REGISTERING AND REPORTING SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS
Systematic reviews are considered as the highest rung in the ladder of evidence-based medicine. They are bound by a pre-defined structure and requirement for extensive literature searches, when compared with the more liberal format of narrative reviews. Systematic review protocols should ideally be pre-registered to avoid duplication or redundancy. After defining clear review question(s), thorough literature searches form the basis of systematic reviews. Presentation of results should be qualitative or quantitative (meta-analysis) if the data is homogenous enough to permit pooling across multiple studies. Quality of individual studies by Cochrane risk of bias 2 tool for interventional studies and other suitable scales for observational studies, as well as appropriate assessment of publication bias are recommended. Certainty of outcomes should be assessed by the GRADE profiler. Finally, systematic reviews should conclude with recommendations for future research, based on their findings.
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Searching for and selecting studies. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 67–107.
Collecting data. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 109–141.
Assessing risk of bias in a randomized trial. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 205–228.
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Completing ‘Summary of findings’ tables and grading the certainty of the evidence. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 375–402.
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Summarizing study characteristics and preparing for synthesis. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 229–240.
Analysing data and undertaking meta-analyses. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions 2019. p. 241–284.
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