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Doing a Literature Review in Nursing, Health and Social Care

Doing a Literature Review in Nursing, Health and Social Care

Third Edition

February 2021 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

A clear and practical guide to completing a literature review in nursing and healthcare studies.

Providing students with straightforward guidance on how to successfully carry out a literature review as part of a research project or dissertation, this book uses examples and activities to demonstrate how to complete each step correctly, from start to finish, and highlights how to avoid common mistakes.

The third edition includes:

  • Expert advice on selecting and researching a topic
  • A chapter outlining the different types of literature review
  • Increased focus on Critical Appraisal Tools and how to use them effectively
  • New real-world examples presenting best practice
  • Instructions on writing up and presenting the final piece of work

Perfect for any nursing or healthcare student new to literature reviews and for anyone who needs a refresher in this important topic.

Chapter 1: What is a Literature Review
Chapter 2: Types of Literature Review
Chapter 3: Selecting a Review Topic and Searching the Literature
Chapter 4: Reading and Organising the Literature
Chapter 5: Critically Appraising the Literature
Chapter 6: Combining (Synthesising) the Results
Chapter 7: Writing a Literature Review, Plagiarism and Referencing

Praise for the previous edition:

'This book is an excellent resource for practitioners wishing to develop their knowledge and understanding of reviewing literature and the processes involved. It uses uncomplicated language to signpost the reader effortlessly through key aspects of research processes. Practitioners will find this an invaluable companion for navigating through evidence to identify quality literature applicable to health and social care practice.' 

Gaynor Fenton

University of Salford, UK


'Students often struggle with writing an effective literature review and this invaluable guide will help to allay their concerns. Key terms are clearly explained, and the inclusion of learning outcomes is a helpful feature for students and lecturers alike.  The examples are also very helpful, particularly for less confident students.  This is an accessible yet authoritative guide which I can thoroughly recommend.' 

Patricia Pye

Buckinghamshire New University, UK


'A must have - this book provides useful information and guidance to students and professionals alike. It guides the reader through various research methods in a theoretical and pragmatic manner.' 

Bronagh Dunning, 4th year Nursing student

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


'It's a very readable, concise, and accessible introduction to undertaking a literature review in the field of healthcare. The book’s layout has a logical format which really helped me to think methodically about my research question. An excellent reference for undergraduates who are about to undertake their first literature review.' 

Colette Farrell, Nursing student

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


'This book is an essential resource for students. Clearly written and excellently structured, with helpful study tools throughout, it takes the reader step by step through the literature review process in an easy, informative and accessible manner. This text gives students the skills they need to successfully complete their own review.' 

Elaine Lehane

University College Cork, Ireland


'The updating of the chapters will be exceptionally helpful given the rapid changes in online availability of resources and open-access literature.' 

Rachel Rossiter

Charles Sturt University, Australia


This book provides a comprehensive overview of the practical process of literature review in healthcare. It contains all details required to conduct a review by students.

Professor Mojtaba Vaismoradi
Nursing, Nord University
January 5, 2023

This is an excellent clear and concise book on undertaking literature reviews being particularly good at demystifying jargon. It is timely given the move to student dissertations being primarily literature reviews in the current Covid pandemic. However nearly all the examples are drawn from nursing and health making the text less useful for social care and social work. A little disappointing given the title. SW students are likely to gravitate to texts where their subject is more prominent for a primary text.

Mr Peter Nelson
Social Work Collegiate, Sheffield Hallam University
March 3, 2021

Accessible, informative, step to step guide

Dr Zoey Spendlove
Academic Div. of Midwifery (City Hospital), Nottingham University
July 6, 2021

This is a really helpful, accessible text for students and academic staff alike.

Mr Paul McCreary
Department of Mental Health Nursing, Bucks New University
February 8, 2021

A really good addition to the repertoire of skills and techniques for understanding the essential process of literature reviewing.

Professor David Thomas Evans
Faculty of Education & Health, Greenwich University
January 11, 2021

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