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Avoid the Hustle

Review protocol/strategy

Category: Essay Writing

This assignment requires you to reflect on your clinical experiences to identify a question to be searched which is of interest to you. You will need to explain how and why you developed your question. You will be required to identify 5 relevant studies and state how you found these through a detailed description of your search strategy. Finally you will be asked to reflect on this activity.

Course Objectives being assessed

CO3. Explain the process of identifying a research problem.

CO5. Apply the research process to develop a research plan.

Assessment details:

Develop a research question from ONE of these health themes:

– Mothers and babies

– Children and families

– Acute care settings

– Older people

– Mental health

– Rural and remote health

Use a database to identify 5 studies that address your question. The studies should not be systematic reviews or literature reviews.

You can use any database that you are familiar with but you may like to become familiar with PubMed as you will be able to continue to use this database once you graduate.

Plan a search strategy to locate specific research articles related to your research question. A detailed description of your search strategy is needed

Discuss how your research strategy went. In this section you will be required to identify exactly how your search went, e.g. how many hits you got, how and why you refined your search and exactly how you identified relevant studies.

Suggestion: You might like to include a screen grab of your search strategy like the one below as an appendix to your assignment.

List the 5 research articles you found. Briefly state how together they are a good fit for your question

Reflect on this activity.

Assignment Format

Background (1500 words)

• Identify which theme you have chosen.

• Explain why you are interested in this theme

• State your research question

• Describe the process of writing your question (what process did you use PICO, PIO, how did it work e.g. did you need to fine tune? When and why did you do this?)

• Discuss with reference to the literature why your research question is important to person centered care, nursing/midwifery practice, or evidence for practice.

Search strategy (500 words)

• Name the electronic database you used and briefly state why you used it.

• List the key words you used and how you used these (you may like to indicate how you used PICO and PIO to identify key words, how you limited your search terms, if you used truncation, abbreviations, wildcards and Boolean operators which ones you used and why )

• Explain in detail how you implemented your search strategy (it should be very clear in this explanation how you arrived at your 5 articles and how you chose these from the hundreds/thousands of hits that you may have had).


• List the 5 relevant research articles you found correctly annotating your list in UniSA Harvard style.

• Give a one or two sentence summary as to why these articles together are a good fit for your research question. You may refer back to PICO or PIO. (Note you do not need to summarise the article content as this is part of your assessment in Nursing/midwifery project)

Discuss (total of 800 words)

• Discuss how the process of writing a research question and identifying related evidence has broadened your understanding of evidence for nursing and midwifery practice.

Please note that you should use correct referencing using UniSA Harvard referencing system.

Analysing the assessment instructions

For longer assessment questions you need to consider a number of requirements and how these come together in your final assignment. If you are having trouble understanding what you are being asked to do, the following strategies can help you:

• Read all of the assessment information to get an overview of what is expected. You will probably need to read it a few times before it is clear in your mind.

• Explain what is required to another person or discuss the details (this can help you to understand it better).

• Draw a diagram or flow chart of how the question and its parts fit together.

• Go back to the instructions as you are preparing and writing the assignment to check if you are keeping on track with answering it.

Step 1: Identify the task words

Task words are words which tell you what you need to do (e.g. identify, analyse, outline, discuss).

There may be a number of task words that you need to consider. Underline the task words on the assessment information and check that you understand the meaning. For more information on understanding assignment and instructions words go the L3 student resources hub and check under ‘Improving your academic skills’ in the Planning section.

What task words did you find? Did you find any of these below?

• develop

• use

• plan

• describe

• discuss

• identify

• list

• reflect

• state

• summarise

What do they mean in relation to the assessment and what you have to do in each section?

Step 2: Identify the content words

Content words are words which tell you what you need to (i.e. the content area). Read the assessment instructions again and underline the content words.

To find the content words, use the task words and add ‘what?’ For example:

• develop what? a research question from one of the health themes provided

• use what? A database to search for studies related to your question

• plan what? a search strategy

• discuss what? how your search strategy went

• reflect on what? how this assessment activity has broadened your understanding of evidence for nursing or midwifery practice.

Step 3: Identify the limits

What words limit the content or focus of your discussion?

• use one of the health themes provided

• use one electronic database

• find 5 relevant articles

What limit is there on the structure and layout?

• must use Harvard referencing UniSA style

What is your time limit?

• Refer to your Course outline and/or gradebook for the due date and the due time

What is the word limit?

• 2800 words (see assessment instructions for breakdown of words required)

Step 4: Check the marking criteria

Read the marking criteria including the assessment objectives to gain further understanding of what you will be assessed on. Refer back to these as your prepare your assignment.

Searching databases

You will sometimes hear or see the words platform or provider. These terms refer to the software interface used by the companies that make the databases available. Some of the platforms currently include: EbscoHost, Ovid and Informit.

Databases may be part of a platform or can be stand alone. For example,

• Medline and Embase are on the Ovid platform.

• Ageline, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and ERIC are all on the EbscoHost platform.

• Informit is an Australian platform that contains databases such as Health Collection and Health and Society, among others.

• Web of Science Core Collection is on the Web of Science platform.

Primary databases

These databases report original research, for example randomised controlled trials (RCTs), or clinical trials. They may contain some systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses. These are generally very large databases. Some may be discipline specific e.g. Medline, Embase, CINAHL and others are multidisciplinary, for example Scopus, Web of Science.

Secondary databases

These contain syntheses of original research i.e. they gathers, filters, evaluates and critiques literature from the primary databases. These are smaller databases, and usually contain reviews, for example systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Choosing a database

To find an appropriate database, look at the list of A-Z Databases. The link can be found on the Library’s homepage underneath the search box.

Suggested databases include:

• Medline (discipline specific/all peer reviewed)

• Pubmed* (discipline specific – public version of Medline/not all peer reviewed)

• Cinahl (discipline specific/not all peer reviewed)

• Informit Health databases (discipline specific – and contains Australian material not found anywhere else/not all peer reviewed)

• Scopus (multidisciplinary/not all peer reviewed)

• Web of Science (multidisciplinary/all peer reviewed)

* This database is freely available after you leave University, although Medline via Ovid is also available to staff in South Australian public hospitals.