Here you will find descriptions of narrative, integrative, and systematic reviews. You will also find additional information about finding and understanding systematic reviews.
Once you understand what a systematic review is and where to search for them, see the Database Search Tips page in this guide for help with finding the articles you need.
A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view aimed at minimizing bias, to produce more reliable findings to inform decision making.
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Meta-analysis is a quantitative approach that permits the synthesis and integration of results from multiple individual studies focused on a specific research question. A meta-analysis is a rigorous alternative to the traditional narrative review of the literature. It involves the application of the research process to a collection of studies in a specific area. The individual studies are considered the sample.
A systematic review may include meta-analysis if it is able to combine the results of comparable randomized controlled trials (see the "Systematic Review" entry in the Encyclopedia of Nursing Research for more information).
Learn more! Encyclopedia of Nursing Research
Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of research in healthcare and health policy that are published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. There are five types of Cochrane Review:
Cochrane Reviews are updated to reflect the findings of new evidence when it becomes available because the results of new studies can change the conclusions of a review. Cochrane Reviews are therefore valuable sources of information for those receiving and providing care, as well as for decision-makers and researchers.
Learn more! About Cochrane Systematic Reviews
Click on the Cochrane Library with Systematic Reviews link above to enter the database. You may need to enter your Simmons username and password if you're off campus.
There are two ways to find Cochrane Reviews:
Both options will allow you to narrow you results on the next page.
Check out Cochrane's self-paced tutorials for search demos and additional tips.
You can also search for systematic reviews in CINAHL, Medline, and other health sciences databases.
The phrase "systematic review" will generally appear in the title or abstract of an article. As a result, you can find them by adding "systematic review" as one of your search terms.