpful guide to any nurse who wants a better understanding of how to approach research literature or to begin to undertake research themselves. The book is laid out in four sections each of which guide the reader through the process of research from the initial formation of a research topic to the final write up and presentation of research findings. The use of case studies throughout the book is helpful in demonstrating the link between theory and practice. Further reading and useful websites are included at the end of each chapter.
Each section provides useful chapters on formulating ideas for research and on formulating and refining a research question. In Chapter one there is a very clear and concise explanation of widely used terms in research and a good overview of the different perspective and types of research. Chapter two provides a very useful guide on planning and undertaking a literature review or documentary analysis, by explaining how to access relevant databases and refining key words from the initial idea. The importance of having a clearly defined research question is often underestimated by students setting out on the research process, but this is returned to by the authors in chapter three, where the reader is guided on formulating a specific research question. This chapter also provides a useful summary of research ethics and governance. Chapter four provides a very useful and clear overview of the various methods used in research, with useful guidance on the pros and cons of various approaches and methods. There is a very useful chapter on analysis of quantitative data and statistics an area which many students find daunting. The final section provides useful guidance on the writing up research findings including the layout of research papers and different reference formats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148
JournalJournal of Perioperative Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


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