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Nursing 472: Finding review articles

Is it systematic?

Clues that the review is systematic:

  • Title specifcially says "systematic review" or "meta-analysis"
  • The introduction clearly specifies PICO(s) being addressed
  • Methods specify qualifying studies, search strategies, information sources, and other revelant details
  • Results provides number of studies screened and reasons for excluding any studies (if needed)
  • Discussion includes strength of evidence for each outcome, bias, and limititations.

More information can be found at PRISMA.

Finding Meta analysis/Meta synthesis

Search CINAHL for your topic and use the "Publication Type" limit to find Meta Analysis or Meta Synthesis.

Search PubMed for your topic, then limit the results by "Article Type" to Meta-Analysis. Alternatively, click on Clinical Queries, perform your search, and pay attention to the middle column.

Types of review articles

A systematic review is "A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyse and summarise the results of the included studies." --from the Cochrane Collaboration Glossary 

  • Cochrane is considered the gold standard for systematic reviews.

A meta-analysis is "the use of statistical techniques in a systematic review to integrate the results of included studies. Sometimes misused as a synonym for systematic reviews, where the review includes a meta-analysis." --from the Cochrane Collaboration Glossary

Finding Systematic Reviews

"Based on the best available information ..., Cochrane reviews explore the evidence for and against the effectiveness and appropriateness of treatments (medications, surgery, education, etc) in specific circumstances."‚Äč

 

Search CINAHL for your topic and use the "Publication Type" limit to find Systematic Reviews.

 

Search PubMed for your topic, then limit the results by "Article Type" to Systematic Reviews. Alternatively, click on Clinical Queries, perform your search, and pay attention to the middle column.