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J Biomed Inform. 2003 Aug-Oct;36(4-5):232-9.

Methods in informatics: using data derived from a systematic review of health care texts to develop a concept map for use in the neonatal intensive care setting.

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  • 1George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.


A qualitative systematic review of textbooks and clinical guidelines identified assessment criteria for initiation of nipple feeds in premature infants cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) setting. Using a structured method for text source selection and data extraction, 43 health care texts were systematically reviewed yielding 153 separate statements related to assessing premature infants' feeding readiness. Following this procedure, a pile sort method was conducted wherein an expert neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) grouped the statements according to similarity in meaning. Ten piles of terms emerged from this process. Each pile was "named," depicting discrete components used when assessing premature infants' readiness for nipple feeding. Using these public data and the private knowledge of the NNP informant, a concept map was constructed to illustrate a framework for decision support development and to examine the map's usefulness for structuring knowledge that will provide input to an intelligent decision support system.

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