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Book club: your reviews

Doing a Literature Review in Nursing, Health and Social Care

23 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Doing a Literature Review in Nursing, Health and Social Care

Authors: Michael Coughlan, Patricia Cronin, Frances Ryan

Publisher: Sage

Reviewer: Dr Jo Wilson, health care researcher

What was it like?

This book systematically goes through the steps and stages of undertaking a literature review including the different types of reviews and referencing and plagiarism. It clear outlines how to select topics, how to search the literature, and then how to read and organise the literature and critically analyse the findings. The next step includes how to synthesise the literature and how to write up the literature review. The book then includes the important stages of writing up the literature review and how to reference the findings and the importance of avoiding plagiarism. The final stage, which is often not included, is the sharing and publishing of the findings of the literature review and the different ways of disseminating the results.

The book has been well thought out and covers the important elements of literature reviews in a simplified way, which is helpful to health and social care professionals who are often undertaking their studies on a part-time basis. 

What were the highlights? 

The highlights of the book were the stages of critically analysing, synthesising and writing up the literature review. These are the steps that professionals can often shy away from or have difficulties in understanding and applying to their research. In this book they are well presented and supported by learning outcomes, figures, tables, examples and key points.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The key strength of this book is the application of the knowledge and the guidance of readers to undertake their own literature review. In a systematic way it clearly outlines the skills and knowledge that are required with supportive examples. It also contains a good glossary and is well referenced for further reading. There is good application to quantitative and qualitative research and systematic reviews. One potential weakness is the chapter on “Writing Up Your Literature Review”, which could be further expanded as this is often the most difficult part for professionals in pulling the process together.

Who should read it?

Health and social care professionals undertaking research, writing dissertations or assignments would benefit from this book as well as academic lecturers and supervisors who are supporting students who are undertaking literature reviews.

Doing a literature review in nursing

Oxford Dictionary of Nursing- Sixth Edition

22 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Oxford Dictionary of Nursing- Sixth Edition

Editors: Elizabeth A Martin, Jonathan Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press 2014

Reviewer: Allison Crocker, theatre practitioner, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

What was it like?

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursing is a comprehensive and easy access guide to common medical terms, allowing members of the profession to understand and competently deal with rare and specific conditions. I would recommend this guide to nurse who has recently qualified to help correlate knowledge acquired during the degree with real conditions and symptoms once beginning practice, though it would be useful to nurses who are further into their career due to the useful inclusion of brief descriptions of commonly used drugs, which would be useful in a day to day hospital environment. This book effectively links words that relate and correlate with each other, meaning that searching for relevant topics is done at ease.

What were the highlights? 

The inclusion of ethical points of concern at the back of the dictionary such as religious and racial differences in population, and standard calculations for measurements such as drugs and BMI.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The strength would e the effective links between relevant topics to decrease time spent searching for relevant drugs and relevant symptoms.

As for the weaknesses NMC are currently rewriting their standards, and this section will therefore be out of date in the coming months.

Who should read it?

This book would prove useful as a reference resource to both the pre- registration nurse or operating department student as well as the newly qualified practitioner.

Oxford Dictionary of Nursing- Sixth Edition

Just One of the Kids: Raising a resilient family when one of your children has a physical disability

21 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Just One of the Kids: Raising a resilient family when one of your children has a physical disability

Authors: Kay Harris Kriegsman and Sara Palmer

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Emma Connolly, children’s and young peoples student nurse, University of Salford

What was it like?

To begin with, this book explores different families that have children who have a physical disability from finding out the news to bringing their child home. From a student nurse’s perspective one major advantage of this book is that personal and family scenarios are continuously used throughout the book. In addition, not only does the book look at a parent’s perspective but it also considers a wider family perspective such as siblings and grandparents. Another advantage of this book is that it gives the reader tips throughout each chapter such as storing the child’s medical records within a safe place for future reference. Furthermore at the back of this book there is a handy resources list that the reader can refer to for further help and assistance with regards to raising a child with a physical disability.

What were the highlights? 

One major highlight of this book is how each chapter of the book is personal to a different family or set of individuals. The book engages well with the reader as it can be quite personal at times especially with the use of names and quotations. As mentioned within the title of the book, parents may be the largest audience for this book and with the book being written on such a personal level appropriate language has been used instead of clinical jargon. 

Strengths & weaknesses:

From first glance at this book the cover is bright and vibrant, which immediately attracts and intrigues the reader. There is a clear and concise content’s page, with legible text style and sizing. However one weakness throughout this book is the lack of images and detailed charts that may entice the reader by providing visual illustrations as well as relevant literature.

Who should read it?

This book is ideal for any parents or carers who are caring for children with physical disabilities. In addition many healthcare professionals such as student and registered nurses may also find this book beneficial to professional practice as their knowledge and competence may increase when working with patients and their families. It would be an ideal learning resource to have within a ward or community setting as the book is easy to read with relevant supporting literature.

  

Just One of the Kids

Research for Advanced Practice Nurses. From Evidence to Practice

18 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Research for Advanced Practice Nurses. From Evidence to Practice (2nd Ed)

Editors: Magdalena A Mateo and Marquis D Foreman

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

Reviewer: Kim Shrieves. BSc (hons) child health nursing. RN (Child). Band 6 paediatric research nurse

What was it like?

This textbook references practical ways that nurses can incorporate evidence-based practice (EBP) into their clinical work. Teaching how to appraise research articles, find, assess and evaluate the literature, develop a working knowledge of research methods to better assess the data and use it to assist informed decision making to improve patient care. It is presented in four sections. Part one: Evidence-Based Practice gives an overview of EBP: it’s history, terminology, models, types of evidence and keys ways of finding evidence. Part two: Building Blocks for Evidence starts by appraising a single research article from the reviewers perspective presenting the research process with a focus on supporting evidence for practice. Part three: Using Available Evidence looks at appraising evidence (systematic reviews, meta-analysis and practice guidelines) from various sources such as professional organisations and government websites. Programme evaluation offers an opportunity for use of evidence. Considerations when planning and implementing EBP activities are also presented. Part four: Evaluating the Impact of EBP and Communicating Results looks at techniques for presenting ideas, writing protocols and reporting outcomes. Cost, outcomes and ethical aspects of EBP are also discussed.

What were the highlights? 

The main highlight is that this reference textbook has a strong focus on the practical application of evidence-based practice with the aim of increasing it’s impact at the point of care. Clinical research examples and insights are presented in an informative way to assist and support the reader in obtaining the knowledge and skills required to appreciate, undertake and evaluate nursing research so as to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Additionally, it includes practical sections on report writing, conference presentation and writing for publication as means of dissemination and discusses how research findings might be used to support nursing practice.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The main drawback of this excellent reference is that it is US so the terminology and models of EBP for example are American and developed based on the US healthcare systems’ experience and research into these issues. Additionally, although you would imagine the UK experience is similar, the underlying premise for the book, which is despite EBP being the expected standard and there being a growing evidence base of high quality research the impact it has at practice level is still lacks consistancy in the US.

In spite of the US focus I would still recommend this book. It is well written and structured systematically and clearly allowing the reader to delve in and out of the chapters as needed and referring you to other relevant chapters as appropriate. Additionally, suggested activities give the opportunity to critically engage with the discussion and further your understanding. Although sometimes (not always) they are only of relevance to practice in US. Finally, this book stimulates further reading by including references, key documents and websites for further focussed reading.

Who should read it?

This book is aimed at graduate students doing graduate courses in nursing research or an interdisciplinary health care. However, it would be of value to all nurse researchers and nurses in clinical settings to fulfil their research role. However, some caution is necessary as it is a US publication.

Research for Advanced Practice Nurses. From Evidence to Practice

Researching Health

17 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Researching Health, second edition

Edited by: Mike Saks and Judith Allsop

Publisher: Sage Publication

Reviewer: Dr Jo H Wilson, healthcare researcher, Newcastle upon Tyne

What was it like?

A comprehensive well-written book covering a wide range of topics, provided by International contributors, covering many aspects of health research spread across five main parts. These parts include the Conduction and Context of researching health across the research process; the range of research approaches including Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods; Contemporary Issues including Governance and Ethics and formal and informal approaches; and The Application of Health Research using mixed methods and multidisciplinary research. The book also has an excellent companion website for both lecturers and students. For lecturers it provides teaching notes and powerpoint slides, which are excellent for lecture preparation. For students, there is an introductory online video, chapter overviews, web links, online readings and study skills.  

What were the highlights? 

The wide range of International Contributors who provide different views, new perspectives and experiences to broaden the health research knowledge base. It provides a good of the different methodologies, research strategies and ways of sharing research outcomes. The chapters on Randomised Controlled Trials and The Use of Economics in Health Research are excellent. 

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book is well referenced, cross-referenced between chapters and there is a good glossary of terms. Each chapter uses figures, tables, boxes, exercises, case studies, recommended further reading and online reading, which is really useful for lecturers and students.  The Companion Website is also an excellent resource to further enhance knowledge and understanding.

Who should read it?

This is an excellent resource for both lecturers and students in healthcare. Those interested in undertaking health research to let them see the guidance and useful help that is available should view it. This book will guide students through the key issues of health research and the different methods and research processes that can be applied to critical and creative studies.

Researching Health

Breast Cancer. Your Treatment Choices

16 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Breast Cancer.Your Treatment Choices

Author: Dr Terry Priestman

Publisher: Sheldon Press

Reviewer: Paul Watson, head of child development, Marshland High School

What was it like?

This book provides the basic information needed to make informed choices about cancer care and is easy to read and understand. There are many great topics covered in this book, including key facts about surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and complementary treatments. There is also advice regarding advanced breast cancer. I was impressed that early on in the book it highlights that men as well as women suffer with breast cancer, with most of the information given in the book pertinent to both genders. I was pleased to see however, that there was information provided that detailed the differences in the gender distinctions when treating and managing breast cancers.

What were the highlights? 

I have not had a vast amount of experience of nursing patients with breast cancer but have vivid memories of those I have looked after. My Grandfather was unfortunate enough to have been through the process of a mastectomy as a result of being diagnosed with breast cancer in his seventies. He continued to live a happy and contented life following this, passing away from old age in his mid eighties.

I would have found this book to have been a great help at that time, and I know he and the rest of the family would have also found benefit in being able to find answers to questions that really no-one wanted to ask out loud, or could even acknowledge needed to be asked.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This is a well written and presented book that is laid out in an easy to use style. The contents page is clear, with the book only covering 11 chapters that easily allow the reader to see where to go to get the answers that they need. With the support of the index I am sure that any reader could access this book to be able to alleviate any fears or anxieties that they have. I was however, rather surprised at how short the index was and would have expected to have seen more content within it (I can’t give examples though, as I don’t know what I don’t know!).  I am much a visual learner and know that many patients, especially when faced with a potentially life altering event such as breast cancer, struggle to make sense of the vast amounts of paperwork and documentation that they are given. It was for this reason that I was a little disappointed that there were not some more diagrams or pictures of procedures or equipment that patients might encounter. I feel that this might put their mind at ease when encountering them in hospital. It might also allow them to look through the pictures and see things that they have observed and gain understanding of it purpose.

Who should read it?

I believe that any new students or practitioners to oncology would benefit from this book, with possible interest from anyone who has a desire to know about breast cancer, such as the patients or their relatives.

 

Breast Cancer. Your Treatment Choices

Using Health Policy in Nursing Practice

15 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Using Health Policy in Nursing Practice 

Author: Georgina Taylor

Publisher: SAGE publications Ltd

Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This book is part of the Transforming Nursing Practice series. This has been written principally for nursing students on the degree programme.

It helps nurses to comprehend how policies fit in with ongoing practice. Nurses sometimes find it difficult to realise that these are used in everyday care for the patient. This book sets out to raise the awareness and teach them the tools to enable them to put this into practice. It sets out to improve patient care.

What were the highlights? 

This is book is written in the UK by an academic at Middlesex hospital. It is so apt for today’s nurses and following the Francis report. It also makes the links between policy and practice clear.

The author writes clearly and does not use jargon that could confuse the reader.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The case studies are excellent and was it was important to include Victoria Climbie’ although this was eleven years ago, it is vital healthcare professionals ensure workable policies are in place to safeguard vulnerable children and adults.

Patient safety is included and highlights the difference between system and human errors these are explained alongside fair blame.  Healthcare professionals need to work in a safety culture. Otherwise bad practice will continue and patient care will not be able to improve. Within each chapter there are a number of activities that can be carried out in class and on placements.

The referencing is up to date and there are good websites for further reading. The text charts across the new NMC (2010) sphere to identify that all nurses have a part to play in taking this forward.

There were no weaknesses found.

Who should read it?

Although this book is aimed for nursing students undertaking a degree course this is relevant to all nurses working today within healthcare environment. 

All levels of nurses need to be aware of health policies and how this affects all area of practice. Staff also need to have the knowledge to take this forward effectively.

Patients and their relatives need to be assured that staff carry out the highest standard of care in line with current healthcare policies. This book will help nurses to achieve this.

Using Health Policy in Nursing Practice

 

Making Sense of IBS

14 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: Making Sense of IBS

Author: Brian E Lacy

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Carol Singleton, Queen’s nurse, North Tyneside

What was it like?

The author sets out his goals for the book in the preface, which includes providing information that will allow people who have IBS to better understand their symptoms, institute changes, and improve their quality of life.

This book is divided into four parts, firstly covering a general, basic introduction to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, secondly looking at diagnosing IBS, thirdly treating IBS and lastly a part covering IBS in children and what the future holds for treatments and education.

What were the highlights? 

One of the highlights for me was the chapter on complementary and alternative medicine, which clearly describes the different therapies available and how/ if they can be of benefit to patients with IBS. Another highlight was the chapter on “Lifestyle Modifications”, which describes how some lifestyle factors can worsen IBS symptoms while others can improve them based on the experience of the patients treated by  various physicians. These modifications include exercise, sleep, over-the-counter medications and stress reduction. Research is mentioned in this chapter but references are not included so that readers could explore it in more details.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The language within the book is clear and easy to follow but the downside of having an US author is that the care provided may differ between the US and the UK. This does not detract from the issues discussed and Chapter 23, which describes the ingredients of an effective doctor’s appointment, would be useful reading for any patient preparing to undergo a consultation.

There is a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book, also an index, references are provided together by chapter and there is a section of “patient resources” but this is orientated towards the USA.

Who should read it?

Anybody who has symptoms or a diagnosis of IBS and clinical staff who may encounter patients with the disease, should read this fascinating book.

 

Making sense of IBS

The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook (third edition)

11 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook. Third edition

Author: Kathy Steligo

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This book details each step from decision making, choosing a consultant to the stages of pre and post breast reconstruction. For someone taking the steps to have a mastectomy due to cancer or for prophylactic purposes this guides the reader through the whole process. 

What were the highlights? 

The reader can gain all their information from one source by reading this invaluable guidebook. The reader does not need to trawl through various websites. It is all here. If there was ever good news in a patient facing mastectomy it is here as this a fantastic guide for the patient. It is written in a way that the reader feels at ease and the book is not overly complicated. If I were going through this, I would have this book with me at all times, it can answer questions that the reader needs answers to quickly. The photographs are of real people so it does not give a stilted view on issues.

It is comforting within the closing thoughts section of the book that breast reconstruction continues to progress along with research and continues to give the reader reassurance.

The author is honest in her approach, which makes this a balanced read.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This is a bible for all patients facing mastectomy and breast reconstruction. This is well written and up to date. There is even a section to give information to friends and family to guide them and enable them to have a greater understanding and equip them to support the person through this daunting journey.

The author herself had breast cancer in 2001, and the frustration of limited information lead her to write this book, which is now in its third edition. This is person that knows and understands what the reader needs.

This is written for the US as it has been used at the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction for many years. This is equally relevant to the UK patient and healthcare team also.

Who should read it?

This book is a must for a patient taking the steps to have a mastectomy due to cancer or for prophylactic purposes. It is also relevant to all healthcare staff who are caring for the patient through this journey and their families and loved ones.

 

The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook

An Amazing Murmur of the Heart

10 July, 2014 Posted by: -

Title: An Amazing Murmur of the Heart

Author: Cecil Helman

Publisher: Hammersmith Health Books

Reviewer: Jane Brocksom, rology & continence nurse specialist. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

What was it like?         

From a sceptical start this book has been an amazing read humorous in parts, poignant in others. A compact and readable book it had me intrigued and by chapter two, I was agreeing with Mr Helman “Where has the patient gone?” Now this book won’t answer the question but it does begin to set you own mind off thinking and reflecting. In fact you may just have your faith in humanity restored. The introduction sets the scene upon the “healing” and “curing” aspects of health, the healing care of sick patients not only treating there symptoms but listening and dealing with their hopes, fears, dreams and desires. By contrast the curing focuses on the care of the body itself, its diseases and dysfunctions - the psyche and the soma….. We can all be guilty of looking at the human body as a physical object - minimising or forgetting the “the amazing murmur of the heart” I suspect if we do it, its out of self preservation not uncaringly. No human being is ordinary…..

What were the highlights?       

The chapters comprise of wonderful titles including – The dubbuk of Eddie Barnet: Masks of the skin: Waiting for godette: Healing and curing: The psyche and the soma: Double deaths: The apotheosis of the brain: Heartsink: Wounded healers - all thought provoking and inspiring chapters. I also found some new words and phrases:-

Synecdoche - the part of the body, which comes to represent the whole (in my area it’s the bladder) 

Heartsink - patients with complex psyche and soma, who require/demand all our attention and time but we know we have no answers to “cure”. We feel so helpless and drained after seeing them - a wounded healer…..

Palimpsest - those thousands of painful, shocking memories both old and new you never forget, layer upon layer - never erased just replaced layer upon layer covered over with the next…..

Déformation professionelle - a HCP’s distorted world view of healing and curing……..

Strengths & weaknesses:        

I really hope this book is publicised widely as it deserves an audience. It’s a wonderful thought provoking book, which flows from page to page. I can find no weaknesses just a sincere desire to promote the positives and implore anyone within the healthcare setting to search it out and consider reading – reclaiming your heart and soul in the process. We need the technology and scientific advances but let us not forget the tangible elements of the “murmuring heart”.

Who should read it?    

Any HCP with an interest in the psyche and soma of human caring should consider searching out this book. It’s so easily readable but leaves and indelible mark long after the last page, incidentally a couple of weeks after finishing I was doing a talk on painful bladder syndrome and used the books contents in my summing up slide. 

“It seems there are times……when you simply cannot cure, and you cannot heal. When there is nothing that you can do to change a persons situation, or to alter there behaviour….. It means seeing ones medical role in a different way, accepting the limitations of medicine, and the fact that there are times when all one can do is sit back and watch, and listen closely, and bear compassionate witness as the long cavalcade of human suffering passes slowly before you”

 

An Amazing Murmur of the Heart

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