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Randomized Controlled Trials and Quasi-Experimental Studies Published in Nursing Journals: Findings From a Scoping Review With Implications for Further Research.

Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31155844


Experimental studies are considered capable of generating substantial evidence; therefore, their production and diffusion are continuously encouraged. However, their trends as publication outputs in nursing journals have rarely been evaluated to date.


To describe experimental study design features among the highest indexed nursing journals.


A scoping review was performed by retrieving and analyzing experimental studies published between 2009 and 2016 in nursing journals with a 5-year impact factor >1.5 according to Thomson's Journal Citation Reports.


A total of 602 studies were reviewed and 340 (56%) were included; in all, 298/340 (87.6%) were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 37/340 (10.9%) pilot studies. The publication trend exhibited a fluctuating pattern with a slight decrease over time (from 54 studies in 2009 to 32 in 2016). Researchers working in Asia and Europe have published more frequently in the selected journals. Published studies most often involved oncological (n = 69, 20%), surgical (n = 41, 12%), and elderly patients (n = 38, 11%). Educational and supportive (n = 119, 35%) interventions were mainly tested for effectiveness. Approximately half of studies enrolled <100 patients, and only two-thirds had included an a priori sample size calculation. Less than one quarter (n = 76) of the research teams were multiprofessional, and 70% of studies were funded, generally, by public institutions.LINKING EVIDENCE TO ACTION: A broad range of research questions has been investigated to date by using experimental study designs. However, study methods and multidisciplinary collaborations must be enhanced with the intent of producing large-scale and methodologically sound studies. Furthermore, reasons for limited funding and, particularly, the lack of support from private funding should be further investigated.