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Systematic Reviews: Introduction

An introduction to getting started with systematic reviews.

What is a Systematic Review?

Systematic Review (SR) Definition

"A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making."

- Cochrane Library

Characteristics & Benefits of SRs

  • Study design considered high level evidence.
  • Answers a specific research question.
  • Synthesizes evidence from primary journal articles.
  • Comprehensive search of the literature using multiple databases and other sources.
  • Team-based process to reduce bias.
  • Assists in the creation of clinical practice guidelines.
  • Can help shape health policy

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