A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. By combining data they improve the ability to study the consistency of results. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making and create reproducible research. (Source: Cochrane) It is secondary research because secondary research does not involve generating data or talking to human subjects. It does not require ethical approval.
|3-8||Searches for published and unpublished studies|
|2-3||Pilot test of eligibility criteria|
|3||Pilot test of 'Risk of bias' assessment|
|3||Pilot test of data collection|
|5-11||Follow up of missing information|
|1-11||Preparation of review report|
|12-||Keeping the review up-to-date|
From: Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from handbook.cochrane.org.