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Systematic Review Service

What is a Systematic Review?

Chambers, Thane, Dagmara Chojeki. "Systematic Reviews 101". Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 31 May 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Why it is important to use Systematic Reviews?

Lipsey, Mark. "About Systematic Reviews: Why, what & how". Online video clip. YouTube. Campbell Collaboration, 8 Sep. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Evidence-based living

"Evidence-Based Systematic Reviews: As close to certainty as it gets". PowerPoint Presentation. Evidence-Based Living., 20 Apr. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Systematic Review Stages

Core principles and methods for conducting a systematic

review of health interventions


Search for existing reviews to ensure a new review is justified


Establish the review team


Form an advisory group


Draft the review protocol

Set out the methods to be used in the review, including:

Background Review question and inclusion criteria, Defining inclusion criteria, Identifying research evidence, Study selection, Data extraction, Quality assessment, Data synthesis and  Dissemination


Approval of the draft protocol


Undertake the review


Identifying research evidence for systematic reviews, including: Minimizing publication and language biases, Selecting electronic databases and other sources,  Constructing the search strategy for electronic databases, Text mining, Updating literature searches, Current awareness, Managing references, Obtaining documents and Documenting the search


Study selection


Data extraction, including:

 design, content, software, process and piloting


Quality assessment, including:

 assessing risk of bias, and appropriateness of study design


Data synthesis, including:

Deciding on appropriate synthesis (quantitative/narrative) and initial descriptive synthesis


Report writing, including peer review and feedback


Archiving the review


Disseminating the findings


Adapted from:

Systematic reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, 2008