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

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Munday, Judy
Higgins, Niall
Mathew, Saira
Dalgleish, Lizanne
Batterbury, Anthony S
Burgess, Luke
Campbell, Jill
Delaney, Lori J
Griffin, Bronwyn R
Hughes, James A
Ingleman, Jessica
Keogh, Samantha
Coyer, Fiona
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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 Sources of unpublished literature included Open Grey, and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses, Clinical and the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.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.

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Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
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© 2020 Munday et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The full terms of the License are available at The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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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, Nurse-Led Randomized Controlled Trials in the Perioperative Setting: A Scoping Review, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 2020, 13, pp. 647-660