Formulate a research question and develop a hypothesis (Be specific, identifying the potential independent and dependent variables).

Literature Review

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Literature Review Assignment: 115 points

The objective of this assignment is for you to conduct a mini literature review on a topic of interest related to health services. You will complete a literature review on a specific researchable practice problem that interests you. If you are not sure your topic is appropriate, send a message to me for approval. A literature review for this assignment includes critique of peer reviewed research studies (not editorials, blogs, popular magazines, or popular literature). Peer reviewed research studies are usually published in academic journals or by organizations such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC: or the National Institute of Health, etc.

This paper may be different from other papers you have written as it is not your standard descriptive paper. For this assignment you are researching what is known (and not known) about a practice problem, critiquing the peer reviewed research that has been done on the topic, and indicating what research you think needs to be done in the future.

You will (1) identify and formulate a research question and hypothesis based on the practice problem topic you selected related to health, (2) search and locate peer reviewed research studies related to this topic using the library and appropriate databases, (3) analyze the information found in the selected peer reviewed studies, and (4) synthesize new knowledge into a written literature review establishing a context for your research question/hypothesis and the development of further research in this area.

Steps to identify two peer reviewed studies and complete the coding sheets:

1. Choose a topic related to a practice problem in health services in which you have an interest. If you are unsure, email it to your faculty for approval

2. Formulate a research question and develop a hypothesis (Be specific, identifying the potential independent and dependent variables).

3. Review the information in the Weekly Material on how to conduct a library search using peer reviewed work. There are several tutorials. Then, access the library and search for peer reviewed research studies that are related to the selected topic/hypothesis. This does not have to be an exact match but should be related to your topic in a significant way. The library contains several databases. Be sure you check the option for peer reviewed work. You want the actual research studies, not editorials, perspectives, information sheets, blogs, etc. Note the key words/search terms used and any revisions required.

4. Find peer reviewed research studies, read the abstracts and skim the research studies to determine if they correspond well to your topic AND research question.

5. Select at two (2) peer reviewed studies that meet the criteria.

6. Review the two studies and begin to sort and classify them using the coding sheet below

Coding Sheet:

Use each of the selected studies and complete the coding sheet below. Only peer reviewed research studies will meet this criteria. If you do not use the proper source, this will result in a zero (0). If you are unsure, check with your faculty for the course. Do not use editorials, popular magazines, websites, blogs, reports, or information sheets, etc. The two selected peer reviewed sources must be from an academic source and be a “research study”. Do not use a report or summary of the study-you want the actual study. If you are unsure, contact your faculty instructor for clarification.

This means you should have two coding sheets, one for each study selected:

Title of the study

Author(s) and year

Journal name, volume, series, page numbers

Data source (Where did you find this work)

Purpose of the study

State the research question/hypothesis and identify the variables (independent, dependent
Identify how the author links the work to an existing body of knowledge (theoretical framework)

Note the type of study (true experimental, correlational, survey, randomized controlled trial, longitudinal, etc.)

Population/sample method used

Who is the population?
How was the sample selected?
What sampling strategy was used?

Data collection method

How was the data collected?
Who collected it?
What method was used (Survey, observation, secondary data)?

Data Analysis

What statistical tests were used?
What level of significance?

Major findings

Were the results statistically significant?
What were the major findings?
Was the hypothesis supported?

Strengths and weaknesses of the study design

Strengths of the design
Threats to internal and external validity

Ethical Considerations

Informed consent
IRB or other oversight approval

Summary/Recommendations given in the work and next steps

Steps for completing the Literature Review paper assignment:

Use the APA format for the assignment (cover page, headers, reference page, etc.)

1. Introduction

Write an introductory paragraph for your review. This paragraph should include:

a. The topic, research question, and general hypothesis used for the search/ review and identify the variables

b. Discuss why you selected this topic, the search terms you used, any revisions needed, how many articles you reviewed before you selected the two used and why you selected these two for the assignment.

2. Body

The body of your literature review will include:

a. A brief summary of the main findings of the two research studies


b. Any themes identified in the studies selected

c. Compare, contrast, and/or connect the studies, noting how they are similar, different from one another including research methods employed. This should be one of the major components, focusing on the research methods

3. Summary

This is the last paragraph of your literature review. In this paragraph, briefly review the main findings/conclusions, point out how these research studies address the research question and identify any gaps in knowledge, what the review has taught you about the topic and its relevance to health care practice. Then identify two specific researchable questions for further study based on the literature review.

4. Coding Sheets

Attach the two coding sheets at the end of the paper and before the reference page

5. References

This is the last pages of your review. It serves as a listing of the two peer reviewed studies you selected for the literature review in the APA format.


Points Possible

Points Achieved

APA format used for paper and references, writing mechanics, grammar, punctuation


Selection of peer reviewed studies:

Topic related to health practice problem identified and why selected (2)
Research question and hypothesis/independent and dependent variables identified (6)
Search experience: Terms used, revisions if needed, how many reviewed, etc. (2)


Completion of the coding sheet – one for each study reviewed

60 (30 each)

Brief summary of the main findings of the two studies selected including themes, if the results were statistically significant


Comparison of studies:

Types of studies (Were they both the same quality, method, data collection, analysis)?
Compare sampling strategies
Strengths/limitations: Internal and external validity
Ethical considerations

This section should focus on assessing the research methods used, similarities, differences, how they connect to one another


Research questions answered, identification of gaps (5)

Relevance to health care and lessons learned (5)


Identification of two specific research questions for further study based on the literature review

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