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Doing a Systematic Review

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Table of Contents

Carrying Out a Systematic Review as a Master's Thesis - Rumona Dickson, M. Gemma Cherry and Angela Boland Defining My Review Question and Identifying Inclusion Criteria - M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson Developing My Search Strategy and Applying Inclusion Criteria - Yenal Dundar and Nigel Fleeman Quality Assessment: Where Do I Begin? - Janette Greenhalgh and Tamara Brown Data Extraction: Where Do I Begin? - Nigel Fleeman and Yenal Dundar Understanding and Synthesizing My Numerical Data - Michaela Blundell Writing My Discussion and Conclusions - M. Gemma Cherry Reviewing Qualitative Evidence - M. Gemma Cherry, Elizabeth Perkins, Rumona Dickson and Angela Boland Systematically Reviewing Economic Evaluations - Angela Boland, Sophie Beale and M. Gemma Cherry Planning and Managing My Review - Gerlinde Pilkington and Juliet Hockenhull

About the Author

Angela Boland has worked at LRiG (Liverpool Reviews and Implementation Group) since it was established in 2001 and has carried out many systematic reviews of both clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health care interventions. Gemma Cherry is Lecturer is Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Prior to training, she worked at LRiG for several years conducting systematic reviews. Rumona Dickson has been involved in the conduct of systematic reviews in health care for over 20 years and has been the Director of LRiG since 2001.


My bookshelves are already laden with "How to do it" books on systematic reviews - very few of these are readable, informative and useful. But what do I do when I need to inform tomorrow's supervision meeting? Quite simply - I reach for this book!

-- Andrew Booth

The systematic review is frequently the pathway to the Master's degree for many students, and often key to the development of a good research question. Students often find the systematic critical review and synthesis of research relevant to their research question daunting. This text provides a clear roadmap for those engaging in the process. The text provides step-by-step guidance through the systematic review, providing strategies for success, with tables and process descriptions that are extremely useful. Chapters align with the steps in the process and address each component of the review with clarity and multiple examples. While other texts may provide a broad overview of the process, strengths of the current text include its attention to detail, its practical approach to situations that may occur in the process, and its inclusion of responses to questions frequently asked by students. This text fills a gap with a much-needed reference for students and professionals for whom research evaluation is integral to success.

-- Susan S. Levy
This is an excellent book, ideally targeted at those undertaking systematic reviews for a Master's thesis, but also hugely useful for PhD students. It provides detailed information in accessible language presented in bite-sized chunks and thus can be used as a staged guide throughout the process. A very useful addition to the literature and one which I will be recommending to colleagues and students. -- Dr Annette Lankshear, Reader in Health Policy
Doing a Systematic Review is well-structured and tightly-packed with practical advice. It is a rare book which goes beyond the more general student textbooks on writing reviews. The book is particularly useful for postgraduate students for its focus on what the examiner wants, and offers a range of very practical snippets of information on the process of writing a review. It will also be a valuable resource for teachers wishing to improve their students' writing, and for researchers who want to learn more about conducting a systematic review to a high standard. -- Sophie Lecheler

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