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27 Feb 2011
School
Department
Course
Lecture 6 Principles of Health Research
Types of Reviews
Three main types (Sackett et al. 1991):
Review
synthesize the results and conclusions of 2 or more publications on a given
topic
Overview / systematic literature review
comprehensively identify and track down all the literature on a given topic
Meta-analysis
technique that combines pooled datasets from different studies and analyzes
them in order to reach a single observation for the aggregated data
Literature Reviews
Major publications
Basis of theoretical framework
Proposed methodology
Includes:
1. A conceptual framework and theoretical and empirical information
2. Major research findings, research questions, and gaps
Objectives of Literature Review
1. To broaden the knowledge base
2. Gives information on methods and procedures
Systematic Reviews
scientific tool which can be used to summarize, appraise, and communicate the
results and implications of otherwise unmanageable quantities of research (CRD
Report 4)
Published and unpublished grey literature.
Aim: reduce bias
Why are systematic reviews important?
-Systematic approach in identification and evaluation of materials
-Objectiveness in interpretation
-Reproducibility
Resources for Systematic Reviews
Cochrane Collaboration:
-Group of subject and methodology specialists who identify and synthesise the
results of controlled trials and maintain their reviews
-Developed a highly sensitive search strategy that has since been improved.
ScHARR (School for Health And Related Research):
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-permits a broader perspective both in terms of range of study designs and in
incorporating qualitative research
Steps for conducting systematic reviews
1) Set objectives
2) Develop Rationale
-Well-defined research question –population, medical / social problem,
intervention, outcomes of concern, design of study
3) Design
-Study protocol set out tasks and methods
4) Time chart and budget 6 to 18 months
5) Identify Sources
-Comprehensive in coverage of bibliographic sources
-Types of material
-Period of time to be covered
-Availability of previous bibliographies and reviews
-Published work
Devising the Search Plan
Summary of the study
Inclusion and exclusion criteria
List of the appropriate publications
Sources and methods that will be used to identify materials
Brainstorm of associated or concepts related to the topic
Authors / institutions
Manually searching reference lists or indexes, bibliographies...
Unpublished literature
Search Strategy
Operationalises these decisions for an individual database
Are subject headings appropriate, specific , consistent, or precise?
Which syntax will be used? Boolean logic i.e. OR AND
Include input from information specialist
Testing
Missing aspects?
Additional concepts or search terms?
Have all publications been retrieved?
Revision
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Document Summary

synthesize the results and conclusions of 2 or more publications on a given topic". comprehensively identify and track down all the literature on a given topic". technique that combines pooled datasets from different studies and analyzes them in order to reach a single observation for the aggregated data. Literature reviews: major publications, basis of theoretical framework, proposed methodology. Includes: a conceptual framework and theoretical and empirical information, major research findings, research questions, and gaps. Objectives of literature review: to broaden the knowledge base, gives information on methods and procedures. Scientific tool which can be used to summarize, appraise, and communicate the results and implications of otherwise unmanageable quantities of research" (crd. Systematic approach in identification and evaluation of materials. Group of subject and methodology specialists who identify and synthesise the results of controlled t rials and maintain their reviews.

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