1. In section 6 do I critique the evidence individually or combined?
This partly depends on the number of new evidence that you have. Please read through the guidance on the template and if you are unsure if you have too much new evidence email a member of the module team to help you identify how to reduce this number.
Ideally you should critique each individual new evidence (this is to hone your critiquing skills) if there is commonality in the individual critiques you may want to present a combined critique of all the strengths and a separate critique of all the limitations (make sure you clearly identify which evidence your critique refers to).
If you have both qualitative and quantitative research studies you may want to group your critique for all qualitative and then all quantitative.
2. Am I writing a report or an essay?
The template is providing you with a structure that conforms more to a report rather than an essay which would require an introduction, main body and conclusion.
It is fine to use headings / sub-headings for each section.
3. Should I write about each domain in a linear fashion or any order?
The choice is yours, how you want to present your rationale, it is important that each relevant domain is covered so that you meet the associated learning outcomes.
4. Should I write about each statement?
Yes, ideally as this will give you the best opportunity to provide sufficient rationales and meet the associated learning outcomes. If the statement answer was ‘yes’ you may be briefer e.g. confirm that it was met, where in the guideline you were able to confirm this and why this statement is important (here is an opportunity to use literature and reference this). If the statement answer was ‘no’ there is more opportunity to provide your rationale as to why it was ‘no’ i.e. what was missing / incomplete / unclear, give an example of where it is done well in another guideline or how it could be improved and/or why this statement is important (these would be opportunities to use literature and reference this).
5. How relevant should the evidence be to the subject of the guideline?
As this section (section 6) is asking you to look at evidence that could be used to update the guideline for example it should be directly relevant to the content of the guideline. This may mean you have limited results, but this will give you an opportunity to discuss why this might be the case. Also where in the hierarchy of evidence is this range of evidence? Again this could be a discussion point as to the value of the evidence you have found in terms of the hierarchy.
6. Is there a research question for the literature search (section 6)?
For a formal literature review that is being undertaken as a research study a research question is needed. Essentially for this assignment and the literature searches that you undertake in the course you are not conducting a research study but rather you are finding what literature is available and once you have found it, you are deciding how valid it is. Therefore, you simply need to decide on relevant search terms and appropriate databases to give you the best opportunity to find the most relevant evidence.
7. What goes in the appendices?
Appendices are used when the incorporation of material in the body of the work would make it poorly structured or too long and detailed. Appendices may be used for helpful, supporting or essential material that would otherwise clutter, break up or be distracting to the text.
E.g. if you have written out your individual critiques for each new evidence but you present a section on the combined strengths and a separate section on the combined limitations in section 4, you could include these individual critiques in an appendix and refer the reader to this.
E.g. if you have found information that is not referenced in the module content and it is helpful for the reader to have this full information.
8. What is the difference between the literature search in Section 6 and Domain 3 in Section 4?
In section 6 you get a chance to put theory into practice by conducting your own lit search and appraising the evidence you found. So in this section the process of conducting the lit search is needed and then you present your appraisal of the evidence that you found to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence. In this section we are asking you to identify evidence that could be used to update the guideline for example. I.e. what new evidence has come about since the original publication that continues to support the current guideline or pushes for changes in light of new evidence. In order for this evidence to be used to inform an update once it has been found it then must be appraised for strengths and weaknesses before it can be confirmed as suitable to be used for a guideline update.
Domain 3 in Section 5 is asking you to confirm how well the guideline authors searched and appraised the evidence they used to create the recommendations. In order to do this you need to know how they should have conducted the literature search i.e. did they choose the right databases, appropriate search terms, effective inclusion / exclusion criteria and how they should have appraised the literature e.g. using a critiquing tool. You are not re-appraising the evidence they found. In the guideline they should have explained this (but they haven’t so this could be a recommendation to improve the guideline).