Writing a good systematic review protocol

While some study designs are clearly more robust than others, this should not be the only factor in determining which types of study are eligible for inclusion.

Planning to Write

Outcomes The success or failure of a therapeutic intervention will usually be assessed in terms of differences in mortality or morbidity in the populations treated.

Outcomes Any clinical outcome, including but not restricted to survival, progression-free survival, tumour response, preservation of the eye, visual acuity, disease remission and adverse effects.

Systematic Reviews: A How-To Guide

Unpublished studies are likely to be harder to source, and more difficult to obtain, than published studies. Outcomes Study design The review question can be framed in terms of the population, intervention scomparator s and outcomes of the studies that will be included in the review. The lack of concealed randomised allocation increases the risk of selection bias.

Protocol amendments should be documented in a protocol addendum and in the final report of the review. According to the National Institutes of Health NIHa protocol serves as a road-map for your review and specifies the objectives, methods, and outcomes of primary interest of the systematic review.

Where this results from a clearer understanding of the review question, it can be appropriate to carry out documented and justified amendments to the protocol. It should be kept in mind, however, that different checklists can produce very different results.

In this case researchers have the option of justifying a decision to limit study design, bearing in mind that the identification of gaps in the current evidence base may in itself be a significant finding of the review.

However, the protocol should outline how heterogeneity will be explored and quantified, under what circumstances a meta-analysis would be considered appropriate and whether a fixed or random-effects model or both would be used.

Input from the advisory group and the findings from initial scoping searches and qualitative research may be helpful in deciding which outcomes to include. This type of systematic review uses statistical methods to combine the results of two or more studies. A review should explore a clearly defined set of relevant outcomes and it is important to justify each outcome included.

A young researcher's guide to a systematic review

It is helpful to consider how the review findings will be disseminated from as early a stage as possible to allow adequate time for planning and development and to ensure that the proposed activities are properly resourced. In principle, this includes studies written in any language to avoid the introduction of language bias into the review.

However, the protocol should outline how heterogeneity will be explored and quantified, under what circumstances a meta-analysis would be considered appropriate and whether a fixed or random-effects model or both would be used.

Systematic Reviews: A How-To Guide

A meta-analysis uses statistical methods to integrate estimates of effect from relevant studies that are independent but similar and summarize them. Quality appraisal is perhaps the most central step, and there are a number of checklists which have been developed to help with this process.

Eligibility must usually be applied to the whole study and consideration of how to deal with studies that include a mixed population, some of whom are relevant to the review and some of whom are not, is required.

Writing a good systematic review directly determines the entire basis of how good a meta-analysis of any research program is. Therefore, more competently the conducted systematic reviews are, more useful conclusions can be drawn from the relative studies.

JBI – Guidelines for Systematic Review Report Writing This document is intended to provide authors with a template with which to write a JBI systematic review report.

Each section corresponds to headings in the JBI systematic review and includes a short instruction about the section. In some cases an example is additionally provided. About this module. Part of the Cochrane Interactive Learning course on Conducting an Intervention Review, this module explains why a review protocol is a crucial step in planning and delivering a systematic review.

Any good systematic review begins with a protocol. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a protocol serves as a road-map for your review and specifies the objectives, methods, and outcomes of primary interest of the systematic review. Protocol articles will only be considered for proposed or ongoing research that has not yet started the final data extraction stage of the review at the time of submission, and should provide a detailed account of the hypothesis, rationale and methodology of the study.

A Guide to Writing a Qualitative Systematic Review Protocol to Enhance Evidence‐Based Practice in Nursing and Health Care. To guide researchers through the process of developing a qualitative systematic review protocol, using an example review question.

Methodology.

Writing a good systematic review protocol
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THE REVIEW PROTOCOL