Section 2 Preclinical Systematic Reviews
2.1 What is a systematic review?
A systematic review (SR) is a literature review that involves systematically locating, appraising, and synthesising evidence from scientific studies to answer a defined research question based on pre-specified criteria.
The methods of a systematic review (and meta-analysis) should be transparent and reproducible. This means that the methods are planned, conducted, and reported in a way that can be repeated by other research groups.
2.2 What is a meta-analysis?
A meta-analysis is a method of combining quantitative results from individual studies identified through systematic review in an overall statistical analysis.
2.3 Clinical & preclinical reviews
There are many differences between preclinical and clinical systematic reviews, which is why we developed this Wiki, specific to preclinical systematic review methodology.
|# of included studies||High||Low|
|Sample size within studies||Low||High|
2.4 Why perform preclinical SRs?
There are many reasons to perform preclinical systematic reviews:
- To summarise evidence from multiple similar studies to allow for more accurate estimates of effect
- The methods used to find and select studies are transparent and reproducible, reducing bias and increasing the likeliness of producing reliable and accurate conclusions.
- Summarise findings from all available studies making information easier for the end-user to read and understand
- Analyse individual study quality to inform confidence in the results
- Quantitative synthesis of results (meta-analysis)
- Allow for evidence-based inferences
The results of preclinical systematic reviews can:
- Provide evidence to change research practice by identifying risks of bias in preclinical experiments
- Influence development of reporting guidelines and editorial policies
- Provide evidence to support reporting of positive, negative and neutral results through detection of publication bias
- Identify study design features that compromise potential clinical application
- Contribute to evidence-based clinical trial design