Chapter 2. An Overview of Systematic Reviews

  1. Mark A. Crowther MD, MSc, FRCPC Professor Division Director3,4,
  2. Jeff Ginsberg MD, FRCPC Professor5,
  3. Holger J. Schünemann MD, PhD, MSc, FACP, FCCP Professor6,7,
  4. Ralph M. Meyer MD, FRCPC Director Professor8,9 and
  5. Richard Lottenberg MD, FACP Professor10
  1. Martin Prins MD, PhD1,2,
  2. Arina ten Cate-Hoek MD1 and
  3. Pieter Leffers1

Published Online: 4 FEB 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444300857.ch2

Evidence-Based Hematology

Evidence-Based Hematology

How to Cite

Prins, M., ten Cate-Hoek, A. and Leffers, P. (2008) An Overview of Systematic Reviews, in Evidence-Based Hematology (eds M. A. Crowther, J. Ginsberg, H. J. Schünemann, R. M. Meyer and R. Lottenberg), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444300857.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Division of Hematology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  2. 4

    St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  3. 5

    Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

  4. 6

    CLARITY Research Group, Department of Epidemiology, Italian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena, Rome, Italy

  5. 7

    McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

  6. 8

    National Cancer Institute of Canada, Clinical Trials Group, Edith Eisenhauer Chair in Clinical Cancer Research, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  7. 9

    Departments of Oncology and Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  8. 10

    Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public Health Research Institute, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    Department of Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, Academic Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2009
  2. Published Print: 27 JUN 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405157476

Online ISBN: 9781444300857



  • systematic versus narrative reviews;
  • systematic review in clinical medicine and formulation of answerable clinical question;
  • systematic review structure;
  • updated databases of medical literature - Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE;
  • presentation of data and summary statistics;
  • assessment of quality;
  • Forest plot and meta-analysis results of randomized trials;
  • systematic reviews for informed healthcare decisions


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction: Systematic versus narrative reviews

  • The clinical question

  • Structure of a systematic review

  • Literature search

  • Selection of relevant articles

  • Assessment of quality

  • Presentation of data and summary statistics

  • Conclusion

  • Glossary

  • References