The methods of systematic reviews Setting the question

Clinical questions regarding the effects of treatments have three parts: the participants (who are the people of interest to the questioner?), the interventions (what are the specific treatments that are to be the focus of the review?), and the outcomes (what are the outcomes of interest to the reviewers?) ( Fig, !). Although the reviewers may have knowledge of existing trials and their limitations, it is important that the questions set are relevant to the review's readership. If the review is to service clinicians then clinically relevant outcomes must be a priority and not those anticipated by foreknowledge of the trials. If all studies then provide data on mean change in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and fail to mention the outcome of 'clinically important improvement', the review can highlight this important gap in knowledge.

Fig. 1 Developing an answerable question.

The next stage for formulating the question is to decide on the type of study that is best suited to answering the question. For questions related to the efficacy of treatments this is usually the randomized trial. At first glance, this may seem straightforward, but it is important to state a priori whether studies that implied, but did not state, randomization should be included. No other methodological parameter is so consistently linked with exaggerated estimations of effect than poor description of randomization/5,25) Studies that describe themselves as 'prospective, double-blind, evaluative controlled trials' would be excluded from a review if the entry criteria demanded and explicit description of randomization.

5 Secrets to Lasting Longer In The Bedroom

5 Secrets to Lasting Longer In The Bedroom

How to increase your staying power to extend your pleasure-and hers. There are many techniques, exercises and even devices, aids, and drugs to help you last longer in the bedroom. However, in most cases, the main reason most guys don't last long is due to what's going on in their minds, not their bodies.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment