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The experience of conducting a Cochrane systematic review of the impact of clinical pathways on professional practice, patient outcomes, length of stay and hospital costs

The experience of conducting a Cochrane systematic review of the impact of clinical pathways on... Despite the high prevalence of clinical pathways (CPWs), the results from published studies are inconsistent and contradictory. The plethora of study designs, settings and lack of an agreed definition of a CPW make the relevance of individual studies difficult to apply to clinical settings. It was timely to catalogue and analyse the existing evidence base for CPWs via a rigorous systematic review. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide a high level of evidence for the effectiveness of interventions and are commonly employed reviewing strategies for addressing scientific questions in health-related research. This method is especially useful when research results are known to be inconsistent. Instead of conducting another primary evaluation, a detailed review is needed that reflects a summation of available research. This paper reports and discusses methodological and technical issues of a systematic review of the effectiveness of CPWs in hospitals, based on our experience with the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Care Pathways SAGE

The experience of conducting a Cochrane systematic review of the impact of clinical pathways on professional practice, patient outcomes, length of stay and hospital costs

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Royal Society of Medicine Press 2009
ISSN
2040-4034
eISSN
1758-1079
DOI
10.1258/jicp.2009.009009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite the high prevalence of clinical pathways (CPWs), the results from published studies are inconsistent and contradictory. The plethora of study designs, settings and lack of an agreed definition of a CPW make the relevance of individual studies difficult to apply to clinical settings. It was timely to catalogue and analyse the existing evidence base for CPWs via a rigorous systematic review. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide a high level of evidence for the effectiveness of interventions and are commonly employed reviewing strategies for addressing scientific questions in health-related research. This method is especially useful when research results are known to be inconsistent. Instead of conducting another primary evaluation, a detailed review is needed that reflects a summation of available research. This paper reports and discusses methodological and technical issues of a systematic review of the effectiveness of CPWs in hospitals, based on our experience with the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group.

Journal

International Journal of Care PathwaysSAGE

Published: Nov 1, 2009

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