Discuss Systematic Research or Integrative Review of a Clinical Problem/PICOT Question

Systematic Research or Integrative Review of a Clinical Problem/PICOT Question


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Objective: Appraise and critique the extant literature to solve your PICOT question that is related to an intervention or practice change.


Goal: Review and critique a limited set of studies related to an intervention as specified by your PICOT question.


Learning activities: For this assignment, search the literature for research related to your clinical problem and the specific PICOT question as you have refined it. Your question may have changed, and it might be somewhat different than when it was initially posted on Blackboard.


  • Locate the most relevant studies for your PICOT question that have been published in the past 10 years
  • Limit your review of the literature to approximately 7 most relevant studies (it is not necessary to include more than 10 studies in your review of the literature).
  • You will have citations for other sources, depending on what you read and write, in addition to the studies.
  • To help you organize the information in the studies, there is an example of a table of evidence (pp. 39-42) in Dufault et al., 2008 (posted on Blackboard). You will need to include a table of evidence in your paper, as it is a very good way to compare studies so that you can write the synthesis portion of the assignment (see #4 below).
  • A table of evidence template is at the end of this guide (p.3).
  • Write a critical review of the literature that concludes with a comprehensive summary that synthesizes the pertinent literature.


This is a formal paper, approximately 10 pages, not including the title page, abstract, and reference list. This will be a comprehensive review of the relevant research literature that focuses on concise and to-the-point analysis of the existing evidence and gaps that you can identify from this review.


Five points will be deducted from the grade for every day an assignment is late without prior permission from the faculty.


The paper includes:


  1. An abstract, and introduction with a brief summary and significance of the problem.


  1. Database search method used (databases, keywords, limits, years that you used to complete your search for studies). Also identify the method used to select the studies in your review of the literature from the full list obtained from your database search—what exactly were you looking for that led to selection of these studies? Why did the studies fit?


  1. BRIEF critique of each study–identifying methodological strengths, weaknesses and limitations, summarizing findings and discussing the strength of the evidence based on study design, sample, controls, and other factors influencing internal and external validity.


  1. Synthesis across the studies: based on this complete literature review, what is already known about the phenomenon; what gaps are there and what are the methodological limitations that restrict knowledge? The methodological limitations refer to your appraisal of the study methods–you will discuss the types of samples across all the studies (have multiple populations been sampled, or are most of the studies done with only one population? Are the samples large enough and sufficiently justified? Was a power analysis done? What is the level of the study designs and their implications (are there randomized trials)? Is most of the research at the descriptive or correlational level? Do we have enough high-level evidence to draw any conclusions? What limitations are common across the studies? How do the study findings compare? Do they have similar or conflicting results? Why might this be the case?


The result of this analysis will be a synthesis of the current evidence and identification of gaps in knowledge which can be filled by further inquiry. Include implications for clinical practice, policy, and future research.


  1. A strong paper (an “A” paper) will be clear, organized, concise, well-written, without grammatical errors, using appropriate scientific language, with no format, or punctuation errors. It will synthesize the evidence and present effective arguments, supported by appropriate scientific evidence and will make the connections and synthesis explicit. In other words, you will explain your thinking and your conclusions, supported by citations, examples, evidence, etc., where indicated. The paper will address all the components above, using appropriate references and citations.


Grading Template:

Content Possible Points Earned Points Comments
Clear, concise statement of problem and significance 10    
Search and selection method clearly described and justified 5    
Comprehensive critique of approximately 7 relevant studies 20    
Explicit analysis and discussion of gaps 20    
Synthesis, implications for practice, policy, and future research; Conclusion 20    
Table of Evidence 20    
APA format, well-organized, clearly written 5    
TOTAL 100    


Five points will be deducted from the grade for every day the assignment is late.


Please label your paper as follows: Last name, First name, 7141, ROL paper


Upload paper in Assignments are in Blackboard using Safe Assign.


Example of Table of Evidence Template



Authors, year, title


or aims

Sample & setting  Design Intervention (Predictor variable) Measurement/



Findings Comments