A systematic review is an approach used in health, education and social policy (as part of evidence based policy or practice). It's much more than a 'literature review' - it follows a strict and rigorous methodology. The aim is to identify, select, synthesize and appraise all high quality research evidence relevant to a particular topic.
1. Formulate your question.
2. Search for studies.
3. Assess the quality of studies.
4. Summarise the evidence.
5. Interpret the findings.
Use the PRISMA flow diagram to help identify, screen and assess eligiblility of systematic reviews.
For more information, have a look at these articles:
•Randomised controlled trials
•Assessment of trial methodologies
•Assessment of health technologies
•Assessment of economic impact of treatments