About Systematic Reviews

Why Are Systematic Reviews Important for Evidence-Based Practice

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At first, practitioners developed systematic review methodologies for use within medical studies. However, their application is rapidly being adopted in other areas of medicine, including public health. This article will explain why systematic reviews are essential for evidence-based practice and when to use a systematic review. We’ll also touch on the common types of systematic reviews in research.

Types of Systematic Reviews in Research

If you are involved in research and/or policy-making processes, you must be aware of the various systematic reviews available. You should also familiarize yourself with quality assessment tools for systematic reviews. Currently, there are five main types of systematic reviews used in research studies.

  • Scoping reviews involve the initial evaluation of the possible size and scope of the available research literature. They help to ascertain the nature and amount of evidence, including ongoing research.
  • Narrative reviews blend primary research and provide explanations rather than statistics.
  • Rapid reviews help you assess the existing information about policy and practice issues using various systematic review approaches to explore and appraise existing studies analytically.
  • Meta-analyses bring together quantitative research outcomes in a statistical manner that offers a detailed effect on the results.
  • Mixed methods are a combination of various methods where the main component is a systematic literature review.

These systematic reviews usually establish whether pertinent evidence forms the basis of current policies and practices. They also help to check the quality of the existing evidence and address any ambiguities or disparities.

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Importance of Systematic Reviews for Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice is now the preferred approach for professionals in the medical field, mainly due to its effectiveness in providing facts that inform critical decisions during policy development.

In the past, medical professionals and policymakers focused on experience-based, eminence-based, or habit-based practices to develop policies. But these practices were inadequate in terms of accountability and research utilization.

Medical professionals and researchers unanimously agree that evidence-based practice should combine the most effective and recent research evidence with clinical and academic knowledge, along with relevant perspectives of all stakeholders, to help researchers and policymakers make the right decisions. These elements have become essential to medical professionals because they must use research evidence in clinical and educational policy-making tasks.

Systematic reviews allow medical practitioners to apply current evidence to patient care. This is since they are designed to synthesize information from multiple studies and issue conclusions related to the efficacy, validity, or effectiveness of a treatment or any form of intervention [1].

With evidence-based practice, medical practitioners and stakeholders influence the future direction of medical study by ensuring that others learn from the existing evidence. Researchers must have exceptional skills in evaluating the available literature for the best, most relevant, latest proof for this to happen. They should also be able to critically appraise the available evidence to prove its relevance to the question at hand.

Also, systematic reviews in evidence-based practice help practitioners and policymakers save time because they can rely on other researchers’ expertise to gather relevant evidence. They can easily access re-filtered evidence established when experts in a specific field of medicine review and present the most vital information in the field.

Lastly, systematic reviews are rigorous processes that involve exhaustive research, allowing for substantial evidence of the usefulness and effectiveness of a policy or practice.


  1. C. Hardi and S. A. Fowler, “Evidence-based medicine and systematic review services at Becker Medical Library,” Missouri medicine, vol. 111, no. 5, pp. 416–8, 2014, Accessed: Apr. 26, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172095/#:~:text=Systematic%20reviews%20are%20designed%20to

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