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Systematic Reviews

Finding, Evaluating and Applying Systematic Reviews

Feasibility of Systematic Review

  • Decide which review method is appropriate
  • Define the scope of the review
  • Find and evaluate related reviews
  • Estimate the number of potential citations.
  • Determine Feasibility

Finding systematic reviews

  • identify existing studies - determine what research has being done in the field
  • existing systematic reviews include the names of databases searched and the search strategies used for each database - these can be used to build a comprehensive search
  • published reviews provide research articles and studies and  researchers in the field.
  • identifying areas that research has been conducted and new areas for enquiry

Register the protocol - obtain basic information and methodological information on the review

Bibliographic databases

Evaluation of systematic reviews

  • Two ways a systematic review can be evaluated -  transparency and appropriate methods.
  • a systemic review can be reproducible if the literature search is fully documented
  • Database used are identified
  • inclusion / exclusion criteria included
  • the processes for appraising and coding the studies should follow standards and validated methods.

Tools for appraising systematic review

AMSTAR  - Measurment Tool to Assess Systematic REviews  provides questions with guidelines for each area of a systematic review and a scoring system.

ROBIS -  Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool  Risk of bias in systematic review - intervention effectiveness, etiology, diagnosis and prognosis  Training tool:

CEBM - centre for evidence based medicine


CASP - critical appraisal skills programme


Links checked 19/06/2019