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Keywords

Data management system, Informatics infrastructure, Meta-analysis

 

Authors

  1. BROWN, SHARON A. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. MARTIN, ELLEN E. RN, MSN
  3. GARCIA, THERESA J. RN, BSN
  4. WINTER, MARY A. RN, MSN
  5. GARCIA, ALEXANDRA A. PhD, RN, FAAN
  6. BROWN, ADAMA PhD
  7. CUEVAS, HEATHER E. RN, MSN, CDE
  8. SUMLIN, LISA L. RN, MSN

Abstract

Meta-analyses of broad scope and complexity require investigators to organize many study documents and manage communication among several research staff. Commercially available electronic tools, for example, EndNote, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Blackboard, Excel, and IBM SPSS Statistics (SPSS), are useful for organizing and tracking the meta-analytic process as well as enhancing communication among research team members. The purpose of this article is to describe the electronic processes designed, using commercially available software, for an extensive, quantitative model-testing meta-analysis. Specific electronic tools improved the efficiency of (a) locating and screening studies, (b) screening and organizing studies and other project documents, (c) extracting data from primary studies, (d) checking data accuracy and analyses, and (e) communication among team members. The major limitation in designing and implementing a fully electronic system for meta-analysis was the requisite upfront time to decide on which electronic tools to use, determine how these tools would be used, develop clear guidelines for their use, and train members of the research team. The electronic process described here has been useful in streamlining the process of conducting this complex meta-analysis and enhancing communication and sharing documents among research team members.