Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 66, Issue 3, page 481, March 2010
How to Cite
Roe, B. (2010), Editor's Choice. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66: 481. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05249.x
- Issue published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
Literature searching and locating qualitative data and studies
Research methods for systematic and integrative reviews are continually evolving and developing to inform the conduct of future reviews. The numbers of published systematic and integrative reviews have increased since the early 1990s; see for example The Cochrane Library, Campbell Collaboration, The Joanna Briggs Foundation, JAN and other academic and professional journals. As well as being an editor, author, lead and co-reviewer of systematic and integrative reviews, I have been teaching this academic term a module on systematic reviews for health and social care and recognize the challenges of ‘reading and using’ reviews as well as ‘doing’ and ‘teaching how to do’ them.
The methods for systematic reviews of quantitative empirical studies are more established (Egger et al. 2005, Higgins & Green 2008) with those for qualitative research also developing apace (Sandelowksi & Barroso 2007). Developments in systematic reviews are helping to inform the methods for integrative reviews, which remain the most challenging as they seek to incorporate research from mixed designs and methods as well as policy literature (Evans 2007, Whittemore 2007).
Consequently the paper by Gorecki et al. (2010) in this issue of JAN (pp. 645–652) struck me as novel and very helpful in developing methods for systematic and integrative reviews. They evaluated five search strategies to locate qualitative patient reported data on the impact of pressure sores on quality of life. They investigated the effectiveness of research-methodology-based strategies with subject-specific ones to search and locate data from primary qualitative and mixed methods studies. Five search strategies on seven electronic databases were examined for sensitivity, specificity, precision and accuracy. Gorecki et al. found subject-specific search strategies identified all studies reporting qualitative data whereas research-methodology-based searches did not. MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE databases produced the most yields. This study makes an important and valuable contribution not only to systematic and integrative reviews but empirical research in general as well as advancing knowledge on methods for searching the literature.
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