Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Preoperative and postoperative recommendations to surgical wound care interventions

a systematic meta-review of Cochrane reviews


<p>Background: The increasing numbers of surgeries involving high risk, multi-morbid patients, coupled with inconsistencies in the practice of perioperative surgical wound care, increases patients’ risk of surgical site infection and other wound complications. Objectives: To synthesise and evaluate the recommendations for nursing practice and research from published systematic reviews in the Cochrane Library on nurse-led preoperative prophylaxis and postoperative surgical wound care interventions used or initiated by nurses. Design: Meta-review, guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Data sources: The Cochrane Library database. Review methods: All Cochrane Systematic Reviews were eligible. Two reviewers independently selected the reviews and extracted data. One reviewer appraised the methodological quality of the included reviews using A MeaSurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2 checklist. A second reviewer independently verified these appraisals. The review protocol was registered with the Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Results: Twenty-two Cochrane reviews met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 11 reviews focused on preoperative interventions to prevent infection, while 12 focused on postoperative interventions (one review assessed both pre-postoperative interventions). Across all reviews, 14 (63.6%) made at least one recommendation to undertake a specific practice, while two reviews (9.1%) made at least one specific recommendation not to undertake a practice. In relation to recommendations for further research, insufficient sample size was the most predominant methodological issue (12/22) identified across reviews. Conclusions: The limited number of recommendations for pre-and-postoperative interventions reflects the paucity of high-quality evidence, suggesting a need for rigorous trials to address these evidence gaps in fundamentals of nursing care.</p>

Reference Gillespie, B. M., Walker, R. M., McInnes, E., Moore, Z., Eskes, A. M., O'Connor, T., Harbeck, E., White, C., Scott, I. A., Vermeulen, H., & Chaboyer, W. (2020). Preoperative and postoperative recommendations to surgical wound care interventions: a systematic meta-review of Cochrane reviews. International journal of nursing studies, 102, Article 103486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2019.103486
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 February 2020

Publication date

Feb 2020


Brigid M. Gillespie
Rachel M. Walker
Elizabeth McInnes
Zena Moore
Tom O'Connor
Emma Harbeck
Codi White
Ian A. Scott
Hester Vermeulen
Wendy Chaboyer


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