Sense about Science’s introduction to Systematic Reviews.Key Concepts addressed:
- 2-9 Reviews of fair comparisons should be systematic
- 2-11 All fair comparisons and outcomes should be reported
- 2-13 Relative measures of effects can be misleading
One of the biggest challenges within scientific research is to interpret the results of individual studies in the context of other research that has been done. This is especially important for decisions about whether a medical treatment works and for decisions about what further studies should be done. For example, if a recent small study appears to show that a treatment works or a substance causes harm, but previous good-quality studies had concluded the opposite, these results need to be looked at together.