Evidence used in the ACORN Standards

How can I find details about specific references used in the ACORN standards?

The 16th edition of the ACORN Standards includes two-volumes. ACORN is working over the next few weeks to include simple reference lists with hyperlinks to each reference included within each ACORN standard.

Reference lists for each Clinical standard are now available at www.acorn.org.au/clinical

Links to the references used in Volume 2, the Professional standards will be published at www.acorn.org.au/professional from mid-June 2020.

Which databases does ACORN search for ACORN standards under review and development?

In 2019 the preliminary searches focused in order on the Johanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Library, the Cochrane Library, then PubMed (using filters for reviews and clinical studies). Other databases that teams chose to search included OVID Medline, EBSCO Cinahl and Embase. Guidelines relevant to ACORN's from standard setting bodies, professional organisations and domestic and international government agencies were also considered.

How much searching did the 2019 specialised teams do?

JBI worked with the authors to define a specific PICO for each team and also undertook preliminary searches. As needed and under the guidance of their authors, teams could opt to do additional searches. You can access JBI evidence summaries commissioned by ACORN from 2011 onwards for the clinical standards by following the link. 

Once JBI and the teams identified available literature what was their next step?

ACORN's Standards Manager and each Author worked to guide teams in critical appraisal and evidence grading specific to the ACORN Standards. The majority of evidence evaluated in 2019 and 2020 was evaluated according to the AORN evidence rating methodology. This is perioperative-specific and is well described on ACORN's website.

Where can I learn more?

There is a plethora of resources relating to evidence-based practice including searching for evidence. One of the best existing websites we have found is that of Cairns and Hinterland Hospitals Library and Knowledge Centre. The following could be good starting points for ACORN members to get a quick understanding of clinical questions, levels of evidence and critical appraisal if they have need or interest.

Clinical questions

Levels of evidence

Critical appraisal

Medical Subject Headings - MeSH