Not all systematic reviews are created equal: Considerations for appraisal

  • Schlosser R
  • Wendt O
  • Sigafoos J
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Abstract

Systematic reviews can be a tremendous asset in the implementation of evidence-based practice, because they minimize some of the most-documented barriers to evidence-based practice. For example, by reading systematic reviews, clinicians may save time that would otherwise be dedicated to locating and appraising individual studies. Further, clinicians can rely on someone else's reviewing expertise, which reduces the knowledge and skill burden otherwise imposed on them. However, empirical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that there is great variability in the quality of systematic reviews. Thus, in order to harness their potential, it is imperative that clinicians distinguish high-quality systematic reviews from those of low quality. In this paper, we aim to discuss considerations for appraising the quality of systematic reviews.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Critical appraisal
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Systematic reviews

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