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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine

Daily Click: Sense about Systematic Reviews

Sense about Science, “an independent charitable trust promoting good science and evidence in public debates” has just published a short briefing paper on Systematic Reviews. The UK charity has the aim of “promoting respect for evidence and by urging scientists to engage actively with a wide range of groups, particularly when debates are controversial or difficult.”

The short briefing paper aims to answer the questions about what makes a good systematic review, why are some studies included but not others, and ultimately why they should be considered more authoritative than other studies. Commenting on the report, Sir Iain Chalmers, from the James Lind Alliance notes that “in an applied field of research like health care, the result of not beginning and ending reports of research with systematic reviews of other relevant evidence is that patients suffer and sometimes die unnecessarily.”

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