Demystifying Systematic Review for the Medical Student pursuing Master’s Degree

“The purpose of a systematic review is, to sum up, the best available research on a specific question. This is done by synthesizing the results of several studies.   A systematic review uses transparent procedures to find, evaluate and synthesize the results of relevant research.”

Demystifying Systematic Review for the Medical Student pursuing Master's Degree

This definition about the systematic review is given by Campbell Collaboration, which promotes evidence-based policy in the social sciences.

Systematic reviews are embraced as a ‘gold standard’ in evidence synthesis and also the meta-analysis. There are several study designs but a systematic review is unique in its own way. In its essence, it’s an analysis of studies about an intervention. With regard to your research question, the systematic review is a summary of the evidence. The systematic review of dissertation writing will help you propel your dissertation in the right direction.

One of the initial steps of the researcher is to perform an organized search to identify and gather all the pertinent studies. This main part is called the systematic review; the procedure of searching and choosing studies that will be involved in the review is performed systematically. The methods section will consist of the selection process. Through this means, the reader understands the reason for selecting certain studies. This will lead to the knowledge that the studies are not selectively picked. The researchers then come to a conclusion as to which studies are of good quality to participate in the review. This criterion will also be considered in the methods.

Meta-analysis and Systematic Reviews

Generally, a meta-analysis is also considered in the systematic review results. What is meta-analysis? It is a statistical comparing and joining of the results of each study involved in the review. Generally, people tend to confuse between the two terms. To make it clear, a meta-analysis is a statistical process applied to outline and join data from several studies. They are represented by a Forest Plot. Systematic reviews may involve meta-analyses but it is not mandatory. A systematic review that doesn’t involve a meta-analysis is termed as the narrative review.

Structure of a systematic review

A basic systematic review comprises the following parts:

Background: The researchers review what we are aware of and what we are not aware of regarding the topic.

Objectives: This succinctly states the type of question the researchers are trying to provide the solution.

Methods: The researcher will clearly demonstrate how the study was conducted. Through this, anyone could reproduce the study by considering the exact methods.

Results: The findings of the researcher in the review are presented here.

Discussion: Strengths and limitations concerning the review are shown in this section.

Difference between a literature review and systematic review

For those who are confused between systematic review and literature review, the former is essentially a literature review that is taken up in a particular way as per strict guidelines. Systematic reviews are now widely applied in a range of topics including construction, psychology, marketing economics etc.

We evaluate the pertinence of the published research in relation to the research question in the literature review. A systematic review goes a step more and maintains a defined criterion to examine the actual quality of the research. A systematic review focuses on giving a comprehensive summary of present literature pertinent to a research question.

Systematic reviews are a great method for decision makers for several reasons. Apart from summarizing huge volumes of evidence, they can involve a large range of evidence from different situations and long time periods. This implies that aspects including long timescales and diverse geographical ranges can be analyzed which would be otherwise challenging in a primary research project.

The indicators a good systematic review

  • A thorough literature search
  • Clear and comprehensive inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • A thorough evaluation of the quality of the involved studies
  • Pertinent methods of pooling the data

Systematic review’s role in medicine

Systematic reviews have turned out to be an industry standard in medicine and are a subject of interest by all practitioners nowadays. A systematic review of medicine is regarded as a high form of evidence. The conclusions obtained contribute to the building of a medical consensus on the best method of treatment. Depending on the evidence available at present, it can provide a definitive answer to a specific question about therapy, causes of disease, or prevention.

The concept of systematic review sounds great. A well-carried out systematic review can raise the accuracy of a conclusion, gather a huge amount of data, and mitigate the delay in knowledge translation. Moreover, these studies are compared with each other and heterogeneous results are identified.

Overall, a good systematic review should comprise clearly stated goals, materials, and methods, There should be regularly updating and bias should be controlled properly. These reviews can be a useful research instrument. Think like this; by viewing the evidence together in a specific study, one can learn a lot then simply looking at individual studies. One can also mitigate unwanted research with the help of systematic review.

At Tutors India, we handle systematic review pertaining to the dissertation. The writers here ascertain to find out appropriate studies and interpret the findings as per the research question. Our experts help you in assessing both systematic reviews of qualitative research and quantitative papers. We understand a diverse range of systematic review guidelines including PRISMA, STROBE statement etc.

Facebook Comments

Comments are closed.