Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Anatomy of a Cochrane Review and How to Get the Most Out of It

The Cochrane Library is a mainstay of Evidence-based Practice.  It is used to support health care decisions.  It is produced by The Cochrane Collaboration, a group of clinicians, consumers, and researchers around the world. 

  • Cochrane Reviews are considered the Gold Standard for high-quality systematic reviews in evidence-based research.

  • Abstracts for Cochrane Reviews are indexed in PubMed with links to the full-text.

  • Cochrane Reviews include completed reviews and protocols (reviews in progress).

  • Consist of detailed, structured topic reviews covering hundreds of articles. Teams of Cochrane experts complete comprehensive literature reviews, evaluate the literature, and present summaries of the findings of the best studies, evaluating the evidence--so you don't have to.

  • Published by the International Cochrane Collaboration.

Anatomy of a Cochrane Systematic Review

Cochrane Reviews are highly structured and systematic, with evidence included or    excluded on the basis of clearly explained quality criteria.                   

Every Cochrane Review contains the following parts (See sample abstract) :

  •     Abstract

  •     Synopsis

  •     Background

  •     Objectives

  •     Criteria for Considering Studies for this Review

  •     Search Strategy for Identification of Studies

  •     Methods of the Review

  •     Description of Studies

  •     Methodological Quality

  •     Results

  •     Discussion

  •     Reviewers’ Conclusions

  •     Potential Conflict of Interest

For a quick overview of the review’s findings, look at the following sections that summarize the evidence:

  •     Abstract  - summarizes the objectives, methods, results and conclusions

  •     Synopsis - a 100-word plain-language summary found directly beneath the abstract.

  •     Reviewer’s Conclusions - an overview of the most important findings and discusses the implications for practice and research.


A Note before Printing a Complete Cochrane Review:

Be aware that the full pdf version of a review may be 80 or more pages and contain info not normally considered useful in a regular journal article (data, analyses, appendices, etc).  The reviewers include as much information as possible about the evidence they examined, and exactly how and why they arrived at their conclusions.  They try to make everything as transparent as possible so that others can do their own evaluation of the evidence, if desired. Most of us don't have time to dig in that deep.

Unless you love slogging through metadata, the structured abstract or summary version will probably provide what a busy clinician needs to know about the evidence. You may not even need to go further than looking at the abstract to answer your own clinical question.

 Sample Cochrane Abstract (via PubMed)

Find the Cochrane link on the following Library pages:

Cochrane Library - Evidence Based Reviews [Direct link]

Cochrane Search Tips

Questions or comments? Contact Your Ascension Wisconsin Librarians: 
 Michele Matucheski        Kellee Selden

What are Cochrane Reviews and Why are they beneficial?

We all know about journal articles, so what are Cochrane reviews? 

And why should I care about using them for evidence-based practice research?

A Cochrane review is a systematic review that has been prepared and supervised by Cochrane’s in-house editorial review team. 

“It attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision-making.” (1)  

In layman's terms, the experts at Cochrane conduct research on a topic or question, gather the evidence, sift through it for biased results and then report their findings in one document. 

I call these reviews “little nuggets of gold” because instead of you doing hours of research and trying to find all the articles, reviews, clinical trials and other materials that have been published on your topic or question, Cochrane experts have done it for you.

As an example, if the Cochrane review is published in 2016, then you don’t have to do research through sometime in 2016. You can rely on the Cochrane review to cover the available materials for this time period. You only need to find updates to your topic or question since 2016. This saves you a lot of time and provides you with reliable evidence based information. Another benefit is that these reviews have been analyzed for biases and reports that information in the results. 

Although Cochrane reviews are gold nuggets of best evidence, you won't find them on every topic.  The database has thousands of reviews but not every detailed question is answered within it.  That's when you may have to dig deeper into our other databases like PubMed or Cinahl.

So the next time you need to do evidence-based research, try searching for a Cochrane Review - the gold nugget.  

You will find Cochrane links on multiple The Ascension Wisconsin Library Services intranet pages such as 

Cochrane Library - Evidence Based Reviews [Direct link]]

Cochrane Search Tips

  1. “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.” Cochrane Library, John Wiley & Son’s,

Monday, July 20, 2020

What-the-Health? Online Book Club Raises Awareness about Health Equity

The nonprofit group PatientsRWaiting works to eliminate health disparities by increasing diversity in medicine.

One of their initiatives is the “What the Health?” virtual book club aimed at raising awareness regarding health equity. With a virtual meeting the last Wednesday of every month, they bring together a diverse group of people with new perspectives.

Visit What-the-Health Book Club for more information and to join an event.

Here are the Summer 2020 titles up for discussion:

At present, Ascension Wisconsin Library Services does not own or offer access to any of these titles.  Since we are working from home for the duration of the pandemic, we are not circulating print books simply because we are not on site to manage the physical process or infection prevention measures related to circulating print material.  

If you are interested in participating in these virtual book discussions, please purchase your own copies of the books.  Or try your local public library who may have digital copies available to lend.  

Although we don't own these books, we certainly encourage the discussions around health equity.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Access to 2020 AORN Guidelines

We have statewide access for the 2020 AORN.  
Please share with your Ascension Wisconsin OR peers around the state.

Direct Links
  • Note: single user license for this title. 
  • Please log out when you are done using it.

  • Unlimited simultaneous users on StatRef.

  • Check our catalog for complete listings of print and eBook formats.
  • Or the A-Z List for eBooks and eJournals.

For future reference, these and other useful links are listed on  
The Nursing Specialties LibGuide, under the following tabs: 

Questions and comments, please contact your Ascension Wisconsin Librarians:

                        Michele Matucheski  and  Kellee Selden.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Nurses Choice Recommended Reading - July 2020

July 2020
See what your fellow nurses are reading! Browse this month's round-up of the top 10 most read articles from Lippincott's prestigious list of nursing journals.

Register below for "COVID-19 Pulmonary, ARDS and Ventilator Resources", a free Webinar from the AACN available to view any time.Journal of Nursing Care Quality

The Harmful Consequences of Vaping: A Public Health Threat
Journal of Addictions Nursing, April/June 2020

An Assessment of Predatory Publication Use in Reviews
Clinical Nurse Specialist, July/August 2020

THE COVID-19 Pandemic: Overview and Integrative Health Approaches
Holistic Nursing Practice, July/August 2020

Workplace violence: Examination of the tensions between duty of care,
worker safety, and zero tolerance

Health Care Management Review, July/September 2020

Second victim support programs for healthcare organizations
Nursing Management, June 2020

The Effect of Virtual Nursing and Missed Nursing Care
Nursing Administration Quarterly, July/September 2020

Empowering nurses to activate the rapid response team
Nursing, June 2020

Mobile Health in Adherence to Oral Anticancer Drugs: A Scoping Review
CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, Publish ahead of print

Reinvigorating Evidence-Based Practice
Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, Publish ahead of print

Evaluation of the Impact of Handoff Based on the SBAR Technique on
Quality of Nursing Care

Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Publish ahead of print

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing

* List and links courtesy of Anne Chaney at Wolters-Kluwer/Ovid.
* Questions about access, contact Your Ascension Wisconsin Librarians: 
 Michele Matucheski        Kellee Selden

Sunday, July 5, 2020

NRC Plus - How to tell the difference between Nursing Procedures and Journal Articles?

Question: How do I know if I’m looking at a nursing procedure vs. a journal article in NRC Plus, and why should I care?

Answer: Nursing Reference Center Plus (NRC Plus) is an evidence-based point-of-care tool for nurses.   It offers always current, evidence-based Nursing Skills & Procedures (with competencies) along with evidence-based care sheets, drug info, patient education, and other content.  

NRC Plus includes the CINAHL Complete database as an easy way to search for journal articles, when you need to dig deeper.  That said, it’s important to understand what you’re looking at when you find “the perfect document” in NRC Plus, because journal articles may not be current or evidence-based.

Fortunately, NRC Plus gives several clues to help you decipher a nursing skill from a journal article.      

Read more in this step-by-step tutorial with screenshots. [pdf]

Learn more about NRC Plus:

Nursing Reference Center Plus Search Tips page

·         Helpful handouts, videos and tutorials for NRC Plus

·         Includes info about access NRC at home and via mobile devices

·         How to cite documents and reference content from NRC Plus.

This short 3-minute video is on the landing page for NRC – Plus under the Take a Tour link in the middle of the page. [Requires Flash].     Short, sweet and practical!

NRC Plus Takeaway Guide (1-page handout)

Questions or comments, contact Your Ascension Wisconsin Librarians: 

                     Michele Matucheski        Kellee Selden

Saturday, July 4, 2020

What is a Permalink? and why does it matter?

What is a permalink? And why does it matter?

People often ask me how to get a permalink and/or citations for documents in Nursing Reference Center.    This question comes up regularly when people want to :
  • share NRC documents or articles
  • cite them in policies / procedures
  • cite them in papers or
  • web-based training
  • or other venues
  • or just want to revisit them later
Unfortunately, people soon discover the url harvested from the browser location box times out and leads to an error message after a few short hours.  This brief tutorial on getting permalinks and citations in NRC and Ebsco should simplify the process, and save you time and frustration.

Have you ever tried to save a link to an article from one of the Library subscription databases only to find out it wouldn't work after some time had passed? 
Chances are you just copied the URL from your web browser and you weren't using a permalink.

In order to create a lasting link to an article,  use a permalink
Permalinks are also called 
  • persistent links or URLs
  • permanent links
  • stable URLs
  • DOIs (digital object identifiers). 

If a permanent link is not part of the record, you may need to look for a link to it. From CINAHL, NRC Plus, or other EBSCOhost databases, the link to access the permalink is available after clicking on the article title from the search results to display the Detailed Record:

Friday, July 3, 2020

Q&A: How do I cite and reference content from the NRC Plus in APA style?

Question: How do I cite and reference content from the Nursing Reference Center in APA style?


NRC Plus offers an EbscoConnect Help page / tutorial to answer this question:  

Nursing Reference Center Plus - Citing References in APA Format (Ebsco Tutorial)

Start by going in to Nursing Reference Center Plus (NRC Plus).  
Then follow the steps in the tutorial at the top of the page.
        >  Note:  It is important to examine each part of the pre-generated reference to make sure it is formatted correctly, and not missing important elements just as a doi or permalink.

  • Shows examples of properly formatted APA citations for the most common material types (journal article, book chapter, etc.)  Citing Sources - 

Nursing Reference Center Plus Search Tips page

·         Helpful handouts, videos and tutorials for NRC Plus

·         Includes info about access NRC at home and via mobile devices

Citing Sources includes info about the anatomy of a citation, and other citation tools (Not limited to APA format).    

Questions or comments, contact Your Ascension Wisconsin Librarians: 

                     Michele Matucheski        Kellee Selden