Systematic Reviews have defined steps that create a structure for a reproducible methodology. These steps are outlined in this section of the guide. This page contains essential information for those considering a systematic review.
A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making. (See Section 1.2 in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions for more information.)
Ask Yourself Before Embarking on a Systematic Review:
If you answered “No” to any of the first four questions, another evidence synthesis method might be more appropriate.
If you answered “No” to the last question, a meta-analysis should not be included in your systematic review.
More resources to help you determine if a systematic review is appropriate:
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