PICOT Statement and Literature Evaluation

Monica Castelao

Grand Canyon University

July 23, 2018


This paper critically analyzes the PICOT statement on benefits of Skin-To-Skin Care (SSC) over the use of radiant warmer among newborns aged 1-4 weeks among neonates in a level III-IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This analysis is done in relation to literature evaluation anchored on the PICOT statement. The paper seeks to highlight key issues eminent in the literature and hence recommend most viable remedies for future studies. The paper is of the idea that literature on the topic generally utilize narrow samples and populations of study and thereby recommends the use of board samples and populations in future studies (Booth, Sutton & Papaioannou, 2016).

A comparison of research questions

Selection of Literatures utilized in the evaluation was based on their relevance to the problem at hand. Based on the PICOT question for the study, this research is premised on the viability of the use of SSC for healthy newborns in neonatal care compared to the application of radiant warmer. Among the literature explored in the evaluation, the research questions are generally geared towards the establishment of the viability of SSC over radiant warmer for healthy children in neonatal care. Firstly, some literature explores the benefits that are associated with SSC for newborns in neonatal care. Secondly, some literature analyzes the effects of confounder variables on the effectiveness of SSC over radiant warmers. For example, implications of race and fathers’ role in the health of newborns are covered in the literature. Thirdly, other literatures have research questions that focus on strategies that can be used to improve the impact of SSC on the health of newborns in neonatal care. Lastly, other literatures are aimed at justifying the existence of the research problem thereby necessitating this research (Aveyard, 2014). 

A comparison of sample populations

The PICOT statement is based on a sample population of newborns aged 1 – 4 weeks in level III-IV in neonatal care. In the case of sample populations in the literature evaluated, various groups have been involved. Firstly, the need to evaluate the effects of confounder variables such as race and roles played by fathers in the health of newborns in neonatal care led to the inclusion of study populations to that effect. Secondly, the need to evaluate the implications of the mental and physical health status of newborns on the effectiveness of SSC informed inclusion of study populations to this effect. For instance, newborns with normal birth weight, low birth weight and extremely low birth weight are all included in the literature (Hart, 2018).

A comparison of the limitations of the study

Evaluation of the literature highlights different shortcoming associated with the studies and means used by different authors to surmount these limitations. This is essentially important because it informs the reliability and validity of studies. Among the limitations of the studies covered in the literature, evaluation is the presence of subjectivity that undermines the reliability and validity of the outcomes. The overwhelming majority of researchers based their studies on specific populations thereby undermining generalization of findings. In this case, samples used are not representative of the entire population of study (Hart, 2018).

Another common limitation of the literature is the availability of numerous confounder variables that may affect the outcomes of studies. The inability of the researchers to completely address these confounder variables has undermined objectivity in the studies. Another limitation of studies in the literature is lack of previous studies on which to anchor new ones due to the main focus of the PICOT question. In particular, the PICOT statement is limited to newborns in neonatal care facilities and very little has been done on the population. However, it is imperative to note that researchers in various literature instituted means of addressing limitations faced. In particular, the use of diverse populations and mixed methodology are means used to this effect (Booth, Sutton & Papaioannou, 2016).

A conclusion section, incorporating recommendations for further research

This analysis highlights that past studies purely focus on effects of SSC on the health of young ones. However, a fundamental concern that undermines the reliability of these studies is the use of narrow samples and populations and this undermines generalization. Principally, this study recommends the need for future studies to utilize broad samples and populations for a better understanding of the problem at hand (Aveyard, 2014).

Analysis of the literature on the subject highlights other areas of secondary concern that should be addressed by future studies. Firstly, the validity and reliability of future studies should be enhanced through the selection of a sample population that is representative of the entire group. The viability of this approach is to boost the accuracy of the research for more accurate findings and interpretation. This is largely important because it informs the effectiveness of intervention measures for addressing the problem under the study. Secondly, objectivity should be promoted through the use of research tools that reinforce the strengths of each other. For instance, over-reliance on exclusively qualitative or quantitative approaches brings about threats informed by their pitfalls. As such, future studies can employ a mixed methodological approach to surmount this challenge. Lastly, future studies should build on achievements of past ones for continuity to be maintained (Booth, Sutton & Papaioannou, 2016).


Aveyard, H. (2014). Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Booth, A., Sutton, A., & Papaioannou, D. (2016). Systematic approaches to a successful literature review. Sage.

Hart, C. (2018). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination. Sage.