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Literature Search and Evaluation
The search for information relevant to the chosen topic requires an understanding of how literature is filtered and systematized. Different levels of reviews and studies allow nurses to find data that is recent, reliable and appraised by other professionals. In this search, the topic of pain assessment for cancer patients in end-of-life care was chosen. Such terms as “pain assessment,” “pain measurement,” “cancer,” and “end of life” were utilized in multiple databases. The number of results in each database was low, possibly showing that the topic could be underrepresented in recent scholarship. The search in the Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database yielded 2 results for critically appraised topics, and the studies were not close to the examined question. The process of searching for a systematic review on the Cochrane Database resulted in 3 articles, each removed from the topic’s main idea. The search for a critically appraised individual article on the ACP Journal Club produced 3 studies. Finally, CINAHL Plus showed 12 results of recent randomized control trials (RCTs).
It is necessary to note that such a small number of search results may indicate a number of issues. First of all, the proposed search terms maybe not popular among authors. Second, the topic may be understudied or unmentioned in recent studies. Finally, it is possible that the problem is not represented in more refined types of literature while being present in unfiltered information. The first database that was searched, Cochrane Database, produced 3 systematic reviews. The chosen article by Henschke et al. (2013) discusses the procedure of screening patients with low-back pain to detect possible malignant growth. While this information relates to such concepts as pain assessment and it discusses the process of treating cancer patients, it does not fit the topic of the PICOT questions, which is concerned with nurses evaluating patients’ pain according to guidelines. Nevertheless, this article can be used to address the crucial role of following suggested recommendations for a higher quality of care.
The search for a critically appraised topic on the Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database yielded 2 results, one of which is an article by Slade (2016) that summarizes best practices for nurses to assess the quality of palliative care. The author finds that the use of documented pain assessment techniques has improved significantly. Thus, this article may be used as a basis for proving that documented practices are needed for better care, although the information, in summary, is not described in detail. Similarly, unsatisfactory results were produced by the search for critically appraised articles which was performed using the ACP Journal Club. Out of the 3 studies, none were directly connected to the topic. For example, the search showed an article by Juncadella and Feuerstein (2017), who discuss acute diverticulitis and its treatment. Finally, the search for RCTs yielded more results, including the one by Morales‐Fernandez et al. (2016), where the authors investigate the impact of a nursing intervention on patients with chronic pain.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Overall, the quality of searches using the proposed words was low. It could be possible that the use of different words would be more successful than the current results. However, another reason may be that the topic is not represented in recent studies or the chosen databases. Perhaps, an effective search needs more attention not only to the words themselves but also to their use in a sentence. As can be seen, some words are detected more often than others, which may affect the outcome of the search. All in all, learning how to match the keywords and Boolean terms is a useful skill if one needs to find relevant, reliable, and recent sources.
Henschke, N., Maher, C. G., Ostelo, R. W. J. G., de Vet, H. C., Macaskill, P., & Irwig, L. (2013). Red flags to screen for malignancy in patients with low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2). Web.
Juncadella, A. C., & Feuerstein, J. D. (2017). In uncomplicated, left-sided acute diverticulitis, observation did not differ from antibiotics for recovery. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(4), JC18.
Morales‐Fernandez, A., Morales‐Asencio, J. M., Canca‐Sanchez, J. C., Moreno‐Martin, G., Vergara‐Romero, M., & Group for Pain Management Hospital Costa del Sol Members. (2016). Impact on quality of life of a nursing intervention programme for patients with chronic non‐cancer pain: An open, randomized controlled parallel study protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(5), 1182-1190.
Slade, S. (2016). Palliative care: Outcome measures. The Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database: JBI Evidence Summary, 2016, 1-3.