|February 15, 2002 [posted]|
|New PubMed® Filter: Systematic Reviews|
common complaint among those looking for biomedical information is that there is too much of it too many journals, too many articles, and too little time. Possibly as a result of this, systematic review articles are becoming more popular, especially with clinicians, because they summarize and evaluate information that can help in decision-making. Cook DJ, et al. highlight the importance of these articles, "Used increasingly to inform medical decision making, plan future research agendas, and establish clinical policy, systematic reviews may strengthen the link between best research evidence and optimal health care".
In November 2001, a Systematic Reviews search filter was added to PubMed on the Clinical Queries screen to make it easier to retrieve citations for these distinctive articles.Review vs. systematic review. What is the difference?
Whereas review articles are generally an examination of the literature from the author's perspective, a systematic review can be thought of as a study design that includes some or all of the following characteristics:
Meta-analyses are often considered a type of systematic review and are distinguished by the application of quantitative and statistical methods for combining and examining results. Often, a systematic review will include a meta-analysis.
In addition to meta-analyses, the Systematic Reviews filter also retrieves citations to other articles of interest to health professionals such as reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based medicine, consensus development conferences, guidelines, and citations to articles from journals specializing in clinical review studies.Examples
The abstracts for the articles cited below provide good examples of systematic reviews:
Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R, Haas M, Bouter L.
Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001 Sep;24(7):457-66. [See Abstract.]
Phillips KA, Veenstra DL, Oren E, Lee JK, Sadee W.
Potential role of pharmacogenomics in reducing adverse drug reactions: a systematic review.
JAMA. 2001 Nov 14;286(18):2270-9. [See Abstract.]
Search Systematic Reviews from the Clinical Queries screen
PubMed's Systematic Reviews filter is available from the Clinical Queries screen (link from sidebar). This screen has been modified so that users can apply either a Clinical Queries filter or the Systematic Reviews filter to their search terms (see Figure 1.)
To use this new filter, select Systematic Reviews by clicking on the radio button, enter a topic, and click on the Go button.
After running a Systematic Reviews search, PubMed's Limits, e.g., English language, can be easily applied to the retrieval, if desired.
Alternatively, this filter can be used directly in a PubMed search as "systematic [sb]."
The filter works by combining the user's search term(s) with citations that were retrieved by PubMed's Systematic Reviews search strategy.
The strategy has 3 parts:
Other sources of information explaining methods of locating systematic review articles have been provided.
We hope this filter will prove to be helpful to clinicians, health services researchers, and others interested in articles examining and evaluating clinical modalities.Work Cited:
1. Cook DJ, Mulrow CD, Haynes, RB. Systematic reviews: synthesis of best evidence for clinical decisions. Ann Intern Med 1997 Mar 1;126(5):376-80. [PMID: 9054282]References:
Mulrow C, Cook D, editors. Systematic reviews: synthesis of best evidence for health care decisions. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians, 1998.
Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness: CRD's guidance for those carrying out or commissioning reviews. CRD Report Number 4 (2nd Edition) March 2001 [Internet]. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/crdweb/SearchPage.asp. Search Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness: CRD's guidance for those carrying out or commissioning reviews, Year 2001.
By Annette M. Nahin
Nahin AM. New PubMed® Filter: Systematic Reviews. NLM Tech Bull. 2002 Jan-Feb;(324):e7.