Strategies facilitating practice change in pediatric cancer: a systematic review

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PurposeBy conducting a systematic review, we describe strategies to actively disseminate knowledge or facilitate practice change among healthcare providers caring for children with cancer and we evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies.Data sourcesWe searched Ovid Medline, EMBASE and PsychINFO.Study selectionFully published primary studies were included if they evaluated one or more professional intervention strategies to actively disseminate knowledge or facilitate practice change in pediatric cancer or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.Data extractionData extracted included study characteristics and strategies evaluated. In studies with a quantitative analysis of patient outcomes, the relationship between study-level characteristics and statistically significant primary analyses was evaluated.Results of data synthesisOf 20 644 titles and abstracts screened, 146 studies were retrieved in full and 60 were included. In 20 studies, quantitative evaluation of patient outcomes was examined and a primary outcome was stated. Eighteen studies were ‘before and after’ design; there were no randomized studies. All studies were at risk for bias. Interrupted time series was never the primary analytic approach. No specific strategy type was successful at improving patient outcomes.ConclusionsLiterature describing strategies to facilitate practice change in pediatric cancer is emerging. However, major methodological limitations exist. Studies with robust designs are required to identify effective strategies to effect practice change.

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