How to Conduct a Systematic Review: A Narrative Literature Review

 

systematic literature search

Nov 04,  · Systematic reviews are ranked very high in research and are considered the most valid form of medical evidence. They provide a complete summary of the current literature relevant to a research question and can be of immense use to medical professionals. Our goal with this paper is Cited by: Systematic literature search requires you to organise and tackle the search process in a structured and preplanned manner. It demands careful consideration of your search terms, selection of databases, choice of search methods, and requires you to reflect on the search results obtained during the process. Jul 18,  · This blog provides a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a systematic literature search to conduct a systematic review of the literature. So students you have no excuse, register and join the Students 4 Best Evidence community today and get access to lots of fantastic resources!


Databases and Sources - Systematic Reviews and Meta Analysis - Research Guides at Harvard Library


Posted on July 18, by Saul Crandon. Systematic reviews sit amongst the top of the evidence hierarchy. This is all well and good, provided they are conducted appropriately. Systematic reviews take existing literature and synthesise it, either qualitatively or quantitatively.

Bias will exist if the authors fail to include ALL of the pertinent research. Of course, some articles may be excluded for instance if they are methodologically flawed once you come to screening the evidence, especially if this is a meta-analysis. However, the authors must ensure that initially all of the relevant evidence is captured by systematic literature search search.

Performing an in-depth search is often overwhelming for authors setting out with a systematic review. It can seem confusing or difficult and is often substituted for a more manageable, systematic literature search, less rigorous search.

The following checklist should provide a clear framework for those wanting to ensure their search is truly systematic. All illustrative example of database searching will be performed on Ovid Medline. Please note that this is a basic worked example to illustrate some of the key principles involved in searching.

Using the search outlined below, you are likely to pick up key studies. However, to minimise your chances of missing relevant articles then do consultant a librarian who will be able to assist you with advanced search techniques. Firstly, it is important that systematic review protocols including search strategies systematic literature search prospectively registered to prevent deviation from the intended methods and minimise bias.

Also, it is a good idea to carry out a search for any similar systematic reviews. It may be pointless to repeat an existing systematic review. Although if an existing systematic review is outdated or features flawed methodology, then a new systematic review on that topic can be justified. Before a search can be performed, systematic literature search, it is crucial that the research question is explicitly defined, systematic literature search.

There are many ways to do this, but the most common method is to divide your question according to the Patients, Interventions, Comparisons and Outcomes PICO model. Patients: Which patient population do you want to explore? Certain ethnicities? Community patients? Certain co-morbidities? Interventions: What intervention s do you want to explore?

A certain medication? A certain surgical procedure? Comparisons: What are you going to compare the intervention s against? Some reviews may not have a comparison so this section is optional. Are you going to compare the intervention with no intervention? A control? Usual treatment? A different medication? A different surgical procedure? Outcomes: What outcomes do you want to explore? Mortality rate? Morbidity or the development of a certain disease? Change in baseline parameters such as blood pressure, weight or cholesterol?

Once a well-defined research question has been established, it is important to outline where you will search for the evidence. Systematic searches should aim to search as many different sources as possible.

This can be broken down into the following:. Dates How far back do you wish to explore? Perhaps the intervention you want to investigate was only developed in the systematic literature search 10 years.

Languages English Other languages too? Ideally you should be willing to translate these in order to fully understand their findings.

When searching online databases, the terms and their synonyms for each of the components of the PICO model must be written out, including abbreviations. It is also important to use alternate spellings and word endings. This can be done using a number of strategies within the database:. Secondly, using a question mark? The question mark replaces a single character or no character, systematic literature search, allowing you to pick up alternate spellings.

It should be noted that these terms can vary between databases, and so should always be checked prior to conducting a search. You should also search for hyphenated terms with and without the hyphen as different authors may title their work differently. Clicking on the screenshots below will enlarge them. Interventions: primary percutaneous coronary intervention, PCI, percutaneous coronary intervention, primary PCI, reperfusion, re-perfusion, angioplasty.

Systematic literature search streptokinase, medical reperfusion, medical re-perfusion. Systematic literature search mortality, death, survival. As you can see, each line represents a synonymous term that is searched for, with the corresponding number of articles found in the results column.

In this example, it yielded a total of results. The same website also provides detailed descriptions of how the MeSH system is structured and how this can be searched to further refine or expand your systematic literature search search. If your search yields no results then it is important to re-evaluate your PICO model and broaden the search terms. Conversely, if the results are very expansive this will take considerable effort to screen the relevant information.

It systematic literature search be worth narrowing the search terms in order to achieve a more focused search. This is a large task in itself, and information on how this can be done is beyond the scope of this blog.

Once competed, a further exploration for relevant studies can begin. There are a number of strategies that should be carried out at this stage. At this point it is crucial that you finalise your list of included studies and document your search well so that you can refer to this in the future and during the rest of the review process. If you have followed the various steps in this article, you are well on your way to completing a comprehensive systematic review!

If you need further help, systematic literature search, consult your librarian. Your email address will not be published. Hi Saul, systematic literature search, Great introduction to literature searching. I would advise using both thesaurus terms and natural language terms simultaneously, rather than, as you seem to advocate, only including thesaurus terms to refine results. In the case of MeSH, these are assigned by human indexers, following a well-described procedure.

It is perhaps also worth pointing out that different databases use different thesauri. One criterion by which search strategies can be judged is how well the searcher has translated terms between databases. Great post. Web sites and web searches may, for example, be crucial sources for some review questions. See: G. Systematic literature search Publications. I myself rarely use more than population and intervention in my searches.

This blog is a critical appraisal systematic literature search a randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of different exercises and stretching physiotherapy on pain and movement in patellofemoral pain syndrome.

So students you have no excuse, register and join the Students 4 Best Evidence community today and get access to lots of fantastic resources! Advances in technology now allow huge amounts of data to be handled simultaneously, systematic literature search. Katherine takes a look at how this can be used in healthcare and how it can be exploited. What are the key steps in EBM? Who are S4BE? I will be entering my sixth and final year of medicine in September My primary interests lie within Cardiology and Evidence Based Medicine.

View more posts from Saul. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Jeannette Hi Saul, Great introduction to literature searching. July 18, at pm Reply to Jeannette. Anahita Sharma Your blogs are excellent! July 20, at am Reply to Anahita. Tom I would advise using both thesaurus terms and natural language terms simultaneously, systematic literature search, rather than, as you seem to advocate, only including thesaurus terms to refine results.

July 24, at am Reply to Tom. Jessica Dagerhamn And, if you use only e. January 13, systematic literature search, at pm Reply to Jessica. David Gough Great post. December 15, at am Reply to David.

 

Systematic literature searches

 

systematic literature search

 

Nov 04,  · Systematic reviews are ranked very high in research and are considered the most valid form of medical evidence. They provide a complete summary of the current literature relevant to a research question and can be of immense use to medical professionals. Our goal with this paper is Cited by: Jul 09,  · In many literature reviews, you try to balance the sensitivity of the search (how many potentially relevant articles you find) & specificity (how many definitely relevant articles you find), realizing that you will miss laytonstsq.cf a systematic review, you want a very sensitive search: you are trying to find any potentially relevant article. A systematic review search will:Author: Whitney Townsend. Literature reviews can be narrative or systematic, with narrative reviews aiming to provide a descriptive overview of selected literature, without undertaking a systematic literature search. By contrast, systematic reviews use explicit and replicable methods in order to retrieve all available literature pertaining to a specific topic to answer Cited by: 2.