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Systematic Reviews: Home

A guide to assist staff and students undertaking systematic reviews

What is a systematic review?

A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making.

Many systematic reviews contain meta-analyses. Meta-analysis is the statistical combination of results from two or more separate studies. By combining information from all relevant studies, meta-analyses can provide more precise estimates of the effects of health care than those derived from the individual studies included within a review. They also facilitate investigations of the consistency of evidence across studies, and the exploration of differences across studies.

(Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions)

Meta-analysis: Chapter 10: Analysing data and undertaking meta-analyses

What are systematic reviews? (video)

Reviewer's handbooks, manuals, guidelines