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Systematic review

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**Overview of Systematic Reviews:**
– A systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of current literature relevant to a research question.
– It employs a rigorous and transparent approach to assess and minimize bias in findings.
– Reviews may use statistical techniques like meta-analysis to combine results of eligible studies.
– Evidence rating can be subjective, leading to consultation with multiple individuals to resolve scoring differences.
– Reporting guidelines like PRISMA ensure standardized and transparent reporting of systematic reviews.

**Types and Development of Systematic Reviews:**
– There are over 30 types of systematic reviews, including mapping reviews, meta-analyses, mixed methods reviews, and qualitative evidence syntheses.
– Scoping reviews aim to map available evidence without necessarily answering a specific research question.
– Systematic reviews have evolved to include realist reviews and meta-narrative approaches to address methodological challenges and variations in research methods.
– New systematic review methods enhance the quality and relevance of evidence synthesis in various disciplines.

**Guidelines, Standards, and Stages of Systematic Reviews:**
– Reporting guidelines like PRISMA and its extensions ensure transparent and standardized reporting.
– Different stages include defining an answerable question, agreeing on an objective method, searching for relevant data sources, extracting data, assessing data eligibility, and analyzing and combining data.
– Guidelines like PRISMA-P, PRISMA-ScR, ENTREQ, RAMESES, and eMERGe provide specific instructions for different types of reviews.
– The NIRO Systematic Reviews framework addresses limitations in non-interventional research within PRISMA guidelines.

**Communication, Dissemination, and Automation of Systematic Reviews:**
– Systematic reviews are published, disseminated, and translated into practice to maximize their benefit.
– Creative communication methods like illustrations, blogs, and infographics are used to share review findings.
– Automation of systematic reviews is explored through living systematic reviews that are dynamic, persistent, and frequently updated.
– Efforts are made to train and use artificial intelligence for automation, aiming to maintain current evidence and provide rapid updates.

**Application in Research Fields and Future Directions:**
– Systematic reviews are used in various fields beyond medicine, such as education, psychology, and environmental science.
– Notable organizations like Cochrane, NICE, the World Health Organization, and the Campbell Collaboration utilize systematic reviews.
– Challenges in systematic reviews include publication bias, time constraints, language barriers, and updating with new evidence.
– Future trends include increased automation, use of artificial intelligence, and innovative communication methods for disseminating findings effectively.

Systematic review (Wikipedia)

A systematic review is a scholarly synthesis of the evidence on a clearly presented topic using critical methods to identify, define and assess research on the topic. A systematic review extracts and interprets data from published studies on the topic (in the scientific literature), then analyzes, describes, critically appraises and summarizes interpretations into a refined evidence-based conclusion. For example, a systematic review of randomized controlled trials is a way of summarizing and implementing evidence-based medicine.

A systematic review is considered the most trusted form of evidence

While a systematic review may be applied in the biomedical or health care context, it may also be used where an assessment of a precisely defined subject can advance understanding in a field of research. A systematic review may examine clinical tests, public health interventions, environmental interventions, social interventions, adverse effects, qualitative evidence syntheses, methodological reviews, policy reviews, and economic evaluations.

Systematic reviews are closely related to meta-analyses, and often the same instance will combine both (being published with a subtitle of "a systematic review and meta-analysis"). The distinction between the two is that a meta-analysis uses statistical methods to induce a single number from the pooled data set (such as an effect size), whereas the strict definition of a systematic review excludes that step. However, in practice, when one is mentioned the other may often be involved, as it takes a systematic review to assemble the information that a meta-analysis analyzes, and people sometimes refer to an instance as a systematic review even if it includes the meta-analytical component.

An understanding of systematic reviews and how to implement them in practice is common for professionals in health care, public health, and public policy.

Systematic reviews contrast with a type of review often called a narrative review. Systematic reviews and narrative reviews both review the literature (the scientific literature), but the term literature review without further specification refers to a narrative review.

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