Pre-operative and post-operative recommendations to surgical wound care interventions: A systematic meta-review of Cochrane reviews

Brigid M. Gillespie, Rachel M. Walker, Elizabeth Catherine McInnes, Zena Moore, Anne Eskes, Tom O'Connor, Emma Harbeck, Codi White, Ian Scott, Hester Vermeulen, Wendy P. Chaboyer

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Background: The increasing numbers of surgeries involving high risk, multi-morbid patients, coupled with inconsistencies in the practice of perioperative surgical wound care, increases patients’ risk of surgical site infection and other wound complications. Objectives: To synthesise and evaluate the recommendations for nursing practice and research from published systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library on nurse-led pre-operative prophylaxis and post-operative surgical wound care interventions used or initiated by nurses. Design: Meta-review, guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data sources: The Cochrane Library database. Review methods: All Cochrane Systematic Reviews were eligible. Two reviewers independently selected the reviews and extracted data. One reviewer appraised the methodological quality of the included reviews using A MeaSurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR 2) checklist. A second reviewer independently verified these appraisals. The review protocol was registered with the Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Results: Twenty-two Cochrane reviews met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 11 reviews focused on pre-operative interventions to prevent infection, while 12 focused on post-operative interventions (one review assessed both pre-and post-operative interventions). Across all reviews, 14 (63.6%) made at least one recommendation to undertake a specific practice, while two reviews (9.1%) made at least one specific recommendation not to undertake a practice. In relation to recommendations for further research, insufficient sample size was the most predominant methodological issue (12/22) identified across reviews. Conclusions: The limited number of recommendations for pre- and post-operative interventions reflects the paucity of high-quality evidence, suggesting a need for rigorous trials to address these evidence gaps in fundamentals of nursing care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)e-19-e-28
JournalJournal of Perioperative Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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