Systematic review

Systematic reviews aim to bring together the results of all studies addressing a particular research question that have been carried out around the world. They provide a comprehensive and unbiased summary of the research.

For example, one clinical trial may not give a clear answer about the effectiveness of a treatment. This might be because the difference between the treatments being tested was very small, or because only a small number of people took part in the trial. So systematic reviews are used to bring the results of a number of similar trials together, to piece together and assess the quality of all of the evidence. Combining the results from a number of trials may give a clearer picture.