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Systematic Reviews

Systematic Review: Definition and Elements

A systematic review is a comprehensive literature search that tries to answer a focused research question using existing research as evidence. 
 
Elements of a Systematic Review:
  1. Research team: including two independent screeners, a tie-breaker, librarian, and statistician
  2. Focused research question, including a measurable outcome
  3. Written and registered protocol: PROSPERO
  4. Inclusion/exclusion criteria
  5. Comprehensive literature searches of multiple databases: performed by librarian
  6. Screening and study selection: two independent screeners, conflicts resolved by third reviewer
  7. Quality assessment: transparent assessment using validated tools
  8. Reporting guidelines: following PRISMA checklist
  9. Time: systematic reviews can take at least 12 months to complete

Types of Reviews

Although systematic reviews may be the best known review type, there are a variety of different types of literature reviews that vary in terms of scope, comprehensiveness, time constraints, and types of studies included.