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Systematic reviews in emergency medicine: Part I. Background and general principles for locating and critically appraising reviews

  • Peter J. Zed (a1) (a2) (a3), Brian H. Rowe (a4), Peter S. Loewen (a1) (a2) and Riyad B. Abu-Laban (a3) (a5)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Reviews of the medical literature have always been an important resource for physicians. Increasingly, qualitative and quantitative “systematic reviews” have replaced the traditional “narrative review” as a means of capturing and summarizing current evidence on a topic or, when possible, answering a specific clinical question. This paper is part one of a two-part series designed to provide emergency physicians with the background necessary to locate, critically evaluate and interpret systematic reviews. The paper provides a brief background on systematic reviews and general principles on locating and critically appraising them. To facilitate readability, examples from the emergency medicine literature have been included for illustrative purposes and technical details have been kept to a minimum. The references, however, are comprehensive and provide a resource for readers seeking further information.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
CSU Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vancouver General Hospital, 855 West 12th Ave., Vancouver BC V5Z 1M9; 604 875-4077, fax 604 875-5267, zed@interchange.ubc.ca
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1. DJ Cook , CD Mulrow , RB Haynes . Systematic reviews: synthesis of best evidence for clinical decisions. Ann Intern Med 1997; 126:37680.

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14. SD Emond , PC Wyer , MD Brown , WH Cordell , CH Spooner , BH Rowe . How relevant are the systematic reviews in the cochrane library to emergency medical practice? Ann Emerg Med 2002;39;1538.

15. C Counsell . Formulating questions and locating primary studies for inclusion in systematic reviews. Ann Intern Med 1997;127: 3807.

16. CJ Corrall , PC Wyer , LS Zick , CR Bockrath . Evidence-based emergency medicine. How to find evidence when you need it, part 1: databases, search programs, and strategies. Ann Emerg Med 2002;39:3026.

17. MO Meade , S Richardson . Selecting and appraising studies for systematic review. Ann Intern Med 1997;127:5317.

21. PE Gallagher , TY Allen , PC Wyer . How to find evidence when you need it, part 3: a clinician’s guide to MEDLINE: tricks and special skills. Ann Emerg Med 2002;39:54751.

22. K Dickerson , R Scherer , C Lefebvre . Identifying relevant studies for systematic reviews. BMJ 1994;309:128691.

23. J Langham , E Thompson , K Rowan . Identification of randomized controlled trials from the emergency medicine literature: comparison of hand searching versus MEDLINE searching. Ann Emerg Med 1999;34:2534.

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Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1481-8035
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-emergency-medicine
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