"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 It synthesizes information from both published and unpublished sources" (Holly, 2017).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, you can narrow your search down to just systematic reviews by adding it as a search term to your search string. See example below:
catheters AND infection AND "systematic review"
In addition, there are specific databases with filters for systematic reviews as shown below.
CINAHL and Medline 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 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.
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