236340 Tools to develop, document and track systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:50 AM

Helena M. VonVille, MLS, MPH , Library, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX
A search of the literature for a systematic review (SR) or meta-analysis (MA) is an extensive process involving multiple databases, each with its own syntax and record structure. Search statements for each database can number into the hundreds; search results for each database can number in the thousands. Tracking each search strategy and the results requires special effort to ensure that the author is able to accurately retain a report of a replicable search strategy. Lastly, current reporting guidelines for systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) do not agree on the elements of the search methodology that should be reported. This presentation will provide guidance on the essential steps of the systematic review search methodology process including: searching for prior reviews; the use of search filters (or hedges); tools and procedures to track each search and each step of the citation selection process; and reporting the search methodology. An MS Excel-based tracking tool with a flow chart that is automatically updated will be demonstrated to participants. Customized citation management software will also be demonstrated. Additionally, a template to report the search methodology is provided, ensuring that key elements that meet or exceed current standards are included, ultimately adding rigor to the search methodology and improving the ability to demonstrate the overall quality of the systematic review.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Identify the steps of the systematic review/meta-analysis search process; 2. Discuss the importance of searching for prior reviews; 3. Describe search filters (hedges) and explain how they are used; 4. Identify tools to assist in the management of search results; 5. Identify key components of a search methods section and demonstrate the ability to write one

Keywords: Research, Information Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed tools and methods to develop and track systematic reviews. I currently co-teach a graduate-level systematic review course at the University of Texas School of Public Health. I have also assisted students and faculty in the development of tracking of systematic reviews for grants and publication.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.