Defining Features of a Systematic Review

Today, I listened in on the Ovid Webcast, Beyond the Search: Maximizing the Quality of Systematic Reviews. Dr. Edoardo Aromataris, PhD, Director of Synthesis Science at the Joanna Briggs Institute in Adelaide, Australia and Dr. Craig Lockwood, PhD, RN, BN, GDip, ClinNurs, MNSc, Director of Translation Science at the Joanna Briggs Institute in Adelaide, Australia successfully gave me a better understanding of systematic reviews.

Whether you are reading journal articles, completing educational requirements, or performing research yourself, it is important to be aware of the components of a comprehensive systematic review. Why? The presence of specific defining features indicates a high level of rigor in the research which helps ensure that the review is reproducible (same results) and transparent (same conclusion).

So what are these defining features of a systematic review?
  1. A prespecified question 
  2. Defined inclusion and exclusion criteria
  3. An extensive literature search that includes international research
  4. Selection of studies based on the inclusion criteria
  5. Assessment of the quality of the included studies
  6. Extraction of the data
  7. Analysis of the data
  8. Presentation of the results
  9. Interpretation of the results
We are fortunate that these two experts also co-authored books in the Lippincott-Joanna Briggs Institute Synthesis Science in Healthcare Book Series. It was a pleasure learning from them today! Also, for those of you performing systematic reviews, remember to check out the JBI tools on the Evidence-Based Practice Network to help you appraise and synthesize the evidence.
Egger, M., Smith, G., & Altman, D. (2001). Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Meta-analysis in context. London: BMJ Publishing Group.
Glasziou, P., & et al. (2004). Systematic Reviews in Health Care: A Practical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Posted: 3/12/2013 6:43:42 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

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