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Systematic Reviews & Other Syntheses

Introduction

The standards and guides below describe the process of conducting systematic reviews and other syntheses to help you plan and execute your review.  

Reviews conducted under the auspices of international evidence synthesis collaborations (i.e. Cochrane, the Joanna Briggs Institute, and the Campbell Collaboration) follow the highest standards for planning, executing and reporting this type of research. Even if you are not conducting a review for one of these organizations, you may still find it valuable to review their guidance documents. 

Standards

  • PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses):

The PRISMA website provides guidelines for transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA Checklist presents the preferred layout of systematic reviews and may be helpful to refer to in the planning stages.

  • Institutes of Medicine (IOM):

Finding what works in healthcare: standards for systematic reviews. The IOM recommends 21 standards for developing high-quality systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research. The standards address the entire systematic review process from the initial steps of formulating the topic and building the review team to producing a detailed final report.

  • MOOSE Statement:

The consensus statement from the Meta-analysis Of Observation Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group proposes a checklist with specifications for reporting.

Guides for Reviews (Not Affiliated with International Collaborations)

Guides for Reviews from International Collaborations

Articles

Choi, A. R., Cheng, D. L., Greenberg, P. B., Choi, A. R., Cheng, D. L., & Greenberg, P. B. (2018). Twelve tips for medical students to conduct a systematic review. Medical Teacher, 0(0), 1–5. 

Khan, K. S., Kunz, R., Kleijnen, J., & Antes, G. (2003). Five steps to conducting a systematic review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 96(3), 118-121.

Liberati, A., Altman, D. G., Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, J. P., Clarke, M., Devereaux, J. K. & Moher, D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(4), W-65. (Note that in order to encourage dissemination of the PRISMA Statement, it has been published in several journals).

Lodge M. (2011). Conducting a systematic review: finding the evidence. Journal of Evidence-based Medicine, 4, 135-9.

Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., & Altman, D. G. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(4), 264-269. (Note that in order to encourage dissemination of the PRISMA Statement, it has been published in several journals).

Moola S, Munn Z, Sears K, et al. Conducting systematic reviews of association (etiology): The Joanna Briggs Institute’s approach. Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2015;13(3):163-169.


Riesenberg L.A. & Justice E.M. (2014). Conducting a successful systematic review of the literature, part 1. Nursing, 44(4), 13-7.

Riesenberg L.A. & Justice E.M. (2014). Conducting a successful systematic review of the literature, part 2. Nursing, 44, 23-6.