Systematic Review: An Approach for Transparent Research Synthesis

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Authors : Anil Eknath Khedkar


A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question. Systematic reviews of high-quality randomized controlled trials are crucial to evidence-based medicine. An understanding of systematic reviews and how to implement them in practice is becoming mandatory for all professionals involved in the delivery of health care. Besides health interventions, systematic reviews may concern clinical tests, public health interventions, social interventions, adverse effects, and economic evaluations. Systematic reviews are not limited to medicine and are quite common in other sciences where data are collected, published in the literature, and an assessment of methodological quality for a precisely defined subject would be helpful.

With an ever-increasing plethora of studies being published in the health sciences, it is challenging if not impossible for busy clinicians and researchers alike to keep up with the literature. Reviews summarizing the outcomes of various intervention trials are therefore an extremely efficient method for obtaining the “bottom line” about what works and what doesn’t. In his review we cover the basic principles of Systemic review and meta-analysis. The important issues that needs to consider while doing systematic reviews and meta-analysis are outlined and some of the terms used in the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analysis such as odds ratio, relative risk, confidence interval and forest plot


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