Volume 15, Number 3, September 2003

Systematic Review — Part 1. Introduction to Systematic Review

David Macdonald-Jankowski,1 Marshall Dozier2

1Department of Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, and 2Erskine Medical Library, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Systematic review is a system of primary research that sifts the medical literature in an objective and transparent fashion, with the primary aim of minimising bias and error. Systematic review, similar to other primary research, has an aim (research question), methods, results, and discussion. The advantage to the clinician is that, in the current 'evidence-based' environment, systematic review should provide an objective answer to a defined question. In this respect, systematic review has already begun to contribute to the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Approaches to the databases, reading a systematic review, and the limitations of systematic review are outlined in this part. The description of the procedure will be discussed in part 2.

Key words: Complexity science, Ethnicity, Evidence-based Medicine, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Randomised controlled trials, Systematic reviews

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2003;15:155-161.


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