Systematic Review

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.

There is an extended wait time for librarian support for knowledge synthesis projects (systematic reviews, scoping reviews, etc.). For more information, please contact

To request support for your systematic or scoping review, we ask that:

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 ensure 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.

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

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

Jatana, S.S., Zhao, H., Bow, L.M., Cozzi, E., Batal, I., Horak, T., Amar-Zifkin, A., Schinstock, C., Askar, M., Dadhania, D.M., Cooper, M., Naesens, M., Kraus, E.S., Sapir-Pichhadze, R., Banff Antibody-Mediated Injury Working Group (2023). Seeking Standardized Definitions for HLA-incompatible Kidney Transplants: A Systematic Review. Transplantation, 107(1) 231-253.

Barkati, S., Naeem, F., Hales, L., Quan, C., Libman, M. (2022). Strongyloides stercoralis prevalence in solid-organ and haematopoietic stem cell transplant candidates and recipients: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ Open, 12(8) e057649.

Ortiz-Paredes, D., Amoako, A., Ekmekjian, T., Engler, K., Lebouché, B., Klein, M.B. (2022). Interventions to Improve Uptake of Direct-Acting Antivirals for Hepatitis C Virus in Priority Populations: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Public Health, 10 877585.

Fiore, J.F. Jr, El-Kefraoui, C., Chay, M.A., Nguyen-Powanda, P., Do, U., Olleik, G., Rajabiyazdi, F., Kouyoumdjian, A., Derksen, A., Landry, T., Amar-Zifkin, A., Bergeron, A., Ramanakumar, A.V., Martel, M., Lee, L., Baldini, G., Feldman, L.S. (2022). Opioid versus opioid-free analgesia after surgical discharge: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. Lancet, 399(10343) 2280-2293.

Rodighiero, J., Léveillé, N., Shen, S., Ekmekjian, T., Ades, M., Drudi, L.M. (2022). A scoping review of malnutrition in patients undergoing interventions for peripheral arterial disease. Journal of vascular surgery, 76(6) 1742-1754.e3.

Azzouz, S., Chen, A., Ekmekjian, T., Cantarovich, M., Baran, D., Sandal, S. (2022). The role of renal resistive index as a prognostic tool in kidney transplantation: a systematic review. Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, 37(8) 1552-1565.

Alothman, L., Bélanger, A.M., Ruel, I., Brunham, L.R., Hales, L., Genest, J., Akioyamen, L.E. (2022). Health-related quality of life in homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of clinical lipidology, 16(1) 52-65.

Khan. K., Gasbarrino, K., Mahmoud, I., Dufresne, L., Daskalopoulou, S.S., Schwertani, A., Cecere, R. (2022). Bioactive Scaffolds in Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Myocardial Infarction: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Preclinical Trials. Stem cell reviews and reports, 18(6) 2104-2136.

Khan, K., Caron, C., Mahmoud, I., Derish, I., Schwertani, A., Cecere, R. (2022). Extracellular Vesicles as a Cell-free Therapy for Cardiac Repair: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Preclinical Trials in Animal Myocardial Infarction Models. Stem cell reviews and reports, 18(3):1143-1167.

Forrest, M., Bourgeois, S., Pichette, É., Caughlin, S., Kuate Defo, A., Hales, L., Labos, C., Daskalopoulou, S.S. (2022). Arterial stiffness measurements in pregnancy as a predictive tool for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and preeclampsia: Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive biology: X, (13) 100141.

Senécal, J., Smyth, E., Del Corpo, O., Hsu, J.M., Amar-Zifkin, A., Bergeron, A., Cheng, M.P., Butler-Laporte, G., McDonald, E.G., Lee, T.C. (2022). Non-invasive diagnosis of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical microbiology and infection, 28(1) 23-30.

Garfinkle, R., Salama, E., Amar-Zifkin, A., Morin, N., Ghitulescu, G., Faria, J., Vasilevsky, C.A., Boutros, M. (2022). Observational versus antibiotic therapy for acute uncomplicated diverticulitis: A non-inferiority meta-analysis based on a Delphi consensus. Surgery, 171(2) 328-335.

Kramer, A.I., Akioyamen, L.E., Lee, S., Bélanger, A., Ruel, I., Hales, L., Genest, J., Brunham, L.R. (2021). Major adverse cardiovascular events in homozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of preventive cardiology, 29(5):817-828.

Naiem A.A., Kim, A.Y., Mahmoud, I., Gill, H.L. (2021). A systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the impact of obesity on outcomes of abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment. Journal of vascular surgery, 75(4):1450-1455.e3.

Atoui, S., Coca-Martinez, M., Mahmoud, I., Carli, F., Liberman, A.S. (2021). Exercise intervention in cancer patients with sleep disturbances scheduled for elective surgery: Systematic review. International journal of surgery (London, England), 93 106069.

Eustache, J., El-Kefraoui, C., Ekmekjian, T., Latimer, E., Lee, L. (2021). Do postoperative telemedicine interventions with a communication feature reduce emergency department visits and readmissions?-a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surgical endoscopy, 35(11) 5889-5904.

Cameron, M.J., Al Kharusi, L., Gosselin, A., Baradari, P.G., Chirico, A., Amar-Zifkin, A., Yang, S.S. (2021). Iron supplementation for patients undergoing cardiac surgery: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. CMAJ Open, 9(2) E623-E626.

Naeem, F., Nathan, K., Chivinski, J., Ekmekjian, T., Libman, M., Barkati, S. (2021). Intravenous liposomal amphotericin B efficacy and safety for cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ Open, 11(6) e045707.

Demir, K.K., Butler-Laporte, G., Del Corpo, O., Ekmekjian, T., Sheppard, D.C., Lee, T.C., Cheng, M.P. (2021). Comparative Effectiveness of Amphotericin B, Azoles, and Echinocandins in the Treatment of Candidemia and Invasive Candidiasis: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis. Mycoses, 64(9) 1098-1110.

Ferreira, V., Lawson, C., Ekmekjian, T., Carli, F., Scheede-Bergdahl, C., Chevalier, S. (2021). Effects of preoperative nutrition and multimodal prehabilitation on functional capacity and postoperative complications in surgical lung cancer patients: a systematic review. Supportive care in cancer, 29(10) 5597-5610.

Alhashemi, M., Hamad, R., El-Kefraoui, C., Blouin, M.C., Amar-Zifkin, A., Landry, T., Lee, L., Baldini, G., Feldman, L.S., Fiore, J.F. Jr (2020). The association of alvimopan treatment with postoperative outcomes after abdominal surgery: A systematic review across different surgical procedures and contexts of perioperative care. Surgery, 169(4) 934-944.

Butler-Laporte, G., Smyth, E., Amar-Zifkin, A., Cheng, M. P., McDonald, E. G., Lee, T. C.(2020). Low-Dose TMP-SMX in the Treatment of Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Open forum infectious diseases, 7(5) ofaa112.

El-Kefraoui, C., Olleik, G., Chay, M.A., Kouyoumdjian, A., Nguyen-Powanda, P., Rajabiyazdi, F., Do, U., Derksen, A., Landry, T., Amar-Zifkin, A., Ramanakumar, A.V., Martel, M., Baldini, G., Feldman, L., Fiore, J.F. Jr (2020). Opioid versus opioid-free analgesia after surgical discharge: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open, 10(1) e035443.

Valanci-Aroesty, S., Alhassan, N., Feldman, L.S., Landry, T., Mastropietro, V., Fiore, J.Jr, Lee, L., Fried, G.M., Mueller, C.L. (2020). Implementation and Effectiveness of Coaching for Surgeons in Practice – A Mixed Studies Systematic Review. Journal of surgical education, 77(4) 837-853.

Beaudoin, P.L., Anchouche, S., Gaffar, R., Guadagno, E., Ayad, T., Poenaru, D. (2020). Barriers in access to care for patients with head and neck cancer in resource-limited settings: a systematic review. JAMA otolaryngology- head & neck surgery, 146(3) 291-297.

Meng, F., Zuo, K.J., Amar-Zifkin, A., Baird, R., Cugno, S., Poenaru, D. (2020). Pediatric burn contractures in low- and lower middle-income countries: a systematic review of causes and factors affecting outcome. Burns: journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, 46(5) 993-1004.

Kaur, A., Mackin, S.T., Schlosser, K., Wong, F.L., Elharram, M., Delles, C., Stewart, D.J., Dayan, N., Landry, T., Pilote, L. (2019). Systematic review of microRNA biomarkers in acute coronary syndrome and stable coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular research, 116(6) 1113-1124.

Fiore, J.F. Jr, Olleik, G., El-Kefraoui, C., Verdolin, B., Kouyoumdjian, A., Alldrit, A., Figueiredo, A.G., Valanci, S., Marquez-GdeV, J.A., Schulz, M., Moldoveanu, D., Nguyen-Powanda, P., Best, G., Banks, A., Landry, T., Pecorelli, N., Baldini, G., Feldman, L.S. (2019). Preventing opioid prescription after major surgery: a scoping review of the literature on opioid-free analgesia. British journal of anaesthesia, 123(5) 627-636.

Juźwik, C.A., Drake, S.S., Zhang, Y., Paradis-Isler N., Sylvester, A., Amar-Zifkin, A., Douglas, C., Morquette, B., Moore, C.S., Fournier, A. (2019). microRNA dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases: A systematic review. Progress in neurobiology, 182 101664.

Garfinkle, R., Savage, P., Boutros, M., Landry, T., Reynier, P., Morin, N., Vasilevsky, C.A., Filion, K.B. (2019). Incidence and predictors of postoperative ileus after loop ileostomy closure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Surgical endoscopy, 33(8) 2430-2443.

Sandal, S., Dendukuri, N., Wang, S., Guadagno, E., Ekmekjian, T., Alam, A. (2019). Efficacy of educational interventions in improving measures of living donor kidney transplantation activity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Transplantation, 103(12) 2566-2575.

Toobaie, A., Yousef, Y., Balvardi, S., St-Louis, E., Baird, R., Guadagno, E., Poenaru, D. (2019). Incidence and prevalence of congenital anomalies in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Journal of pediatric surgery, 54(5) 1089-1093.

Drudi, L.M., Tat, J., Ades, M., Mata, J., Landry, T., MacKenzie, K.S., Steinmetz, O.K., Gill, H.L. (2019). Preoperative Exercise Rehabilitation in Cardiac and Vascular Interventions. Journal of surgical research, 237 3-11.

Bilgic, E., Al Mahroos, M., Landry, T., Fried, G.M., Vassiliou, M.C., Feldman, L.S. (2019). Assessment of surgical performance of laparoscopic benign hiatal surgery: a systematic review. Surgical endoscopy, 33(11) 3798-3805.

Connors, N.J., Alsakha, A., Larocque, A., Hoffman, R.S., Landry, T., Gosselin, S. (2019). Antipsychotics for the treatment of sympathomimetic toxicity: A systematic review. American journal of emergency medicine, 37(10) 1880-1890.

Yousef, Y., St-Louis, E., Baird, R., Smith, E.R.,, Guadagno, E., St-Vil, D., Poenaru, D. (2019). A systematic review of capacity assessment tools in pediatric surgery: Global Assessment in Pediatric Surgery (GAPS) Phase I. Journal of pediatric surgery, 54(4) 831-837.

MacDonald, K., Krishnan, A., Cervenka, E., Hu, G., Guadagno, E., Trakadis, Y. (2018). Biomarkers for major depressive and bipolar disorders using metabolomics: A systematic review. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics, 180(2) 122-137.

St-Louis, E., Paradis, T., Landry, T., Poenaru, D. (2018). Factors contributing to successful trauma registry implementation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Injury, 49(12) 2100-2110.

Li, C., Wang, A., Wang, C., Ramamurthy, J., Zhang, E., Guadagno, E., Trakadis, Y. (2018). Metabolomics in patients with psychosis: A systematic review. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics, 177(6) 580-588.

Elharram, M., Dayan, N., Kaur, A., Landry, T., Pilote, L. (2018). Long-Term Cognitive Impairment After Preeclampsia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obstetrics and gynecology, 132(2) 355-364.

Groleau, C., Morin, S.N., Vautour, L., Amar-Zifkin, A., Bessissow, A. (2018). Perioperative corticosteroid administration: a systematic review and descriptive analysis. Perioperative medicine (London, England), 7:10.

Shapiro, A.J., Davis, S.D., Polineni, D., Manion, M., Rosenfeld, M., Dell, S.D., Chilvers, M.A., Ferkol, T.W., Zariwala, M.A., Sagel, S.D., Josephson, M., Morgan, L., Yilmaz, O., Olivier, K.N., Milla, C., Pittman, J.E., Daniels, M.L.A., Jones, M.H., Janahi, I.A., Ware, S.M., Daniel, S.J., Cooper, M.L., Nogee, L.M., Anton, B., Eastvold, T., Ehrne, L., Guadagno, E., Knowles, M.R., Leigh, M.W., Lavergne, V.; American Thoracic Society Assembly on Pediatrics. (2018). Diagnosis of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia. An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 197(12) e24-e39.

St-Louis, E., Oosenbrug, M., Landry, T., Baird, R. (2018). Enrollment and reporting practices in pediatric general surgical randomized clinical trials: A systematic review and observational analysis. Journal of pediatric surgery, 53(5) 879-884.

St-Louis, E., Safa, N., Guadagno, E., Baird, R. (2018). Gastrocutaneous fistulae in children – A systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiology and treatment options. Journal of pediatric surgery, 53(5) 946-958.

Paradis, T., St-Louis, E., Landry, T., Poenaru, D. (2018). Strategies for successful trauma registry implementation in low- and middle-income countries-protocol for a systematic review. Systematic reviews, 7(1) 33.

Alyahya, B., Friesen, M., Nauche, B., Laliberté, M. (2018). Acute lamotrigine overdose: a systematic review of published adult and pediatric cases. Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.), 56(2) 81-89.

Fiore, J.F. Jr, Figueiredo, S., Balvardi, S., Lee, L., Nauche, B., Landry, T., Mayo, N.E., Feldman, L.S. (2018). How Do We Value Postoperative Recovery?: A Systematic Review of the Measurement Properties of Patient-reported Outcomes After Abdominal Surgery. Annals of surgery, 267(4) 659-669.

Karimian, N., Niculiseanu, P., Amar-Zifkin, A., Carli, F., Feldman, L.S. (2018). Association of Elevated Pre-operative Hemoglobin A1c and Post-operative Complications in Non-diabetic Patients: A Systematic Review. World journal of surgery, 42(1) 61-72.

Garant, A., Guilbault, C., Ekmekjian, T., Greenwald, Z., Murgoi, P., Vuong, T. (2017). Concomitant use of corticosteroids and immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with hematologic or solid neoplasms: A systematic review. Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, 120 86-92.

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). Circulating adiponectin levels in relation to carotid atherosclerotic plaque presence, ischemic stroke risk, and mortality: A systematic review and meta-analyses. 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.