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The purpose of literature review provides an overview of a chosen topic to allow for critical evaluation, classification, and comparison of already published knowledge. Literature review involves putting a chosen topic in context of a broad field of research so as to identify current knowledge on a chosen field. Literature review helps in synthesizing and placing a topic into context and map different approaches to reveal patterns of understanding a topic (Polit & Beck, 2017). Another purpose of literature review is to justify the significance of investigating a topic. Through literature review, gaps in a field are identified that provides the need for the further research. The major situation where a nurse requires literature review is during research. Literature review also helps arrange thoughts and ideas in cases when a nurse is practicing based on evidence based research.
There are a number of challenges that nursing researchers face when conducting literature research. The process of literature review involves first the validation of different studies to ensure that they meet the criteria of quality required (Chen et al., 2016). This is a tedious and challenging work for nurses especially if they are trying to find literature on relatively unstudied work. There are also errors such as accidental inclusions and exclusion of studies that do not meet criteria and duplication of references.
Another challenge of developing literature review is the inability to concentrate on the details of the text. In literature review, one has to look for relevant results which are not always easy to find. Moreover, one will have to continue to sort information to avoid redundancies and opposite conclusions from research. Having a review of literature that supports the needs and gaps of research often becomes hard.
Chen, D. T. V., Wang, Y. M., & Lee, W. C. (2016). Challenges confronting beginning researchers in conducting literature reviews. Studies in Continuing Education, 38(1), 47-60.
Polit, D. & Beck, C. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.
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