A systematic review is an approach to synthesising evidence from multiple studies. Systematic reviews use methodical approaches and criteria to identify relevant studies for inclusion, assess their quality, extract data and synthesise evidence.
Meta-analysis, meta-ethnography and realist synthesis are different types of systematic review.
A systematic review begins with the development of a clearly defined research question. A popular method for formulating a research question is PICO, which asks researchers to define the population, intervention, control and outcomes of interest. Before undertaking a systematic review, it is a good idea to search the literature to ensure your research question has not been addressed in a prior systematic review.
A number of guidelines exist for methodically performing a systematic review and critically appraising studies that meet the eligibility criteria.
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'Systematic review' is referenced in:
- Rainbow Framework :