A practical overview of how to conduct a systematic review
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A practical overview of how to conduct a systematic review

Dilla Davis Education development practitioner, Acute Medicine and Community Services, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England

With an increasing focus on evidence-based practice in healthcare, it is important that nurses understand the principles underlying systematic reviews. Systematic reviews are used in healthcare to present a comprehensive, policy-neutral, transparent and reproducible synthesis of evidence. This article provides a practical overview of the process of undertaking systematic reviews, explaining the rationale for each stage. It provides guidance on the standard methods applicable to every systematic review: writing and registering a protocol; planning a review; searching and selecting studies; data collection; assessing the risk of bias; and interpreting results.

Nursing Standard. 31, 12,60-71. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10316

Correspondence

D.Davis1@edu.salford.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 October 2015

Accepted: 15 April 2016