It explains the background to these methodologies, what is involved, and how to get started, keep going, and finish!
Understanding systematic reviews and meta-analyses This article is the first in a four-part series on different types of clinical evidence. The series is designed to help you understand how to write about different forms of evidence. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are two forms of review articles in medical literature.
However, search results can produce a broad range of different studies with conflicting results for a clinical question hypothesis. This article is the first in a four-part series on different types of clinical evidence. It helps you understand how both systematic reviews and meta-analyses can provide conclusive medical information.
You may have heard of the hierarchy of evidence in medicine. The inverted pyramid suggests sourcing most of your evidence from the top downwards. Reviews are considered the top of the hierarchy of evidence.
They summarise the outcomes of various intervention trials and can be an efficient method of drawing conclusions in medicine. This means health care decisions are not based solely on one or two studies.
Reviews ensure a whole range of research information available on any given health topic is taken into account. The methods used to review many studies aims to limit bias or assumptions in health topics, allowing you to have greater confidence for drawing conclusions in medicine.
So, what is a systematic review? As the name implies, a systematic review is a detailed and comprehensive search strategy of published literature for a clinical question hypothesis.
The summary of the literature is a synthesis of all the relevant studies for a particular topic in medicine. Searches are conducted using a variety of selection criteria based on a protocol designed by the reviewers to limit study bias. Define what types of studies were included and excluded.
Such as whether the review includes only randomised-controlled trials RCTpublished studies, etc Have a clearly defined, explicit question Assess the quality of studies selected Have a transparent, reproducible strategy for screening and including studies, including a documentation of decisions Indicate the types of interventions used and control groups Discuss any bias and limitations of the review Include a meta-analysis What is a meta-analysis?
A meta-analysis is often, but not always, included in a systematic review. However a meta-analysis can be published without including a systematic review and this is where is can get confusing. A meta-analysis uses statistical techniques to synthesise the large amount of data from a systematic review into a single quantitative summary.
The data obtained in a meta-analysis is used to demonstrate the magnitude of effects an intervention has between two variables. The benefit of a meta-analysis is the pooled sample size is increased, which improves the statistical power of the analysis and treatment effect. The treatment effects of a meta-analysis can be measured statistically by:2 Writing a Systematic Literature Review: Resources for Students and Trainees Some key resources are highlighted in the next few pages – researchers around the world have found these useful – it’s worth a look and it might save you a lot of time!
PRISMA: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA statement. An understanding of the reading and writing practices that define systematic review still holds truth and objectivity as regulative ideals, but is aware of the reading and writing practices that both enable and challenge those ideals.
A systematic review is a rigoro us way of summarising the available scienti c ev idence that is derived f rom several clinical trials on a particular treatment or method. Jul 03, · For a systematic review article (B) and for a meta-analysis of published data (C), relevant information should be extracted from the publications.
For a pooled reanalysis (D), authors of all identified studies must be contacted and requested to provide individual data. Doing a systematic review of reviews combining results from several meta-analysis into one new conclusion is labelled meta-meta-analysis or quantitative meta-synthesis. Quantitative meta-synthesis is a special case of systematic review of systematic reviews.
Writing a systematic review [in Science Network TV]. Identify the manuscript as a systematic review (and meta-analysis if relevant) in the title.
The title page is a separate page. Writing a good discussion is probably the most challenging part of writing a good systematic literature review and this is often the part that ultimately.