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Systematic Reviews

Selection Eligibility Criteria

Evaluation Steps


  • by title / abstract
  • looking for relevance
  • how will the citations be divided - how will people be involved.
  • What software will you use - endnote, refworks, rayyan, covidence, distillerSR, abstractr.


  • full text
  • Looking to match by criteria


  • studies
  • study type


  • select critical appraisal tools
  • risk of bias assessment

Critical Appraisal Tools

Critical appraisal tools- selecting studies and making decisions about which studies to include or exclude in a review according to pre-specified inclusion / exclusion criteria. Existing systematic review guides emphasize the importance of more than one reviewer screening articles in entirety independently and in duplicate to minimize biases and reduce the risk of errors of human judgment in the selection process.

  1. Grade for summarizing and presenting information for healthcare decision making 
    1. 5 issues: study limitations, consistency of effect, imprecision, indirectness and publication bias
      1. Article on Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation
      2. Cochrane online training resources for using GRADEpro GDT. Many of these videos also cover using the software with RevMan:

  2. Amstar  -
    1. Development of amstar : a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviewsAssessment of multiple systematic reviews
    2. Amstar measurement tool
  3. Casp
    1. Critical appraisal skills program
  4. Strobe
    1. Different Patterns of duplicate publication:  an analysis of Articles used in Systematic Reviews in Jama 291 8 p974-80
  5. Trend Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs (TREND) statement
    1. Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health.

Links checked 19/06/2019