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How to Conduct a Literature Review

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How to Conduct a Literature Review

  1. 1. How to Conduct a Literature Review Jun 16, 2011 ROBIN FEATHERSTONE
  2. 3. What ’ s a Research Lit Review? <ul><li>A research literature review is a systematic, explicit and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners.* </li></ul><ul><li>* Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage. </li></ul>
  3. 4. 7 tasks in the Research Lit Review <ul><li>Selecting research questions </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting your sources </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing search terms </li></ul><ul><li>Running your search </li></ul><ul><li>Applying practical screening criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Applying methodological screening criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesizing the results </li></ul>
  4. 5. Selecting research questions
  5. 6. Why do you need a research question?
  6. 7. Scenario <ul><li>You ’ re applying for a grant to support your research on management of patients with atrial fibrillation. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of a question related to this topic... </li></ul>
  7. 8. Possible questions <ul><li>Broad: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the prevalence of atrial fibrillation? </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>What costs are associated with hospitalization for atrial fibrillation? </li></ul><ul><li>Very Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>What strategies have been utilized in Quebec to reduce length of stay for patients with atrial fibrillation? </li></ul>
  8. 9. How questions influence search results Relevancy Retrieval (# of search results) Broad Questions Narrow Questions High = lots of articles Low = very few articles High = directly relevant articles Low = mostly irrelevant articles
  9. 10. <ul><li>Broad: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the prevalence of atrial fibrillation? </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>What costs are associated with hospitalization for atrial fibrillation? </li></ul><ul><li>Very Narrow: </li></ul><ul><li>What strategies have been utilized in Quebec to reduce length of stay for patients with atrial fibrillation? </li></ul>Questions
  10. 11. Selecting your sources
  11. 12. Lit reviews depend on data from seven sources <ul><li>Online public bibliographic databases </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial bibliographic databases </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized bibliographic databases </li></ul><ul><li>Manual or “ hand searches ” of references lists </li></ul><ul><li>“ Grey literature ” </li></ul><ul><li>Web reports </li></ul><ul><li>Expert opinions </li></ul>
  12. 13. Where to search <ul><li>Bibliographic Databases </li></ul><ul><li>Medicine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PubMed (or Ovid MEDLINE), EMBASE, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scopus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web of Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nursing and Allied Health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CINAHL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Associations, Organizations & Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World Health Organization, Health Canada, Canadian Medical Association, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul><ul><li>“ Grey Literature ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dissertations & Theses, SCOPUS (conference proceedings), Web search engines </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Match the question to the sources 1. Which smoking cessation programs are the most effective for cancer patients? A. MEDLINE 2. What are proven methods for integrating simulators into surgical training? B. PsycINFO 3. When should patients presenting with febrile neutropenia to the Emergency Department be administered antibiotics? C. CINAHL 4. Which injection method is the most effective for administering lidocaine? D. EMBASE 5. Which factors improve quality of life for patients post mastectomy? E. SCOPUS 6. What is the analgesic efficacy for antipsychotic agents for chronic pain? F. Cochrane Library
  14. 15. Choosing search terms
  15. 16. Breaking down your question <ul><li>Select your database </li></ul><ul><li>Break you question into concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Identify subject headings for each concept </li></ul><ul><li>Identify text words for each concept </li></ul><ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a “ target article ” to help identify search terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a worksheet to keep track of your terms </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Different databases have different subject headings <ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Select subject headings that are the closest match for your concept </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to “ explode ” commands – some databases will search related headings by default, others will not </li></ul></ul>Database Subject Headings Medline MeSH EMBASE EMTREE CINAHL CINAHL Headings Cochrane Library MeSH PsycINFO Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms Scopus, Web of Science N/A
  17. 18. Which term explodes? A. Bird Diseases B. Neutropenia
  18. 19. Identifying concepts & MeSH headings <ul><li>Which concepts are contained in the question: </li></ul><ul><li>Does hydration decrease incidence of delirium at the end of life? </li></ul><ul><li>Find the MeSH heading(s) for each concept & add them to your worksheet </li></ul>
  19. 20. Ovid MEDLINE strategy Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words Blank worksheets: http://muhclibraries.mcgill.ca/SearchStrategyWorksheet.doc AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR OR OR
  20. 21. Key Operators in Ovid Operator Command Example * Find alternate endings to this word nurs* [will find nurse, nursing, nurses] .tw. Search for this term in the Title and Abstract fields anxiety.tw. adj Search for one term within x number of terms from another patient adj3 anxiety [will find patient within three words of anxiety] AND Find articles where both terms appear smoking AND cessation OR Find articles where either term appears smoking OR tobacco
  21. 22. Ovid MEDLINE strategy Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR hydrat*.tw. deliri*.tw. (terminal* adj4 patient*).tw. OR fluid*.tw. palliative.tw. OR water.tw. end of life.tw.
  22. 23. Running your search
  23. 24. Running your search(es) <ul><li>Start with your first concept </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for the subject headings first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then search text words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combine these synonymous searches with OR using your search history </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Repeat for your second, third, and subsequent concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, combine large search results set with AND </li></ul>
  24. 25. Running your search(es) Search #2 = Search #3 = Search #4 = Search #5 = #1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 Search #1 = Concept 1 Search #6 = Search #7 = Search #8 = Search #9 = Concept 2 Search #10 = #6 OR #7 OR #8 OR #9 Search #11 = #5 AND #10 Results
  25. 26. Please complete the following search in Ovid Medline Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Text Words AND AND OR exp Fluid Therapy/ Delirium/ exp Terminal Care/ OR Palliative Care/ exp Terminally Ill/ OR hydrat*.tw. deliri*.tw. (terminal* adj4 patient*).tw. OR fluid*.tw. palliative.tw. OR water.tw. end of life.tw.
  26. 27. Applying practical screening criteria
  27. 28. Screening <ul><li>Two kinds: practical and methodological </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use practical screening to identify a broad range of potentially useful studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use methodological screening to identify the best available studies </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Practical Screening Criteria –examples <ul><li>Date of publication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only studies conducted between 2005 and 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants or subjects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only children 6 to 12 years of age </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publication language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only materials written in English or French </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only clinical trials </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. Apply Practical Screens <ul><li>Add the following screens (limits) to your combined search result set: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>English Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publication Year: 2001 – Current </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans </li></ul></ul>
  30. 31. Next steps
  31. 32. Working with your results <ul><li>Save or export search results into a citation manager (i.e., Endnote) </li></ul><ul><li>Remove duplicates </li></ul><ul><li>Remove inappropriate studies by applying methodological screens </li></ul>
  32. 33. Methodological Screening Criteria - some questions to ask <ul><li>Is the study ’ s research design internally & externally valid? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the data sources used in the study reliable & valid? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the analytic methods appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the results meaningful in practical & statistical terms?* </li></ul><ul><li>*Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Moving to another source <ul><li>Retain as much of your original strategy as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that subject headings will be different (or non-existent) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep track of your search terms using new worksheets </li></ul>
  34. 35. Hand searching and final steps <ul><li>Locate the reference lists for selected articles* </li></ul><ul><li>Identify new articles that have cited your articles* </li></ul><ul><li>Identify key journals and “ hand search ” their issues </li></ul><ul><li>Test your search strategy by checking to see if a few “ target articles ” appear in the results </li></ul><ul><li>* Use Web of Science or Scopus </li></ul>
  35. 36. Synthesizing the results
  36. 37. Use your results to... <ul><li>Describe current knowledge about your research topic </li></ul><ul><li>Support the need for and significance of new research </li></ul><ul><li>Explain research findings </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the quality of a body of research* </li></ul><ul><li>*Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Useful Sites <ul><li>CADTH. Grey Matters: a practical search tool for evidence-based medicine - http://cadth.ca/en/resources/grey-matters </li></ul><ul><li>Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews and Interventions - http://www.cochrane-handbook.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>IOM (Institute of Medicine). Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews - http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Finding-What-Works-in-Health-Care-Standards-for-Systematic-Reviews.aspx </li></ul>
  38. 39. Recap <ul><li>How would you describe a quality literature review? </li></ul><ul><li>Synonymous searches are combined with ___ </li></ul><ul><li>Can you apply methodological screens with a database? </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, please make your librarian happy by filling out your ____ </li></ul>

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