Gathering comprehensive evidence to address medical questions is critical in health sciences research. To that end, a Systematic Review of the literature critically assesses ALL relevant studies that address particular clinical issues. It provides a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions.
Some of us still remember the tragedy that occurred at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 when Ellen Roche, a healthy 24-year-old volunteer, died. Ms. Roche took part in a study to understand the natural defenses of healthy people against asthma. The reason for her death was a chemical that she inhaled, hexamethonium, causing lung failure. Although articles published during the 1950’s had revealed that hexamethonium could cause fatal lung inflammation, the research team had not uncovered this crucial information even though they performed a search in PubMed and consulted textbooks. This tragedy tells us that missing critical evidence to answer your research questions can lead to fatal consequences.
The Biomedical Library staff will provide another round of systematic review workshops in November. After attending these workshops, you will understand the importance of critical assessment and evaluation of All research studies to address a particular clinical issue, learn how to develop literature search strategies to collect all relevant evidence, and learn about tools to facilitate citation management and data screening.
Please join the Librarians at the Biomedical Library for these workshops.