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What is a Systematic Review?
"Systematic reviews seek to collate evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question. They aim to minimize bias by using explicit, systematic methods documented in advance with a protocol" Cochrane Handbook.
The characteristics of a Systematic Review include:
- Focused on a clearly defined question
- Clearly defined inclusion and exclusion criteria
- A comprehensive search conducted in a systematic way across multiple databases
- Clear and explicit selection process
- Comprehensive evaluation of study quality; risk of bias assessment of included studies;
- Clear and explicit data extraction and management process
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