IDENTIFYING A RESEARCHABLE PROBLEM 5
Identifying a Researchable Problem
NURS 6052, Section 2, Essentials of Evidence- Based Practice
Identifying a Researchable Problem
Nurses are essential key players within the healthcare delivery system. Research plays a vital role in nursing in terms of the current and future directions of healthcare. In order for any research to be successful a strategy needs to be in place. The researcher must have specific questions which are answerable as it pertains to the problem in question. Researchers must rely on successful studies to acquire accurate literature in order to provide useful and credible information. This can be accomplished by formulating a list of keywords and background questions. The purpose of this paper is to identify and summarize a problem of interest, develop a PICOT question with back ground questions and identify keywords that will aid in researching the proposed problem.
Problem of Interest
According to (Martha, Karp, Bauer, Raghavan, Terrin and Zwicker, 2012) over 30 percent of women in the study of 500, women ages 25-40 who takes oral contraceptives versus Intra Uterine Devices (IUD) or no birth control are at a greater risk of having a venous thromboembolic event. Venous thromboembolic events can be a life threating medical problem. The risk of these thromboembolic complications can cause serious issues and is very important to bring awareness to women within the ages 25-40. According to (Lidegaard, Lokkegaard, Jensen, Skovlund and Keiding, 2012) studies have shown that thromboembolic complications ranges from myocardial infarction, thrombolytic stroke and even pulmonary embolism.
Studies suggest that before women consider taking any form of birth control whether its oral or an implanted device to be well informed of potential risk factors. Risk factors includes smoking, obesity, and a family history of thrombosis. These risk factors will increase a woman chances of developing a thromboembolic complication when taking oral contraceptive.
The acronym PICOT is a tool used to break down clinical questions into searchable keywords (Davies, 2011, p. 75). The acronym PICOT stands for (P) Patient/Population, (I) Intervention, (C) Comparison, (O) Outcome and (T) Time. Composing a question using PICOT is more methodological and provides more of an effective search. The proposed research question for his project is: Are women ages 25-40 (P) who take oral contraceptives (I) at greater risk for developing blood clots (O) compared with women ages 25-40 (P) who use IUDs for contraception (C) over a 5-year time frame (T)?
Background questions are general in nature, they form the foundation of a clinical question (Polit & Beck,2012, p.33). The following are background questions that will aid in answering the proposed PICOT question.
· What are oral contraceptives?
· Types of oral contraceptives?
· What is a Intra Uterine Device (IUD)?
· Risk factors for taking contraceptives?
· Complications associated with contraceptives?
The first three questions are geared towards background information on the proposed problem. The fourth question will identify the population with the greatest risk factors for the proposed problem. Last question forms the main focus of the final paper.
Supporting Literature and Keywords.
Keywords are important terms used to search on a database to enhance a research for supporting literature (Polit & Beck ,2012. p.732). The keywords: Blood clots, oral contraceptives, Intrauterine Device, thrombosis, randomized, nonrandomized, thromboembolic events, systematic reviews, study and risk were used in multiple search engines to acquire information for this paper. Systematic review, critically appraised topics, and critically appraised individual articles fall under filtered information. Filtered resources offered more detailed information, eliminates poorly done studies and asks specific clinical questions and attempt to make practical recommendations as it pertained to my PICO question. Unfiltered resources provide access to randomized control trials, cohort studies and case report. Unfiltered resources were limited in terms of the quantity of information found pertaining to my PICO question.
Thromboembolic events are serious issues that relates to oral contraceptives. Nurses plays a very vital role not only as a patient advocate be nurses. Nurses are the major players in keeping patients informed about potential risk of any medication. Nurses provide patients with educational tips and resources. The formulation of a PICOT question can aid in a successful high quality research.
References Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: A review of the frameworks. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(2), 75-80. Retrieved from https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/viewFile/9741/8144 Lidegaard, O.,Lokkegaard, E., Jensen,A., Skovlund,C &Keidling, M. (2012) Thrombotic Stroke and Myocardial Infarction with Hormonal Contraception. NEngl J Med 2012;366-2257-2266. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1111840. Mantha, S.,Karp,R., Raghavan,V.,Terrin,N.,Bauer,K &Zwicker,J.I (2012) Assessing the risk of venous thromboembolic events in women taking progestin-only contraception: a meta-analysis. BMJ 2012;345: e4944 DOI:10.1136/bmj. e4944. Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
Running head: SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 1
Sepsis Literature Review
Student at Walden
NURS 6052, Section 2, Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice
Please use portrait orientation for the paper, but place your table in landscape. Find directions in doc sharing.
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 2
Sepsis Literature Review
Conducting a literature review is helpful to become familiar with a topic of interest. The development of a clinical question is
a necessary first step before searching for primary and secondary literature sources (Polit & Beck, 2012, p. 96). Using the databases
provided by the Walden University Library can be a helpful resource while compiling a literature review. The purpose of this project is
to conduct a literature review and, a synthesis of the studies found. From this review, I will draw, and preliminary conclusions about
the following PICOT question: In the adult population diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock (P), is utilizing early broad-
spectrum antibiotic therapy (I) superior to awaiting culture results before antibiotic treatment (C), to reduce mortality rate (O) during
inpatient hospitalization (T)?
Current State of Knowledge
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently held a consensus to redefine sepsis and septic shock. The
redefinition of terms stems from advances in diagnostics and the need to clarify and simplify the stages of sepsis. The following are
the definitions proposed by JAMA:
Sepsis: “Life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection” (Singer & et al.,
Septic Shock: “Sepsis with circulatory and cellular/metabolic abnormalities profound enough to substantially increase
mortality” (Singer & et al., 2016).
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 3
Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores are to be utilized when diagnosing sepsis or septic shock. A SOFA score of two
or greater is considered sepsis. Septic shock also has a SOFA score greater than two, but the patient requires vasoactive medications to
maintain an adequate blood pressure for organ perfusion and has an elevated lactate level (Singer & et al, 2016).
More than one million Americans develop severe sepsis every year. This life-threatening illness is frequently a result of a
bacterial infection that becomes serious enough to cause a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Patients that develop
sepsis are usually debilitated and often have other co-morbidities (NIGHS, 2015). The risk of mortality increases if sepsis is left
untreated. Symptoms of sepsis progress quickly from general malaise to multisystem organ failure as seen in septic shock (Leon, et al.,
2013). Studies suggest that one in four patients diagnosed with sepsis will progress to severe sepsis or septic shock (Capp, et al.,
2015). Early treatment of septic shock is essential to reduce mortality rates (Gaieski, et al., 2010).
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign developed and published in 2013 an international guideline for the treatment of severe sepsis.
The key features of the guidelines recommend that patients receive resuscitative measures via intravenous fluids and vasoactive
medications as necessary. Blood cultures are also to be drawn from needed for patients that who are suspected to have severe sepsis.
Furthermore, empiric antibiotics are to be administered within the first six hours of the onset of the symptoms of sepsis (Dellinger &
et al., 2013). The early administration of an empiric antibiotic can improve the overall mortality rate of patients diagnosed with severe
sepsis or septic shock (Ferrer, et al., 2009). Comment [T1]: Are there more than one study that concludes this? If so, cite them
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 4
Review of Literature Table
A review of literature table (RLT) is provided that provides information related to the early administration of empiric
antibiotics to patients diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock. Siddiqui & Razzak attempted a systematic review of randomized
controlled trials (RCT) revealing no current RCT studies (Siddiqui & Razzak, 2012). The study suggests that RCTs of septic patients
would be unethical and that observational studies would be a more appropriate approach to evaluate the relationship between empiric
antibiotics and the mortality of septic patients (Siddiqui & Razzak, 2012). There are, however, Oobservational studies available that
suggest that the early administration of empiric antibiotics to septic patients can reduce mortality (cite a few of those studies here).
MacArthur, et al. conducted an observational study involving 2634 patients diagnosed with sepsis revealing a 43% mortality
rate of patients that did not receive appropriate empiric antibiotics as compared to a 33% mortality rate for patients that received
appropriate empiric antibiotics (MacArthur, et al., 2004). Ferrer, et al. conducted an observational study of 2,796 patients diagnosed
with sepsis revealing a 41.6% mortality rate of patients that did not receive appropriate empiric antibiotics (Ferrer, et al., 2009). Paul,
et al. conducted a meta-analysis of seventy prospective studies that suggest that the appropriate empiric to septic patients significantly
reduces overall mortality rates (Paul, et al., 2010). Studies with fewer participants diagnosed with sepsis were conducted by Gajeski, et
al., 2010 and Harbarth, et al., 2003 both suggesting that the administration of early empiric antibiotics to septic patients reduces
mortality rates. Comment [T2]: Excellent synthesis
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 5
Systematic reviews or meta-analysis of RCTs summarize and provide a high-quality synthesis of multiple RCTs and are
considered a gold standard in research (Polit & Beck, 2012, p. 30). Observational studies and reviews lack the randomization of
groups found in RCTs. and They are prospective in design thus decreasing the risk of unethical research. The utilization of a
prospective design was consistent with all the studies in the RLT. The observational studies provided in the RLT represent a small
group of patients, but there are significant findings suggest that the administration of early empiric antibiotics to septic patients can
reduce overall mortality (cite all studies that support this conclusion). Continued research regarding the timing of empiric antibiotics
can provide standards for evidenced based practice that can reduce the mortality rates of patients diagnosed with severe sepsis.
The purpose of this project was to conduct a literature review addressing the PICOT question regarding the administration of
early empiric- antibiotics effects on the mortality rate of adults diagnosed with severe sepsis. The findings of the literature review
suggest that overall mortality is decreased when an appropriate early antibiotic treatment is utilized for patients with severe sepsis. The
main limitation of the studies is that RCTs is unethical. All studies resorted to observational reviews of other RCTs that included septic
patients who received antibiotics. Further study of the type and timing of the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics to septic
patients’ needs to be evaluated. Comment [T3]: patients
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 6
Capp, R., Horton, C., Takhar, S., Ginde, A., Peak, D., Zane, R., & Marill, K. (2015). Predictors of patients who present to the
emergency department with sepsis and progress to septic shock between 4 and 48 hours of emergency department arrival.
Critical Care Medicine, 43(5), 983-988. Retrieved from
Dellinger, P., & et al. (2013). International guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012. Critical Care Medicine
Journal, 41(2), 580-637. doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e31827e83af
Ferrer, R., Artigas, A., Suarez, D., Palencia, E., Levy, M., Arenzana, A., . . . Sirvent, J. (2009). Effectiveness of treatments for severe
sepsis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 180(9), 861-866. doi:10.1164/rccm.200812-19120C
Gaieski, D., Mikkelsen, M., Band, R., Pines, J., Massone, R., Furia, F., . . . Goyal, M. (2010). Impact of time to antibiotics on survival
in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock in whom early goal-directed therapy was initiated in the emergency department.
Society of Critical Care Medicine, 38(4), 1045-1053. doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181cc4824
Harbarth, S., Garbino, J., Pugin, J., Romand, J., Lew, D., & Pittet, D. (2003). Inappropriate initial antimicrobial therapy and its effect
on survival in a clinical trial of immunomodulating therapy for severe sepsis. The American Journal of Medicine, 115(7), 529-
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 7
Leon, A., Hoyos, N., Barrera, L., Rosa, G., Dennis, R., Duenas, C., . . . Jaimes, F. (2013). Clinical course of sepsis, severe sepsis, and
septic shock in a cohort of infected patients from ten Colombian hospitals. BMC Infectious Diseases, 1-9. Retrieved from
MacArthur, R., miller, M., Albertson, T., Panacek, E., Johnson, D., Teoh, L., & Barchuk, W. (2004). Adequacy of early empiric
antibiotic treatment and survival in severe sepsis: Experience from the MONARCS trial. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 38(2),
NIGHS. (2015). Sepsis fact sheet. Retrieved from National Institute of General Medical Sciences:
Paul, M., Shani, V., Muchtar, E., Kariv, G., Eyal, R., & Leibovici, L. (2010). Systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of
appropriate empiric antibiotic therapy of sepsis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 54(11), 4851-4863.
Polit, D., & Beck, C. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (Laureate Education, Inc.,
custom ed.). Philidelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Siddiqui, S., & Razzak, J. (2012). Early versus late pre-intensive care unit admission broad spectrum antibiotics for severe sepsis in
adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007081.pub2
Comment [T4]: I know this physician
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 8
Singer, M., & et al. (2016). The third international consensus definitions for sepsis and septic shock (Sepsis-3). The Journal of the
American Medical Association, 315(8), 801-810. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0287
Review of Literature Table
Citation Type of Study
Setting Key Concepts/Variables
Findings Hierarchy of Evidence Level
(Ferrer, et al., 2009) Type of Study:
Observational Design Type:
Setting: 2,796 adult septic patients in 77 intensive care units were studied to determine the
Concepts: Independent Variable: Early administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics Dependent Variable: mortality
Findings of this study show that 41.6% of the patients analyzed died before hospital discharge. The study suggests that there is a decreased risk of mortality with the use of the early administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 9
None listed effectiveness of treatments recommende d by sepsis guidelines.
Controlled Variable: Patients diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock
(Gaieski, et al., 2010) Type of Study: Observational
Design Type: Single-center cohort study
Framework/Theory: None listed
261 patients diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock in one emergency department from 2005- 2006
Concepts: Effects of the timing of antibiotics on mortality.
Independent Variable: EGDT, timing of antibiotics
Dependent Variable: Mortality
Controlled Variable: Patient with severe sepsis or septic shock
There were significant findings to suggest that the early administration of appropriate antibiotics reduces the incidence of mortality. Patients receiving appropriate antibiotics under I hour had a mortality rate of 25% vs. 38.5% mortality rate for septic patients that did not receive an appropriate antibiotic within 1 hour.
(Harbarth, et al., 2003) Type of Study:
Framework/Theory: None listed
Setting: 904 patients diagnosed with sepsis were evaluated for the effect of inappropriate versus appropriate antibiotic administratio n related to mortality.
Concepts: Evaluate the effectiveness of the administration of inappropriate antibiotics related to the prognosis of septic patients. Independent Variable: Adequate antibiotics, inadequate antibiotics Dependent Variable: Mortality
Controlled Variable: Patients diagnosed
Findings of this study suggest that septic patients who received inadequate antibiotics had increased rates of mortality. The mortality rate of septic patients who received adequate antibiotics was 24% versus 39% mortality for patients who did not receive adequate antibiotics.
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 10
(MacArthur, et al., 2004) Type of Study: Observational Design Type: Prospective Framework/Theory: None listed
Setting: 2634 patients were enrolled to determine mortality rate of patients receiving adequate antibiotics versus inadequate antibiotics
Concepts: Evaluation of the effectiveness of the administration of appropriate antibiotics in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock on the mortality rate within twenty-eight days
Independent Variable: adequate antibiotics, inadequate antibiotics Dependent Variable: Mortality at twenty- eight days Controlled Variable: Patients diagnosed with sepsis
Septic patients who received appropriate antibiotic treatment was 33% and a 43% mortality rate in septic patients who received inadequate antibiotics The significant findings of this trial conclude that the use of appropriate antibiotic therapy decreases the mortality rate in patients with suspected sepsis.
(Paul, et al., 2010) Type of Study: Systematic Review
Design Type: Prospective, cohort
Framework/Theory: None listed
Setting: Meta- analysis of seventy prospective studies
Concepts: Analysis of the effects of appropriate timing of empirical antibiotics on the mortality in septic patients. Independent Variable: Appropriate empirical antibiotics, inappropriate antibiotics Dependent Variable: Mortality
The findings of this study suggest that the use of appropriate empirical antibiotics can significantly reduce mortality among patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Mortality rate was found to be 34% in septic patients that did not receive adequate antibiotics.
SEPSIS LITERATURE REVIEW 11
Patients diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock.
(Siddiqui & Razzak, 2012)
Type of Study: Systematic Review
Design Type: Review of RCTs
Framework/Theory: None listed
Review of RCTs for patients with severe sepsis of septic shock, timing of broad- spectrum antibiotics
Concepts: The outcome assessment of patients receiving early versus late antibiotic administration.
Independent Variable: Timing of antibiotic administration
Dependent Variable: Mortality
Controlled Variable: Patient diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock
There were no studies that fit the criteria to satisfy this study. The authors of this study do, however, feel that randomizing critically ill patients can be unethical and that observational cohort studies would be more appropriate.
Comment [T5]: This sentence is unclear
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