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Systematic reviews

A brief overview of systematic reviews and resources to support producing one.

Steps in a Systematic Review

A systematic review is reproducible research methodology with a clear process. There are a number of steps in order to produce a systematic review and these include:

  • Framing questions for a review - Requires a clear, unambiguous and structured question.
  • Identifying relevant work - The search for studies should be extensive and multiple resources used. Reasons for inclusion and exclusion should be recorded
  • Assessing the quality of studies - Selected studies should be subjected to a refined quality assessment by use of general critical appraisal guides and design-based quality checklists
  • Summarizing the evidence - The evidence needs to summarised and synthesised.
  • Interpreting the findings - Conclusions based upon the results are wriitten up.

Based on - 

Khan KS, Kunz R, Kleijnen J, Antes G. Five steps to conducting a systematic review. J R Soc Med 2003;96(3):118-21.