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Integrated Care for Older People: Methodological Issues in Conducting a Systematic Literature Review

Authors

  • Jan Reed RN, BA, PhD,

    1. Jan Reed, Professor, Centre for Care of Older People
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  • Sue Childs BSc, MSc,

    1. Sue Childs, Research Fellow, Information Society Research and Consultancy group, School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences
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  • Glenda Cook RN, BSc, PhD,

    1. Glenda Cook, Principal Lecturer, Centre for Care of Older People
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  • Amanda Hall BSc,

    1. Amanda Hall, PhD Student, Information Society Research and Consultancy group, School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences; all at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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  • Brendan McCormack BScN (Hons), PGCEA, DPhil (Oxon), MILT

    1. Brendan McCormack, Professor and Director of Nursing Research and PD, Royal Hospitals Trust/University of Ulster, Nursing Development Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Ireland.
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Address correspondence to Jan Reed, Centre for Care of Older People, Northumbria University, Coach Lane East, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK NE7 7XA; jan.reed@northumbria.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Systematic reviews are a useful approach for nurses to take in exploring issues important to their practice, and in this article the process of conducting a systematic literature review on integrated care for older people is described. The review was conducted as one strand of a research project aiming to inform the development of locality-based integrated care for older people in Northern Ireland, a development driven by observations of user needs.

Methodology: Systematic literature review methodology is summarized and critiqued. The process of undertaking the review in this study is described with a focus on the first stage of identifying literature, and the challenges that this presents in a review which draws on multiple bodies of work.

Results: Producing a systematic literature review in integrated care is a complex undertaking, comprising a variety of different sectors, organizations, care settings, professionals, and other users, with their own bodies of knowledge; the need for an inclusive approach; the need to search a wide range of databases; nonspecific terminology; and the inappropriateness of study design hierarchies as selection criteria.

Conclusions: While such a literature review might provide a basis for research and practice, the ability of the review team to call upon a wide range of skills, experience, and knowledge across the information management field and the care system is crucial.

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