|A systematic review attempts to identify, select, synthesize, and appraise all evidence for a given research question in a systematic and transparent manner.|
Other introductory videos and modules:
Eight stages of a systematic review and meta-analysis* (Uman, 2011):
*Important: before embarking on a systematic review, make sure that 1) a recent review on the same topic has not already been published, and 2) that a review protocol has not already been registered for the same topic.
Most often the type of systematic review conducted will depend on the review question:
- Systematic reviews of healthcare interventions are often quantitative reviews that include research studies in the form of randomized controlled trials.
- Systematic reviews of patient experiences are generally qualitative reviews that may include qualitative and mixed methods research studies.
- To address the limitations of single method reviews, which are frequently too narrow in scope, mixed methods reviews are utilized: "By including diverse forms of evidence from different types of research, mixed methods reviews attempt to maximize the findings - and the ability of those findings to inform policy and practice" (Peters et al., 2015, p. 5).
Cochrane describes the five types of Cochrane Reviews:
Some workload considerations:
Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, J. (2018). Systematic reviews and research. Los Angeles: SAGE reference.
Greenhalgh, T. & Peacock, R. (2005). Effectiveness and efficiency of search methods in systematic reviews of complex evidence: audit of primary sources. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 331(7524), 1064-1065.
Hemingway, P. & Brereton N. (2009). What is a systematic review? 2nd ed. London, UK: Hayward Medical Communications.
Higgins, J.P.T. & Green, S. (Eds.). (2011). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available from www.handbook.cochrane.org.
Higgins J.P.T, Thomas J., Chandler J., Cumpston M., Li T., Page M.J. & Welch V.A. (Eds.). (2019). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions version 6.0. Cochrane. Available from www.training.cochrane.org/handbook.
Institute of Medicine. (2011). Finding what works in health care: standards for systematic reviews. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Koffel, J. B. (2015). Use of recommended search strategies in systematic reviews and the impact of librarian involvement: A cross-sectional survey of recent authors. PLoS ONE, 10(5), 1–13.
McGowan, J., & Sampson, M. (2005). Systematic reviews need systematic searchers. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(1), 74.
Meert, D., Torabi, N., & Costella, J. (2016). Impact of librarians on reporting of the literature searching component of pediatric systematic reviews. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 104(4), 267–277. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.004
Pearson, A., White, H., Bath-Hextall, F., Apostolo, J., Salmond, S., & Kirkpatrick, P. (2014). Methodology for JBI mixed methods systematic reviews. The Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers’ Manual
Petticrew, M. (2001). Systematic reviews from astronomy to zoology: myths and misconceptions. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 322(7278), 98.
Rethlefsen, M. L., Farrell, A. M., Osterhaus Trzasko, L. C., & Brigham, T. J. (2015). Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(6), 617–626. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025
Saleh, A. A., Ratajeski, M. A., & Bertolet, M. (2014). Grey literature searching for health sciences systematic reviews: a prospective study of time spent and resources utilized. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 9(3), 28-50.
Uman, L. S. (2011). Systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 20(1), 57.