Stress/depression in care givers of patients with dementia in Wales

Patch 1: Mini-review and research question (25 marks)


Task overview

For this task you need to find, evaluate and summarise 5 peered reviewed papers not less than 6 years old related to a research topic, and then develop an answerable research question arising from your synthesis of the information in the papers.

How to approach the task

  • Think of a research theme or topic relevant to your degree subject. It needs to be fairly tightly focused (“housing” or “obesity” are too broad). Review the teaching materials on how to refine your research topic for further guidance, and discuss with your pathway leader.
  • Use this topic to develop an initial search strategy that will help you identify some relevant, related papers. This should consist of a specific set of keywords and identification of a relevant journal database that you are going to search (e.g. PubMed, Scopus, etc).
  • From your search, identify 5 peered reveiwed papers that are closely related to your research theme. They should have been published in the last 6 years. If you find lots of papers, prioritise those published more recently.
  • Read and review these papers. Make notes evaluating what you read – you do not need to conduct a detailed critical appraisal of each paper, but you should highlight any significant methodological strengths or weaknesses, as well as the key findings from the research.
  • Bring together the findings of the different papers (this is also known as synthesising the findings) – what are the common themes? What are the areas where there are disagreements, debate, or uncertainty? Are there methodological issues that need to be considered? Are there any gaps in current knowledge, based on these 5 papers?
  • Use your synthesis of the findings to develop a research question that, if answered using an appropriate study, would add to our understanding of this research topic. You need to ensure that your question is clear and unambiguous, specific and answerable.

Advice on writing up this patch

You have 1250 words for this patch. Whilst you are free to present the work in whichever way you wish, we recommend the following structure:

  • A brief introduction to the topic and explaining the keywords and database that you used to find the papers you have reviewed. (approx 100-150 words)
  • Present your review and evaluation of the themes and issues that have arisen from your review of the 5 peered reviewed papers not less than 6 years old. Do not simply discuss each individual paper in turn – you need to show your evaluation and synthesis of information from across the papers. (Approx 1000 words)
  • Conclusion and research question – identification of the key issues requiring further investigation arising from your mini review, and a research question that will address one or more of these issues. (Approx 100-150 words)
  • References using the Harvard system: not included in the word count