The systematic review of literature: Synthesizing evidence for practice


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Purpose.  With current emphasis on evidence-based practice, nurses are searching for answers to questions generated at the bedside. One method to identify and evaluate the existing evidence is to conduct or read a systematic review of the literature. The purpose of this paper is to describe the process of conducting a systematic review of literature.

Conclusion.  Defining attributes, rationale for, and steps in conducting systematic reviews are presented. Examples from published reviews on pediatric nursing are included.

Practice Implications.  Pediatric nurses may consult professionally prepared systematic reviews, such as The Cochrane Collection, or conduct their own reviews with the help of electronic search engines.