Peer-reviewed scholarly research is the backbone of medical advancement. Medical theory, research, and literature reviews are only some of the aspects that go into the development of new medicinal practices. This paper will explain the importance of literature reviews, the influence of theory and research on each other, and will provide an example of their effect on patient care.
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A literature review is a type of scholarly paper that examines the extent of available literature on a specific topic. The literature could include journal articles, books, and other scholarly sources. The literature review serves multiple purposes. The primary purpose is to summarize all the available information on the topic. Then this information is analyzed by outlining trends and limitations of the available research. In the end, the topics of further research are recommended.
A good literature review cannot only provide all the available information on a subject in a short form but also point out aspects where more research is required. Some of the primary difficulties in creating a quality literature review lie in the lack of available information and the process of data interpretation. If the information on the topic is limited, the review could be either inaccurate or insufficient in its contents. The analytical process can be hindered by the inconsistent results provided in the research papers, or conflicting findings (Aveyard, 2014).
Theory and Research
Research and theory have a close connection and influence each other in different ways. Research is often done to search for theory. On the other hand, the development of a theory is directly reliant on research, which is in turn reliant on theory. Neither can be effective without each other but can provide quality results when properly integrated.
The combination of theory and research has affected medical practice in nursing for a long time. Almost all the possible advancements in practice have been researched multiple times in various settings and conditions to ensure its safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. Different conditions, choice of the control group, and settings can provide different results if the practice has not yet been properly understood. This is why literature reviews often encounter contradicting information during the analysis process (Wolkenhauer, 2013).
During my nursing practice, I have seen the direct effect of theory and research on patient care. One of the most common issues I have witnessed among my colleagues was infections caused by intervenors catheters during their injection. I followed the major developments in nursing practice and noticed that research was being done on this issue, with possible solutions being implemented soon. In about a year, the practice for intravenous catheter injection was updated with the new solution supposedly being less likely to result in an infection. After a short period of implementation, the new practice has shown to be highly effective at preventing infections. This has led to a decreased level of stress for both patients and nurses, as well as a better outlook on the patient care of our hospital. Such developments are only possible due to research and theory.
Scholarly research is essential for the field of medicine. New and unproven methods of practice should not be implemented without significant evidence in their favor. Literature reviews are extremely helpful in consolidating the available information, while research and theory allow for the development of new practices. By utilizing these and other scholarly tools, the field of medicine continues to evolve with each year.
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Aveyard, H. (2014). Doing a literature review in health and social care. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press.
Wolkenhauer, O. (2013). The role of theory and modeling in medical research. Frontiers in Physiology, 4, 377.