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A Guide to Critical Appraisal of Health Research

Appraising Systematic Reviews: Some Basic Questions

These are some basic questions to ask as you evaluate the quality of the systematic review. Please see "additional information" for more detailed steps for evaluating systematic reviews.

  • Does the author of the SR present a clearly defined question?
  • Does the SR have a documented and reproducible search strategy?
  • Does the methods section define the inclusion & exclusion criteria?
  • Is information from primary randomized clinical trials included in the systematic review?
  • Does the author(s) of the SR document how they appraised the quality of the primary studies?
  • Does the SR report on the clinical importance of the results?


Appraising systematic reviews. (n.d).. BMJ best practice. Retrieved July 30 2020. from

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