What is a Systematic Review?
Systematic reviews evolved from a need for high quality evidence to support the goals of evidence based practice.
"The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett, D. 1996)
[For more on Evidence Based Practice please refer to the Upstate Health Sciences Library guide.]
The Institute of Medicine definition:
Systematic reviews identify, select, assess, and synthesize the findings of similar but separate studies and can help clarify what is known and not known about the potential benefits and harms of drugs, devices, and other healthcare services.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released detailed standards for conducting systematic reviews in 2011.
Note: These standards are for systematic reviews of comparative effectiveness research of therapeutic medical or surgical interventions.
The Cochrane Community was convened at Oxford (UK) in 1992 as the Cochrane Centre "to facilitate the preparation of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of health care."
Systematic Reviews outside of clinical research
While systematic reviews originated with the synthesis of clinical trials, they can be conducted on other types of interventions, for example public health studies.
The Campbell Collaboration defininition of a systematic review:
The purpose of a systematic review is to sum up the best available research on a specific question. This is done by synthesizing the results of several studies.
A systematic review uses transparent procedures to find, evaluate and synthesize the results of relevant research. Procedures are explicitly defined in advance, in order to ensure that the exercise is transparent and can be replicated. This practice is also designed to minimize bias.
PRISMA stands for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.
Description of Guide links
For a description of the content of the pages linked below and with tabs at the top of this Guide, please hover your pointer over the page title.
- Lit Review vs Systematic ReviewThis page presents a table comparing characteristics of Literature Reviews and Systematic Reviews to clarify the differences.
- PRISMAPRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.
- CochraneCochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better. During the past 20 years, Cochrane has helped to transform the way health decisions are made. We gather and summarize the best health evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment.
- PROSPEROBy prospectively submitting systematic review protocol details to PROSPERO registrants are helping reduce unplanned duplication and increasing transparency, helping safeguard against selective reporting; making it possible for editors, peer reviewers and others to compare planned methods with the final report.
- EBP - Evidence Based PracticeUpstate Health Sciences Library Guide to Evidence Based Practice resources - "The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett, D. 1996)
- Last Updated: Mar 19, 2022 6:24 AM
- URL: https://guides.upstate.edu/systematicreview
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