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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:
Research team: including two independent screeners, a tie-breaker, librarian, and statistician
Focused research question, including a measurable outcome
Written and registered protocol: PROSPERO
Comprehensive literature searches of multiple databases: performed by librarian
Screening and study selection: two independent screeners, conflicts resolved by third reviewer
Quality assessment: transparent assessment using validated tools
Reporting guidelines: following PRISMA checklist
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.
Higgins JPT, Green S (editors).Box 2.3.b: Timeline for a Cochrane review. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available from http://handbook-5-1.cochrane.org. Accessed February 16, 2018.