Nurse staffing and patient care outcomes: protocol for an umbrella review to identify evidence gaps for low and middle-income countries in global literature
Background: Adequate staffing is key to the delivery of nursing care and thus to improved inpatient and health service outcomes. Several systematic reviews have addressed the relationship between nurse staffing and these outcomes. Most primary studies within each systematic review are likely to be from high-income countries which have different practice contexts to low and middle-income countries (LMICs), although this has not been formally examined. We propose conducting an umbrella review to characterise the existing evidence linking nurse staffing to key outcomes and explicitly aim to identify evidence gaps in nurse staffing research in LMICs. Methods and analysis: This protocol was developed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P). Literature searching will be conducted across Ovid Medline, Embase and EBSCO Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases. Two independent reviewers will conduct searching and data abstraction and discordance will be handled by discussion between both parties. The risk of bias of the individual studies will be performed using the AMSTAR-2 . Ethics and dissemination: Ethical permission is not required for this review as we will make use of already published data. We aim to publish the findings of our review in peer-reviewed journals. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42021286908.