Reviews

There are two main approaches to the reviewing process—the traditional and the systematic. The traditional review

The traditional review is often undertaken by a person well respected in the relevant field who uses their knowledge and acumen, supplemented by research, to produce a synopsis of the literature. This approach still dominates the current texts, journals, and lecture tours. For example, in four major North American medical journals, 86 per cent of review articles depended on qualitative synthesis and contained no 'methods' section whatsoever. (1J.> In only 6 per cent of the reviews was quantification attempted in order to support opinion. Therefore the clinician is left in a situation where it is difficult not to operate under a double standard. On the one hand, a large relevant trial providing objective evaluation would be desirable, but frequently a traditional subjective review is all that is available.

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