Randomized controlled trials in nursing conducted by Latin American research teams: A scoping review

Melixa Medina-Aedo, Cristian Segura-Carrillo, Elena Torralba-Martinez, Diana Buitrago-García, Ivan Solà, Hector Pardo-Hernandez, Xavier Bonfill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introductio: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the cornerstone of systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis. RCT identification remains challenging because of limitations in their indexation in major databases and potential language bias. Scientific production in Latin American nursing is steadily increasing, but little is known about its design or main features. We aimed to identify the extent of evidence from RCTs in nursing conducted by Latin American research teams and evaluate their main characteristics, including potential risk of bias. Design: Scoping review with risk of bias assessment. Methods: We conducted a scoping review including a comprehensive electronic search in five relevant databases. We completed a descriptive data analysis and a risk of bias assessment of eligible studies using Cochrane's guidance. Results: We identified 1784 references of which 47 were RCTs published in 40 journals. Twenty (42.6%) RCTs were published in journals in English. Chronic diseases were the most common health conditions studied (29.7%). Fifteen (31.9%) RCTs had a high risk of bias. Thirty (75%) journals were included in the Journal Citation Report (JCR) catalog and 5 (16.7%) were journals classified under nursing category. Twenty-one (52.5%) journals explicitly required CONSORT checklist recommendations for RCTs reporting. Conclusion: Publication of RCTs in nursing by Latin American authors has increased. Most journals where RCTs are published are in English and not specific to nursing. Searches in journals of other disciplines may be necessary to facilitate identification of RCTs in nursing. CONSORT statements need to be actively promoted to facilitate rigorous methodology and reporting of RCTs. Clinical Relevance Statement: This study highlights the need for an increased research focus on RCTs in nursing in Latin America, and the importance of enhancing the reporting quality of these studies to support evidence-based nursing practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • evidence-based
  • nursing
  • nursing
  • randomized controlled trials
  • scoping review


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