Nursing: 779 Systematic Reviews


Please note:  Dr. Waldrop's 779 class will NOT be using Covidence.

Example Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

  • Adult population
  • Pediatric population
  • Wrong comparator
  • Wrong dose
  • Wrong indication
  • Wrong intervention
  • Wrong outcomes
  • Wrong patient population
  • Wrong route of administration
  • Wrong setting
  • Wrong study design

Finding Randomized Controlled Trials

RCT's may NOT work for your type of question (especially if there are ethical implications) or it may not work for the amount of articles on your topic.  If you decide to use an RCT, you can use the search hedge found here (from Cochrane):


("randomized controlled trial"[pt] OR "controlled clinical trial"[pt] OR randomized[tiab] OR placebo[tiab] OR "drug therapy"[sh] OR randomly[tiab] OR trial[tiab] OR groups[tiab])


('randomized controlled trial'/exp OR 'controlled clinical trial'/exp OR randomized:ti,ab OR placebo:ti,ab OR 'drug therapy':lnk OR randomly:ti,ab OR trial:ti,ab OR groups:ti,ab)


(PT Randomized Controlled Trial OR TI(randomized OR placebo OR “drug therapy” or random OR trial OR groups) OR AB(randomized OR placebo OR “drug therapy” or random OR trial OR groups))


Other filters you can add:

  PubMed CINAHL PsycInfo
Date "last 10 years"[PDat] DT 2006-2017 

DT 2006-2017 

English English[lang]

LA English

LA English
Humans Humans[Mesh]    

Using Covidence?

Covidence is a screening tool that assists you in making decisions at the title/abstract level and at the full text level.  To view the PRISMA chart for your Covidence review, go into the Extraction menu of the review.  Select all articles and hit the export button.

extraction box

Choose the option for Data Extractions and hit Export.

data export

The PRISMA tab on the following page will show you the decisions you made after duplicate removal.  Note that it will not show you the number of articles per database.

covidence prisma

Quality Assessments

What do Cochrane's Risk of Bias questions mean?

  • Sequence Allocation: Is it random? Is it convenience?  How were they selected?
  • Allocation Concealment:  Was it blind?
  • Blinding of Participants/Personnel: Did the participants or person conducting the intervention or collecting the data know who received which intervention?
  • Blinding of Outcome Assessors: Did those interpreting the data know who received the interventions?
  • Incomplete Outcome Data:  Did they report all participant #s (for characteristics, for interventions, for attrition, for exclusion)?
  • Selective Reporting of Outcome Data:  Did they report both positive and negative data? Did they admit any limitations or problems with their study design?  Did they fail to report a part of data about that pertains to their research question?
  • Other Sources of Bias: Conflicts of interest ($ or affiliations of researchers), if study was localized to one region/state/setting, if diversity was lacking, etc.
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