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Report on the “Introduction to Evidence-Based Health Care and the Systematic Review of Evidence” Online Course

Posted by on April 20th, 2018 Posted in: Advocacy, Funding, Outreach, Training


by Hannah Schilperoort, MLIS, MA
Information Services & Nursing Liaison Librarian
Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

With great thanks to a NNLM PSR Professional Development Award, I was able to participate in a Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) self-paced online course, Module 1: Introduction to Evidence-Based Health Care and the Systematic Review of Evidence, the first module in a four-part series of the online JBI Comprehensive Systematic Review Program. A complete list of JBI online courses is also available.

The four online modules are designed as a less in-depth overview of the content taught in the four-day, in-person JBI Comprehensive Systematic Review Training Program offered at the University of Adelaide; University of California, San Francisco JBI Centre; and other JBI partner locations. To become a certified JBI reviewer who can submit protocols and reviews to the JBI Library, one must attend the in-person training. At least one person on the systematic review team must be a certified JBI reviewer in order to use the JBI systematic review software and publish in the JBI Library.

I am the Nursing Liaison Librarian at Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California. A few members of the nursing faculty have expressed interest in conducting systematic reviews following JBI methodology (the preferred methodology for nurse researchers) with hopes that I would partner with them as a co-author to conduct the reviews. I have experience conducting systematic reviews as part of a systematic review support service at the Norris Medical Library, but we tend to use Cochrane Collaboration methodology.

JBI has many excellent online resources, such as the JBI Reviewers’ Manual and Critical Appraisal Tools. The JBI Reviewers’ Manual is very comprehensive, and an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn about JBI systematic review methodologies. In addition to these resources, I wanted a more structured approach, but did not currently have the time and funding for the in-person training, so I hoped that the JBI online courses would provide a good alternative to the in-person training.

The online course covers:

  • JBI history, mission, vision, and structure.
  • JBI resources for evidence based healthcare and research.
  • JBI approach to evidence based healthcare.
  • JBI systematic review process, with emphasis on developing and documenting the research question and search strategy in the protocol and final report. (Appraisal, extraction, and synthesis are covered in modules 2-4 in the four-part online series.)
  • SUMARI, the JBI protocol and review software suite designed to assist with all development and archival functions of a review, from protocol to final report.

After completing the online course, I have a better understanding of the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology of conducting systematic reviews. I learned that for reviews of effectiveness the JBI process is similar to that of Cochrane Collaboration. However, JBI also provides guidance for conducting systematic reviews of qualitative studies. This is important because a significant amount of nursing research is qualitative.

JBI courses are designed for nurse researchers rather than librarians. Thus, the sections about developing a search strategy will seem a little rudimentary to a librarian. However, I still found these sections useful because the specific expectations of conducting and presenting the search in a JBI protocol and review are described in detail. JBI also explicitly recommends that the systematic review team include a librarian or information professional.

I now have a better understanding of the JBI systematic review process and am better prepared to answer questions from the nursing faculty about JBI methodology and software. To use the JBI software and publish in the JBI Library, one of the nursing faculty must attend the JBI in-person training, and when that happens I feel confident that I am prepared to be an integral part the systematic review team!

Image of the author ABOUT Alan Carr
Alan Carr is the Associate Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region, based at UCLA.

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This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement Number UG4LM012341 with the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.

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