Cochrane systematic review update on Critical Care Outreach and Early Warning Systems

Jennifer McGaughey, Peter vanBogaert, Dean Fitzsimons, Louise Rose

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Systematic reviews are accepted as the most reliable format for collating literature to provide reliable evidence to inform health care decisions. The focus of this paper is to provide an overview of the process and findings of a Cochrane systematic review update on ‘Outreach and Early Warning Systems for the prevention of Intensive Care admission and death of critically ill adult patients on general hospital wards’.
The aim of this systematic review update was to determine the effectiveness of Early Warning Systems and Critical Care Outreach services on hospital mortality rates, ICU admission patterns, length of hospital stay and incidence of serious adverse events of adult patients who deteriorate on general hospital wards.
A comprehensive search strategy of Central, CDSR, DARE, HTA, NHS-EED, Embase, Cinhal (EBSCO), Amed, Clinical, HMIC, Medline, PsychINFO and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) databases, citation searching and a grey literature search by contacting critical care professional associations, Outreach forums and networks was undertaken to locate the evidence. All randomised controlled trials, controlled before and after and interrupted time series designs that met the inclusion criteria for the review were included. The criteria for considering studies for the review were clearly identified prospectively in a published protocol (McGaughey et al, 2005). All titles and abstracts were screened independently by three reviewers. Full text copies of potentially relevant studies were independently assessed by two reviewers and conflicts resolved. Data was abstracted from the included studies using a modified version of the EPOC data collection tool and the methodological quality of the included studies was assessed was independently reviewed by two reviewers.
The findings from this systematic review highlight the heterogeneity and the poor methodological rigour of current research on the effectiveness of Outreach and Early Warning Systems. The conclusions and recommendations for practice will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 09 Feb 2017
EventCare 4 International Scientific Nursing & Midwifery Congress - University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 08 Feb 201710 Feb 2017


ConferenceCare 4 International Scientific Nursing & Midwifery Congress


  • Critical Care


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