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Sao Paulo Med J. 2015 May-Jun;133(3):206-17. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2013.8150015. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

Overview of systematic reviews - a new type of study. Part II.

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1
Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM-Unifesp), São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE:

Overviews of Systematic Reviews (OoRs) are a new type of study in which multiple evidence from systematic reviews (SRs) is compiled into an accessible and useful document. The aim here was to describe the state of the art and critically assess Cochrane OoRs that have been published.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Descriptive study conducted at a research center.

METHODS:

The OoRs identified through the filter developed in Part I of this study were evaluated in five domains: methodological quality; quality of evidence; implications for practice; general profile of OoRs; and length of work.

RESULTS:

All 13 OoRs included had high methodological quality. Some OoRs did not present sufficient data to judge the quality of evidence; using sensitivity analysis, the quality of evidence of the OoRs increased. Regarding implications for practice, 64% of the interventions were judged as beneficial or harmful, while 36% of them showed insufficient evidence for judgment. It is expected (with 95% confidence interval) that one OoR will include 9,462 to 64,469 patients, 9 to 29 systematic reviews and 80 to 344 primary studies, and assess 6 to 21 interventions; and that 50 to 92% of OoRs will produce meta-analysis. The OoRs generated 2 to 26 meta-analyses over a period of 18 to 31 months.

CONCLUSION:

The OoRs presented high methodological quality; the quality of evidence tended to be moderate/high; most interventions were judged to be beneficial/harmful; the mean length of work was 24 months. The OoR profile adds power to decision-making.

PMID:
25388685
DOI:
10.1590/1516-3180.2013.8150015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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