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Systematic Reviews & Other Syntheses

Introduction

The following resources introduce the topic and processes of systematic reviews and other syntheses to help plan your review.

Learn more about library support for syntheses.

Standards for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

  • The PRISMA Statement:

The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) website provides guidelines for transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA Checklist presents the preferred layout of systematic reviews and is a helpful resource to refer to throughout the process.

  • Institutes of Medicine (IOM):

Finding what works in healthcare: Standards for systematic reviews "...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 that synthesizes what the evidence shows and where knowledge gaps remain."

  • MOOSE Statement:

The consensus statement from the Meta-analysis of observation studies in epidemiology (MOOSE) group proposes a checklist with specifications for reporting that "...should improve the usefulness of meta-analyses for authors, reviewers, editors, readers, and decision makers."

Top Guides

Articles

Booth, A., M. Clarke, et al. (2012). The nuts and bolts of PROSPERO: an international prospective register of systematic reviews. Syst Rev 1(1): 1-9.

Dixon-Woods, M. & Fitzpatrick, R. (2001). Qualitative research in systematic reviews has established a place for itself. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 323(7316), 765.

Jones, M. L. (2004). Application of systematic review methods to qualitative research: practical issues. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48(3), 271-278.

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.

Mahood, Q., Eerd, D. V., & Irvin, E. (2014). Searching for grey literature for systematic reviews: challenges and benefits. Research Synthesis Methods, 5(3), 221-234.

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).


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.

Thomas, J., & Harden, A. (2008). Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8(1), 45.