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Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Review & Scoping Review: Additional Reading

A guide to resources for learning about and conducting evidence synthesis projects, including but not limited to Systematic and Scoping Reviews. .

Articles about Systematic Review

What kind of review is this?

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health information and libraries journal, 26(2), 91–108.

The authors identify 14 different types of reviews by analyzing the approaches to search, synthesis, analysis, and appraisal methods used in published literature reviews.


Practical Guides, Lessons Learned

Brown PA, Harniss MK, Schomer KG, Feinberg M, Cullen NK, Johnson KL. Conducting systematic evidence reviews: core concepts and lessons learned. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;93(8 Suppl):S177–184. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2011.11.038.

The authors of this article describe the challenges of adapting systematic review methods to research on disability and rehabilitation and provide a summary of practical steps to take.

Westlake C. Practical tips for literature synthesis. Clin Nurse Spec. 2012;26(5):244–249. doi:10.1097/NUR.0b013e318263d766.

The tips in this article are not quite adequate for producing a systematic review, but they should be very helpful to practioner-researchers who are interested in introducing more rigor to their literature reviews.

Kable AK, Pich J, Maslin-Prothero SE. A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: a 12 step guideline for authors. Nurse Educ Today. 2012;32(8):878–886. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2012.02.022.

A solid, easy-to-follow description of a basic method for documenting a search strategy. Note that the authors recommend consulting a librarian during the search documentation process.

Validation, Effectiveness

Bero L, Busuttil G, Farquhar C, et al. Measuring the performance of the Cochrane library. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;12:ED000048. doi:10.1002/14651858.ED000048.

An editorial by the Cochrane Library Oversight Committee that proposes and provideds data for metrics assessing the performance of the Cochrane library of systematic reviews. The proposed metrics include measures of productivity, currency, participation, and impact.

Shea BJ, Bouter LM, Peterson J, et al. External validation of a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR). PLoS One. 2007;2(12):e1350.

Report on a study of the AMSTAR assessment of systematic review reporting that measured interrater reliability on the AMSTAR assessment and convergence of the AMSTAR assessment score with a gobal assessment.

Shea BJ, Hamel C, Wells GA, et al. AMSTAR is a reliable and valid measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews. Journal of clinical epidemiology. 2009;62(10):1013–1020.

Another test of the AMSTAR assessment, this time comparing it with the enhanced quality assessment questionnaire (Overview of Quality Assessment Questionnaire [OQAQ]) and Sacks' instrument.

Critical Appraisals

Humaidan P, Polyzos NP. (Meta)analyze this: Systematic reviews might lose credibility. Nat Med. 2012;18(9):1321. doi:10.1038/nm0912-1321.

This editorial in Nature: Medicine argues that, since many systematic reviews rely on studies that do not have the highest possible level of rigor- they may lose credibility if systematic review methods demanding a higher level of data are not adopted.

Brito JP, Tsapas A, Griebeler ML, et al. Systematic reviews supporting practice guideline recommendations lack protection against bias. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013;66(6):633–638. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.01.008.

The AMSTAR assessment was used to measure the qualtiy of systematic reviews supporting clinical practice guidlines in endocrinology.