Systematic Review

“The search strategy is the single most important step
in a meaningful systematic review”[1]

Robert Baird MDCM MSc FRCSC FACS
Division of Pediatric Surgery, The Montreal Children’s Hospital,
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The search methodology is a critical step in the systematic review process. A systematic review (SR) must demonstrate that sufficient effort has been made to identify as many methodologically sound studies as possible to answer a clinical question.

MUHC Librarians will:

  • translate your question into a comprehensive search strategy,
  • conduct the literature search,
  • identify relevant grey literature,
  • deliver the results using EndNote,
  • provide you with a documented methodology report and PRISMA flow chart.

To request support for your systematic review, we ask that you first complete the MUHC Libraries’ Work Plan for a Systematic Review of the Literature and send it to a hospital librarian.

Upon receipt of the work plan, the librarian and lead investigator will meet to discuss the project and sign a Memorandum of Understanding, in order to establish a time frame for delivery of results, as well as to insure that both parties understand their mutual responsibilities in the project.

If you have never conducted a systematic review, give us a call. Your hospital librarian will arrange a meeting to review the process, requirements and answer any questions you may have.

MUHC librarians have supported several projects since launching our systematic review service in 2012. Examples of recently published systematic reviews supported by MUHC librarians:

Alyahya, B., Friesen, M., Nauche, B., Laliberté, M. (2017). Acute lamotrigine overdose: a systematic review of published adult and pediatric cases. Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.), [Epub ahead of print].

Fiore, J.F. Jr, Figueiredo, S., Balvardi, S., Lee, L., Nauche, B., Landry, T., Mayo, N.E., Feldman, L.S. (2017). How Do We Value Postoperative Recovery?: A Systematic Review of the Measurement Properties of Patient-reported Outcomes After Abdominal Surgery.. Annals of surgery, [Epub ahead of print].

Karimian, N., Niculiseanu, P., Amar-Zifkin, A., Carli, F., Feldman, L.S. (2017). Association of Elevated Pre-operative Hemoglobin A1c and Post-operative Complications in Non-diabetic Patients: A Systematic Review. World journal of surgery, [Epub ahead of print].

Shapiro, A.J., Josephson, M., Rosenfeld, M., Yilmaz, O., Davis, S.D., Polineni, D., Guadagno, E., Leigh, M.W., Lavergne, V. (2017). Accuracy of Nasal Nitric Oxide Measurement as a Diagnostic Test for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 14(7) 1184-1196.

Gorgui, J., Gasbarrino, K., Georgakis, M.K., Karalexi, M.A., Nauche, B., Petridou, E.T., Daskalopoulou, S.S. (2017). Markers of Vascular Dysfunction After Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 69, 51-66.

Grand’Maison, S., Pilote, L., Okano, M., Landry, T., Dayan, N. (2016). Markers of Vascular Dysfunction After Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Hypertension, 68(6), 1447-1458.

Maertens, H., Madani, H., Landry, T., Vermassen, F., Van Herzeele, I., Aggarwal, R. (2016). Systematic review of e-learning for surgical training. The British Journal of Surgery, 103(11), 1428-1437.

Gasbarrino, K., Gorgui, J., Nauche, B., Côté, R., Daskalopoulou, S.S. (2016). Circulating adiponectin and carotid intima-media thickness: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 65(7), 968-986.

Ortega-Deballon, I., Hornby, L., Shemie, S.D., Bhanji, F., Guadagno, E. (2016). Extracorporeal resuscitation for refractory out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in adults: A systematic review of international practices and outcomes. Resuscitation, 101, 12-20.

Fitzcharles, M.A., Ste-Marie, P.A., Häuser, W., Clauw, D.J., Jamal, S., Karsh, J., Landry, T., LeClercq, S., McDougall, J.J., Shir, Y., Shojania, K., Walsh, Z. (2016). Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoid treatments in the rheumatic diseases: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Arthritis Care & Research, 68(5), 681-688.

Fiore, J.F. Jr, Bejjani, J., Conrad, K., Niculiseanu, P., Landry, T., Lee, L., Ferri, L.E., Feldman, L.S. (2016). Systematic review of the influence of enhanced recovery pathways in elective lung resection. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 151(3), 708-715.

Click here to access the list of systematic reviews published before 2016.

If you are considering undertaking a systematic review, MUHC librarians have compiled a list of essential resources which you may find useful.

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1 – “Evidence Based Surgery and Systematic Reviews”
October 26th 2015 Grand Rounds presentation, McGill University Health Centre