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Nurse-Led Randomized Controlled Trials in the Perioperative Setting: A Scoping Review

Authors Munday J, Higgins N, Mathew S, Dalgleish L, Batterbury AS, Burgess L, Campbell J, Delaney LJ, Griffin BR, Hughes JA, Ingleman J, Keogh S, Coyer F

Received 27 March 2020

Accepted for publication 28 May 2020

Published 21 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 647—660


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Judy Munday,1– 4 Niall Higgins,1,2,5 Saira Mathew,1,2 Lizanne Dalgleish,1,2,5 Anthony S Batterbury,1,2,5 Luke Burgess,1,2,4 Jill Campbell,1,2,5 Lori J Delaney,1,2,6 Bronwyn R Griffin,1,2 James A Hughes,1,2,5 Jessica Ingleman,1,2 Samantha Keogh,1,2,5,7 Fiona Coyer1,2,5

1Centre for Healthcare Transformation, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 3 Department of Health and Nursing Science, University of Agder, Grimstad, 4879, Norway; 4Mater Research Institute-UQ, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia; 5Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia; 6Colleges of Health and Medicine, Australian National University, Acton, ACT 2601, Australia; 7Alliance for Vascular Access Teaching and Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, 4111, Australia

Correspondence: Judy Munday
School of Nursing, Rm 529, Level 5, N Block, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia
Tel +61 3138 8209
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Nurses provide care at each phase of the complex, perioperative pathway and are well placed to identify areas of care requiring investigation in randomized controlled trials. Yet, currently, the scope of nurse-led randomized controlled trials conducted within the perioperative setting are unknown. This scoping review aims to identify areas of perioperative care in which nurse-led randomized controlled trials have been conducted, to identify issues impacting upon the quality of these trials and identify gaps for future investigation.
Methods: This scoping review was conducted in reference to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews. Searches were conducted in PubMed, Embase, Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, with a date range of 2014– 19. Sources of unpublished literature included Open Grey, and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, Clinical and the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. After title and abstract checking, full-text retrieval and data extraction, studies were appraised using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklists for randomized controlled trials. Data were synthesized according to the main objectives. Key information was tabulated.
Results: From the 86 included studies, key areas where nurses have led randomized controlled trials include patient or caregiver anxiety; postoperative pain relief; surgical site infection prevention: patient and caregiver knowledge; perioperative hypothermia prevention; postoperative nausea and vomiting; in addition to other diverse outcomes. Issues impacting upon quality (including poorly reported randomization), and gaps for future investigation (including a focus on vulnerable populations), are evident.
Conclusion: Nurse-led randomized controlled trials in the perioperative setting have focused on key areas of perioperative care. Yet, opportunities exist for nurses to lead experimental research in other perioperative priority areas and within different populations that have been neglected, such as in the population of older adults undergoing surgery.

Keywords: perioperative, nursing, randomized controlled trial, scoping review

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