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Systematic Reviews in the Health Sciences: Strategy Development

This guide will introduce you to the Systematic Review process.

Steps

  1. Develop an answerable question 
  2. Check for recent systematic reviews  
  3. Agree on specific inclusion and exclusion criteria 
  4. Develop a system to organize data and notes
  5. Devise reproducible search methods 
  6. Launch and track exhaustive search 
  7. Organize search results 
  8. Reproduce search results 
  9. Abstract data into a standardized format
  10. Synthesize data using statistical methods (meta-analysis)  
  11. Write about what you found 

PICO (T)

What is PICO(T)? 

PICO is a tool commonly used in medical and health research to help researchers formulate a question. The difficulty in creating a question is often underestimated and PICO can help us parse out the important keys a good question should contain. This is just a tool, not a rigid structure in which all questions must fit.

P = Patient, Population, and/or Problem

I = Intervention

C = Comparison (not always applicable)

= Outcome

T = *Type of Study (what study design is most appropriate to answer the question?)

Sometimes you will see PICO TT where the additional T stands for the type of question you are asking which you do need to know to determine the best study design. 

*In some PICO(T) models you will see T stand for time. This only works if your question includes a concept of time. 

Search Hedges

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