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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