"A systematic review is a form of secondary research, guided by a detailed review protocol, that gathers primary studies and information from other sources on a clinical or policy question of interest and analyzes the data from these multiple studies to reach a conclusion. A systematic review involves the identification, selection, appraisal, and synthesis of the best available evidence for clinical decision making. A properly conducted systematic review uses transparent and reproducible strategies to reduce bias and instill rigor. It synthesizes information from both published and unpublished sources" (Holly, 2017).
In short, a systematic review is a structured study of studies in which only certain material that fits the predetermined inclusion criteria are analyzed. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are often done in tandem and reported in one study.
As with any type of study, one thing that you can do to any of your searches to help narrow down to a systematic review is to add the type of study as a keyword in your search string. See example below:
catheters AND infection AND systematic review
In addition, there are specific databases that you can use to find systematic reviews as well as search strategies in specific databases that can help you limit to these articles as shown below.
CINAHL Complete and Medline Complete are databases that allow you to limit your search results to systematic reviews only.
To find systematic reviews in CINAHL or Medline, follow the steps below:
To find systematic reviews and meta-analyses in PubMed, follow the steps below:
Note! With any of these searches, you will need to limit to full text to get articles immediately available to you.
Holly, C. (2017). Systematic review. In J. Fitzpatrick (Ed.), Encyclopedia of nursing research (4th ed.). Springer Publishing Company. https://chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/spennurres/systematic_review/0?institutionId=8802
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