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Evidence synthesis2

Evidence Synthesis and Systematic Reviews

Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, you should follow the PRISMA standards and checklist when preparing your report. The abstract should comply with PRISMA guidelines. These are available on the PRISMA website.

The main report should also include (but need not be restricted to) the headings set out in section 1.3.6 of the CRD report, Systematic Reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care (PDF, 1.6MB). A slightly adapted version of these headings follows:

  • List of abbreviations / glossary
  • Abstract
  • Plain English Summary
  • Scientific Summary
  • Background
  • Hypotheses tested in the review (research questions)
  • Review methods (including any changes to the protocol, search dates, etc.)
  • Studies included in the review
  • Studies excluded from the review
  • Results of the review
  • Analysis of the robustness of the results (sensitivity analyses)
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions (implications for healthcare; recommendations for research)
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Appendices

Authors should note that the term ‘systematic review’ will only appear in a report’s title when the account of the search, appraisal and synthesis methods (to minimise biases and random errors) would, in theory, permit the replication of the review by others.