A guide for researchers beginning a medical systematic review or meta-analysis.

- Home
- Overview & the Systematic Review Team
- Step 1. Develop an Answerable Question
- Step 2. Check for Recent Systematic Reviews
- Step 3. Write & Register your Protocol
- Step 4. Develop your system
- Step 5. Construct a Reproducible Search Strategy
- Step 6. Conduct Exhaustive Searches
- Step 7. Organize & Screen Results
- Step 8. Appraise/Grade Studies & Extract Data
- Step 9. Synthesize Data (Meta-analysis)
- Step 10. Write & Submit your Findings for Publication
- Educational Resources

#9 Data Collection Process - Specify the methods used to collect data from reports, including how many reviewers collected data from each report, whether they worked independently, any processes for obtaining or confirming data from study investigators, and if applicable, details of automation tools used in the process.

#10 Data items - List and define all outcomes for which data were sought. Specify whether all results that were compatible with each outcome domain in each study were sought (e.g. for all measures, time points, analyses), and if not, the methods used to decide which results to collect. List and define all other variables for which data were sought (e.g. participant and intervention characteristics, funding sources). Describe any assumptions made about any missing or unclear information.

#12 Effect measures -Specify for each outcome the effect measure(s) (e.g. risk ratio, mean difference) used in the synthesis or presentation of results.

#13 Synthesis Methods - Describe the processes used to decide which studies were eligible for each synthesis (e.g. tabulating the study intervention characteristics and comparing against the planned groups for each synthesis (item #5)). Describe any methods required to prepare the data for presentation or synthesis, such as handling of missing summary statistics, or data conversions. Describe any methods used to tabulate or visually display results of individual studies and syntheses. Describe any methods used to synthesize results and provide a rationale for the choice(s). If meta-analysis was performed, describe the model(s), method(s) to identify the presence and extent of statistical heterogeneity, and software package(s) used. Describe any methods used to explore possible causes of heterogeneity among study results (e.g. subgroup analysis, meta-regression). Describe any sensitivity analyses conducted to assess robustness of the synthesized results.

#15 Certainty assessment - Describe any methods used to assess certainty (or confidence) in the body of evidence for an outcome.

#19 Results of Individual Studies - For all outcomes, present, for each study: (a) summary statistics for each group (where appropriate) and (b) an effect estimate and its precision (e.g. confidence/credible interval), ideally using structured tables or plots.

#20 Synthesis of Results of Syntheses - For each synthesis, briefly summarise the characteristics and risk of bias among contributing studies. Present results of all statistical syntheses conducted. If meta-analysis was done, present for each the summary estimate and its precision (e.g. confidence/credible interval) and measures of statistical heterogeneity. If comparing groups, describe the direction of the effect. Present results of all investigations of possible causes of heterogeneity among study results. Present results of all sensitivity analyses conducted to assess the robustness of the synthesized results.

#22 Certainty of evidence - Present assessments of certainty (or confidence) in the body of evidence for each outcome assessed.

- Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions [ebook] by Julian P. T. Higgins and Sally Green (Eds)Publication Date: 2011Chapter 9: Analysing data and undertaking meta-analyses

- Diagnostic Test CalculatorThis calculator can determine diagnostic test characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios) and/or determine the post-test probability of disease given given the pre-test probability and test characteristics. Given sample sizes, confidence intervals are also computed.(Courtesy Alan Schwartz, Univ Illinois Chicago)
- Risk Reduction CalculatorGiven information about the probability of an outcome under control and experimental treatments, this calculator produces measures of risk increase/decrease and number needed to treat or harm, including confidence intervals. If some patients were lost to follow-up, the calculator provides estimates for several different scenarios.(Courtesy Alan Schwartz, Univ Illinois, Chicago)
- Diagnostic Test CutoffsA graphical demonstration of the effect of changing cutoff scores on sensitivity and specificity of a test.(Courtesy Alan Schwartz, Univ Illinois, Chicago)
- Statistical Testing ThresholdsA graphical demonstration like the above, but written in terms of statistical test theory (type I and II error).(Courtesy Alan Schwartz, Univ Illinois, Chicago)
- PS: Power and Sample Size CalculationPS is an interactive program for performing power and sample size calculations that may be downloaded for free. It can be used for studies with dichotomous, continuous, or survival response measures.William D. Dupont and Walton D. Plummer, Jr., Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biostatistics

- Last Updated: Apr 30, 2024 1:48 PM
- URL: https://libguides.utoledo.edu/sysrev
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