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Systematic Reviews

Database Searching


Comparison of frameworks

  1. Pico - Framework for Diagnostic Question, clinical medicine
    1. Population  “How would I describe a group of patients similar to mine?”
    2. Intervention  “Which main intervention am I considering?”
    3. Comparison  “What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?”
    4. Outcome  “What can I hope to accomplish?”
      1. Asking questions - Handout from Uni Sydney
  2. Peo - Framework for Risk factor, qualitative questions
    1. Population and their problems. - Mothers with PND
    2. Exposure - PND
    3. Outcome and themes - daily living, QOL
  3. Cimo  - Framework for management and business administration
    1. Context
    2. Intervention
    3. Mechanism
    4. Outcomes
  4. Spider - Framework designed for qualitative questions
    1. Sample  - women
    2. Phenomenon of Interest  (behaviours, experiences and interventions  -  IVF treatment
    3. Design  -  questionnaire or survey or interview
    4. Evaluation  -  experiences or views or attitudes or feelings
    5. Research Type (qualitative, quantitative or mixed method) -  qualitative or mixed method
      1. Methley, A. M., Campbell, S., Chew-Graham, C., McNally, R., & Cheraghi-Sohi, S. (2014). PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. BMC health services research14, 579. doi:10.1186/s12913-014-0579-0
      2. Cooke, A., Smith, D., & Booth, A. (2012). Beyond PICO: The SPIDER Tool for Qualitative Evidence Synthesis. Qualitative Health Research22(10), 1435–1443.
  5. Spice - Framework for Policy questions
    1. Setting: (where) Adelaide
    2. Population or perspective: (for whom)Teenagers
    3. Intervention: (what) Provision of Quit Kits to support smoking cessation
    4. Comparison: (what else) No support or "cold turkey"
    5. Evaluation: (how well or what result)  Number of successful attempts to give up smoking with Quit Kits compared to number of successful attempts with no support. 
  6. Behemoth  - Framework designed for questions on theories.
    1. Behavior of interest : physical activity
    2. Health context: obese teenagers in schools
    3. Exclusions:
    4. Models or theories:
      1. the BeHEMoTh Procedure (downloadable document)
      2. Booth, A. and Carroll, C. (2015) Systematic searching for theory to inform systematic reviews: is it feasible? Is it desirable? Health Information & Libraries Journal, 32 (3). 220 - 235. ISSN 1471-1834
  7. Picot - Framework for medicine, education and health care

    Population/ Patient/Problem: Who is your patient? (disease or health status, age, gender, race, sex)
    Intervention: What do you plan to do for the patient? (specific tests, therapies, medications)
    Comparison: What is the alternative to your plan? (for example, no treatment, different type of treatment, etc.)
    Outcome: What is it that you want to accomplish, improve, measure, etc. (fewer symptoms, no symptoms, full health, etc.)
    Time:  What is the time frame to achieve the outcome? 

    1. Riva, J. J., Malik, K. M. P., Burnie, S. J., Endicott, A. R., & Busse, J. W. (2012). What is your research question? An introduction to the PICOT format for clinicians. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association56(3), 167–171.

Non Database Information

Searching Grey Literature

Other Grey Sources of information include conference proceedings, research registries, clinical trials, dissertations and theses, reports from professional or organizational websites and databases specifically designed to collect grey literature or literature produced by organizations that are not traditional publishers (Jewell Identifying The studies part 2)

  1. Prospero - International register for systematic review
  2. NIH Reporter - research projects funded by National Institutes of Health
  3. Clinical trials register - information about studies that are in progress -  ICTRP International Clinical Trials Registry Platform  - 15 clinical trial registries including Australian and clinical


Links checked 19/06/2019