Systematic reviews and their role in evidence - informed health care

Zaigham Abbas, Sajjad Raza, Kiran Ejaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Systematic reviews are defined as convenient evidential summaries for clinicians which serve as a powerful tool for patient care decisions. They are considered to be the basis for guidelines of medical practice suggesting directions for new research. These scientific reviews, constructed through well-defined methods, have key role in Evidence-Informed Health Care which means to apply new therapies and treatments, which are proved to be effective for a particular treatment by authentic and quality researches, in clinical practice. The art of medicine requires for practice a very sound and up to date clinical knowledge by means of which clinicians can conquer the different challenges. However, a clinician can not depend on the result of a single study for making decisions in clinical practice. The solution to this dilemma is systematic reviews as they provide a precise summary of a topic and have many advantages over narrative reviews. Meta-analysis is a technique which plays an important role in increasing the precision of systematic reviews. Steps of preparation of a systematic review include: 1- Defining the review question: 2- Search and selection of studies: 3- Critical evaluation of studies for biases: 4- Data Collection: 5- Data analysis and presentation of results: 6- Interpretation of results and drawing conclusions: 7- Improving and updating reviews: A reader should first be able to evaluate the quality of a systematic review before practicing the evidence provided by it as it helps to practice the provided evidence more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


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