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How to do a Systematic Review

`Everything you wanted to know about doing a systematic review, but were afraid to ask' might be a better title than "Undertaking Systematic Reviews of Research on Effectiveness". These guidelines for carrying out or commissioning reviews is the fourth CRD Report (from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at York).

It is not easy to be short (90 pages), comprehensive and comprehensible all at the same time, but this A4 book by Jon Deeks, Julie Glanville and Trevor Sheldon seems to manage it without really trying. It takes the reader step-by-step through the process of a review. It gives suggestions of how to tackle particular problems, and examples of how others have overcome similar problems. It makes the statistics look straightforward, and has examples of working sheets for searching, validity judgement and data extraction. It tells you how to structure a report, has a wonderful glossary of terms and all the relevant references.

It is in big type, is user friendly, and is cheap. Useful for those doing, and those using, systematic reviews.

"Undertaking Systematic Reviews of Research on Effectiveness" (ISBN 1 900640 01 5) is available from Publications Office, NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York YO1 5DD. Fax 01904 433661; email Price £7.50.

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