Systematic Review

Systematic reviews are the gold standard in reviewing. They aim to adopt a scientific approach to identifying and consolidating all of the available evidence relevant to a specific research question.

Systematic reviews should be carried out according to a predefined protocol that sets out the scope of the systematic review and provides the detailed methods that will be used to produce the review.


Key components of a systematic review include:

  • A well-developed research question captured in detailed eligibility criteria (the “PICO”)
  • Systematic and extensive searches to identify as much of the relevant published and unpublished literature as possible
  • Study selection according to the predefined eligibility criteria (the “PICO”)
  • Extraction of the data necessary to answer the review question
  • Assessment of the risk of bias for included studies
  • Synthesis of the evidence identified
  • Presentation of the findings in an independent and impartial manner
  • Discussion of the limitations of the evidence and of the review methods

Systematic reviews can evaluate a range of evidence; qualitative, quantitative or a combination of both. Appropriate methods of synthesis should be used for different types of evidence.


When do you need a systematic review?

  • To address a specific research question on a intervention or service within its indicated population, for example to inform a health economic model
  • To investigate the burden of illness of a disease area


How can we help you?

 We can help you to:

  • Define your research question
  • Develop a review protocol to ensure that the review will help you to answer the question
  • Undertake extensive literature searches to ensure as many studies as possible relevant to the review question and the network meta-analysis (NMA) are identified
  • Assess the risk of bias of the individual trials and across the studies
  • Extract the relevant data from each trial that is required to inform the review and any subsequent analyses
  • Synthesise the outcome evidence either as a narrative or using meta-analysis or NMA
  • Provide a detailed report write-up, according to the PRISMA reporting guidelines or in another format to suit your needs

Contact us today if you would like to enquire about this service