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Why use literature reviews in health and social care?
Why use literature reviews in health and social care?

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In this short OpenLearn course you have learned about why and how literature reviews can inform and change policy and practice in health and social care.

  • You’ve considered how approaching a literature review in a systematic way can cut through an almost overwhelming amount of information that exists.
  • A systematic approach can also address issues of potential bias and ‘fake news’.
  • One of the fundamental elements of doing a good literature review is knowing what kind of evidence you need to help you form a good research question.

Questions of:

  • quantity, from which we expect answers in terms of numbers
  • experience or quality, in which we can expect answers in terms of how people express how they feel about an experience
  • assessment or evaluation, in which answers could be provided either in the form of number or an expression of experience but which indicate if a policy or practice has worked or not.

You also read about and listened to examples of how literature reviews can be used in health and social care.

  • You heard about how Jean’s literature review helped to inform the development of the social work with older people in Scotland.
  • You heard about how Julie’s literature review helped to introduce an effective new public health intervention, smoking cessation with women who smoked during pregnancy.
  • You heard about Adele’s introduction of a new practice with people with dementia and their carers which focused on mindfulness.

Hopefully you found the activities in this OpenLearn course supportive of your interests. If you want to develop more insights into the process of constructing a literature review in health and social care then you might think about registering on K323 Investigating health and social care [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] as part of an Open Degree, our BA (Hons) Health and Social Care (R26) or one of our social work degrees.