Systematic Literature Review Methods

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If you are investigating a well defined problem for which there exists several large clinical trials that follow quantitative research methods you will want to write an review to summarise the results of trials and provide cumulative evidence about the efficacy of one specific intervention/treatment/dose. , doi:10.1016/20 When writing up the results of your systematic review for publication in a journal article for a wider professional audience you will need to include more detail about the methods you followed and the decisions you made on what studies to include/exclude from your review of the medical literature.

If you are investigating a less well understood problem for which there are few trials and/or you are reviewing observational data/qualitative research you will want to write a review. Alternatively you may wish to present the results of your literature review as a poster presentation such as: Abualenain, J., Alabdrabalnabi, T., Rasooly, I., Pines, J., Levett, P. The Impact of Interventions to Reduce Length of Stay in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review. Abualenain at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) 2013 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, May 14-18, 2013. For a narrative review guidelines on how to write up for publication are on the next tab of this research guide titled Types of literature review & methods.

Focuses on broad condition or problem for which there are competing interventions and highlights reviews that address these interventions and their results.

Aims to demonstrate writer has extensively researched literature and critically evaluated its quality.

Every step of the review, including the search, must be documented for reproducibility.

Researchers in medicine may be most familiar with Cochrane Reviews, which synthesize randomized controlled trials to evaluate specific medical interventions.You should include all relevant studies in your systematic review, regardless of the language they were published in, so as to avoid language bias. Goes beyond mere description to include degree of analysis and conceptual innovation. Generic term: published materials that provide examination of recent or current literature.If your project does not meet the above criteria, there are many more options for conducting a synthesis of the literature. Can cover wide range of subjects at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness. Refers to any combination of methods where one significant component is a literature review (usually systematic).Systematic reviews are conducted in many other fields, though the type of evidence analyzed varies with the research question.Systematic reviews require more time and manpower than traditional literature reviews.The research question determines the search strategy, inclusion criteria, and data that you extract from the selected studies, so it should be clearly defined at the start of the review process. The protocol is the roadmap for the review project.A good protocol outlines study methodology, includes the rationale for the systematic review, and describes the key question broken into PICO components. Having multiple reviewers minimizes bias and strengthens analysis.Before beginning a systematic review, researchers should address these questions: Is there is enough literature published on the topic to warrant a review?Systematic reviews are designed to distill the evidence from many studies into actionable insights.Here is a search in the Pub Med database for some example reviews that have followed the PRISMA format.The PRISMA Group have developed several extensions to the original PRISMA reporting standard for different types or aspects of systematic reviews, they include the following: Here is a summary of what support Himmelfarb Librarians can offer to help with the literature search for your systematic review.

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