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Evidence Synthesis - Recommended Reading
In Evidence-Based Medicine, clinical decision-making is based on the integration of individual expertise, the best available evidence from systematic research and the needs and values of the patient. A systematic review includes a comprehensive search for primary studies on a particular clinical question, the critical evaluation of these studies and a synthesis of results according to a pre-determined methodology which may include meta-analyses of data.
Register your protocol
Once your protocol for your systematic review has been completed, it is necessary to register it. Registering a systematic review enhances the transparency of the review, reduces publication bias and reduces the risk of duplicate reviews.
Free International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Register your protocol for a systematic review of the effects of interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions. "The SRDR platform facilitates the extraction and management of data for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, creating a central database that can be critiqued, updated, and augmented on an ongoing basis".
You can also register your protocol with the following organizations
CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials)
Documents and recommendations for reporting randomized controlled trials.
"The EQUATOR Network works to improve the reliability and value of medical research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of research studies".
Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist contains specifications for reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology.
Transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Includes PRISMA checklist and PRISMA flow diagram.
Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials
STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies."The STARD statement consist of a checklist of 25 items and recommends the use of a flow diagram which describe the design of the study and the flow of patients".
STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology.
STARLITE refers to the standards for reporting literature searches (Sampling strategy, Type of study, Approaches, Range of years, Limits, Inclusion and exclusions, Terms used, Electronic sources)
PRESS: Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies
Cochrane tool for collaborative screening, reviewing and data extraction
A free web application to assist with the screening and selection process for a systematic review.
A scoping review locates and maps available literature. It is exploratory in nature and is often a precursor to a systematic review.A scoping review is also known as scoping study, mapping of research, or scoping exercise method.
Rapid reviews are similar to systematic reviews in their attempt at answering a clinical question to inform decision-making. However, the rapid review has a much shorter time frame, fewer databases are searched and there is often limited or no hand searching or grey literature searching done. This would increase the risk of bias.