An important point – not all systematic reviews are the same

The Evidence Synthesis Team at PenCLAHRC highlighted an important point, when they replied to a tweet of mine with the following:

Are you just thinking about reviews of effectiveness? Or more complex research questions?

I am frequently guilty of treating all systematic reviews as the same, when they’re clearly not.  I all too often fall into the trap of seeing all systematic reviews as being intervention based e.g. is drug A useful in condition Y?  However, there are many other types, for instance:

  • Outcome focussed – what works in condition Y?
  • Qualitative reviews – can address questions other than effectiveness.
  • Complex – complex multicomponent health care interventions (see this great AHRQ review)

It’s great to be reminded of something that should be obvious!


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