Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are proven tools for decision-making in health care, both for patients and public policy. For example, nowadays they constitute a substantial part of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. However, the number of systematic reviews developed so far, and their use to improve the health of older adults has been somehow slow. This chapter describes in detail each of the steps necessary to conceptualize and conduct systematic reviews and meta-analysis. It begins with a description of the different uses these types of tools have, followed by the differences they have with narrative reviews. Regarding the methodology to assemble them, it starts in the form of how the research question is formulated, which is the essence for the construction of each of systematic reviews. Then we continue with the selection of studies, first by searching in different electronic databases (e.g., Medline, Embase). Once studies are located, each of them should be reviewed thoroughly to determine if they comply strictly with the selection criteria. Finally, with the selected studies the next step is data extraction from each one, which eventually constitutes the results section of the systematic review. In addition, it is necessary to assess the methodological quality of each study to determine if they are free of bias. The last part of the chapter focuses on the different alternatives of meta-analyses, including network meta-analysis. The results are reported qualitatively when they are systematic reviews, while meta-analyses are reported quantitatively, as long as two or more studies can be combined.
Systematic review Meta-analysis Network meta-analysis Secondary research
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Villasís-Keever MA (2000) Medicina Basada en la Evidencia. In: Novales J (ed) Medicina Interna Pediátrica. McGraw-Hill, México, pp 389–402Google Scholar
Moher D, Cook DJ, Eastwood S, Olkin I, Rennie D, Stroup DF (1999) Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials: the QUOROM statement. Quality of reporting of meta-analyses. Lancet 354(9193):1896–1900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klassen TP, Jadad AR, Moher D (1998) Guides for reading and interpreting systematic reviews: I. Getting started. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 152(7):700–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, Olkin I, Williamson GD, Rennie D et al (2000) Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group. JAMA 283(15):2008–2012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jadad AR, Moher D, Klassen TP (1998) Guides for reading and interpreting systematic reviews: II. How did the authors find the studies and assess their quality? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 152(8):812–817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moher D, Jadad AR, Klassen TP (1998) Guides for reading and interpreting systematic reviews: III. How did the authors synthesize the data and make their conclusions? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 152(9):915–920CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hutton B, Salanti G, Caldwell DM, Chaimani A, Schmid CH, Cameron C et al (2015) The PRISMA extension statement for reporting of systematic reviews incorporating network meta-analyses of health care interventions: checklist and explanations. Ann Intern Med 162(11):777–784. https://doi.org/10.7326/M14-2385CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar