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Literature Review on Evidenced-Based and Evidence-Informed Practice in Healthcare

Introduction and Background

Aim of the Assessment

The aim of this assessment is to enable you to demonstrate your ability to review the application of evidenced based and evidence informed practice using three chosen pieces of literature in relation to a subject area of interest within healthcare. This assignment addresses the following learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the context of evidence-informed practise with particular reference to distinct fields of practice, professional practice, public health policy and person-centred care

  2. Critically analyse the application of the hierarchies of evidence with clinical guidelines relevant to specific fields of nursing

  3. Critically review the key steps in research design, including an understanding of underlying philosophies and the application of appropriate methodologies to different clinically-based research questions.

During the module select and retrieve two peer reviewed primary research articles related to an area of patient care within the last five years and link your findings to one corresponding current NICE guidance document


The assignment should be presented as a literature review using the following structure:

Introduction and background (500 words) 

 An outline of the nature of the chosen subject area and the critical issues concerning practice must be presented. There may be numerous issues within the paper, e.g. the care episode, condition, treatment, or intervention.

Please focus on one aspect and think about one question relating to the articles that you would like to be able to answer, in order to provide a summary aimed at the public with no medical background(CW2). This must be relevant to nursing practice.

Provide some background information on the subject area that you have chosen with a rationale for your choice using a range of appropriate supporting evidence.

Question Formulation and Search process (500 words)

The search strategy used must be exact; please document your search strategy in a labelled table. Use tables and figures where appropriate to reduce the word count (tables and figures are not included in the word count).

The reader should be able to replicate your search using the information given and must include the following:

  • Explain how you arrived at your questions including the use of SPICE, PICO or alternative to formulate the question

  • Discuss which databases and other sources you used to find evidence, including the keywords or search terms, and how you selected them.

  • Discuss how you refined your search and the parameters you used, for example, inclusion and exclusion criteria such as dates or other criteria with justification for all your decisions.

  • Please include a copy of your searches in an appendix (this does not count in the word limit, but you can refer to it)

Critical Appraisal of Evidence (800 words) 

Reference the two primary research studies that you have chosen (author/date) in the text at least once (thereafter referred to as paper1 or 2), and you must include the reviewed article in the reference list.

You must use research theory (textbooks) and include in-text references (academic journals) to support your discussion of the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the research design.

Make use of appropriate published critiquing frameworks to help structure your appraisal, for example, the CASP Tool available at The following aspects of each paper should be appraised:

  • Study design
  • Sampling
  • Ethical issues
  • Data collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Conclusions made in the study
  • Validity/authenticity/credibility/transferability

Again, tables or a matrix can be used to summarise the appraisal- Use the appendix for this additional information. Presentation of the key themes- A brief summary of the key themes from the two papers should conclude this section. 

Discussion (800 words) 

Critically evaluate the themes identified in your papers

Reflect on the key messages of the selected primary research studies and whether they could be of use in practice. If not, why?  Critically discuss the “fit” with the NICE guideline that you have chosen in addressing your question and consider

  • The links between the primary research papers and the NICE guidance
  • The dates of the publication of the papers and the NICE guidance and the impact of this
  • Discuss whether the evidence from the primary research papers signals a need to review the NICE guidance

This part should continue to demonstrate analysis and arguments and should be supported with references

Conclusion (400 words approx.)

Summarise key points from the entire assignment (do not merely re-iterate findings from the studies reviewed) explaining how this meets learning outcomes 1-3

General Points:

  • The first page of your assignment should have the module code and title. The title of your work, your student identification number, allowed word count and actual word count and date of submission should also be identified.

  • Double space your work

  • Write in the third person

  • Use Arial or Calibri size 12 font

  • Proofread your work – check that it reads well, that it makes sense and that spelling, and grammar are correct and include page numbers in work submitted

  • Check your references – You must include in-text citationsand there should be a reference list at the end of the assignment.

  • Ensure that you include a reference list at the end of your work and that you have the University recommended referencing system published by the Centre for Academic Writing (see referencing section below).

  • Please add page numbers to your work; this is a minimum academic standard required.

  • Check that all your pages are included and in the correct order in the final version before submission

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