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Evaluating Evidence in Nursing Research

The evidence-based approach is a central topic of discussion in modern healthcare practice. The benefits of evidence-based practice cannot be overstated because it has significantly improved health outcomes. The best evidence in nursing research is formed through extensive literature analysis and data evaluation from clinical studies (Grove & Gray, 2018). There are two main methods of evaluating evidence in nursing research: systematic review and meta-analysis. The former is the research type in which the best research evidence about the problem is determined from the available literature synthesis. The latter involves extracting data from previous clinical trials into one quantitative research paper to evaluate a treatment’s effectiveness (Grove & Gray, 2018). Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) is a common complication after Cesarian delivery (Moulton et al., 2018). The prevalence of CAUTI in women after Cesarian delivery should be evaluated with meta-analysis rather than a systematic review because it allows synthesizing numerical data with a larger sample size for a more accurate representation of the problem.

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Meta-analysis and systematic review are both effective methods for evaluating different research questions. The systematic review is a structured synthesis of scientific literature to determine the best solution for a healthcare problem (Grove & Gray, 2018). Meta-analysis is the type of study that extracts data from many clinical studies and combines these results to provide a quantitative view of an issue (Grove & Gray, 2018). Although both of these terms can be used interchangeably, meta-analysis is more appropriate for exploring problems requiring quantitative results. Meta-analysis will compile information from clinical studies and analyze it utilizing statistical methods and present statistically significant results about CAUTI prevalence after Cesarian-section. In contrast, the systematic review method helps provide qualitative data; thus, it will not accurately represent CAUTI epidemiology. Therefore, meta-analysis should be used in determining the prevalence of CAUTI after Cesarean delivery.

Overall, meta-analysis and systematic review are the two standard methods used in nursing research. Systematic reviews are used to find a solution for a problem by analyzing credible literature. Meta-analysis is used to extract and combine results from different clinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention. Although both of these methods are effective nursing research methods, meta-analysis is more suitable for determining the prevalence of CAUTI after Cesarean-section because it provides structured statistical analysis of quantitative data.


Grove, S. K., & Gray, J. R. (2018). Understanding nursing research e-book: building an evidence-based practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Moulton, L., Lachiewicz, M., Liu, X., & Goje, O. (2018). Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) after term cesarean delivery: Incidence and risk factors at a multi-center academic institution. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 31(3), 395–400. Web.

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