Any study that evaluated the effectiveness of nurse practitioners in the emergency department in assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, referral and patient education of adult (16 years and over) patients treated for minor injuries was eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome was management of minor injuries, including effect on waiting times, referral to other practitioners or services, return to emergency department within 48 hours, cost reduction and patient satisfaction.
Interventions included emergency nurse practitioners in emergency department or minor injuries unit compared with junior or senior doctors or standard care in emergency department. A number of studies assessed emergency nurse practitioners only. Participants included patients who presented at the emergency department with lacerations, soft tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations or in categories 3 to 5 of the Australian Triage System (where reported).
Two reviewers independently selected studies for inclusion. Disagreements were resolved through discussion or by recourse to a third reviewer.