2 Using evidence in practice
Once you’ve completed your literature review you will need to think through how you are going to use it. You will have marshalled the evidence you need based on precise research question. Your aim will be to convince your readers – your manager, your colleagues, your campaigning associates or whoever – that you’ve drawn from a relevant reservoir of evidence to support recommendations which will change practice or policy.
You might think that a literature review is a highly ‘academic’ exercise. Well, it is; but it should also be seen as very practical. It should be seen as something that can be incorporated into everyday professional practice, by harvesting and harnessing the host of research into health and social care that exists to inform the development of new policy and practice. To help steer your thinking the next section explores three case studies which illustrate what this might mean. Use these case studies to stimulate your thinking about literature you might want to look into further.
The three case studies that have been chosen concern mental health, public health and social work. Each have a different policy and practice focus. Will your eventual investigation have a policy or practice focus?