English Protocol Template

Protocol Template: Systematic Review

Review title: ________________________________________________________________

  1. Background
    1. Important characteristics

What are the important population and/or disease characteristics (diagnostic criteria, epidemiology, aetiology, prognosis)?

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    1. Relevance

Does the review topic have important implications for health (individual and/or public), as well as health care, policy and research?

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    1. Rationale

Does the evidence (including existing systematic reviews) fail to answer the review question, and why?

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    1. Justification

Is the need for the review justified in the light of the potential health implications and current limitations of the evidence base?

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    1. Specification

What are the PICO components of the review question / objective?

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  1. Methods
    1. Search strategy

Which electronic databases will you search?

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What are your key search terms?

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What other sources will you search?

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    1. Selection criteria

What are the inclusion / exclusion criteria?

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Will you impose any additional limits, e.g. language, publication type, study design?

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How will study selection be performed?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    1. Quality assessment

What criteria will be used to assess methodological quality?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How will quality assessment be performed?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    1. Data extraction

What are the key data to be extracted?

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How will data extraction be performed, and how will extracted data be presented?

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    1. Data synthesis

How will data be combined (statistical or narrative), and why?

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What are the potential sources of effect heterogeneity and how will they be assessed?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Process
    1. What resources are required to conduct the review, and are they available?

Relevant expertise: _________________________________________________

Computing facilities: _________________________________________________

Research databases: _________________________________________________

Bibliographic software: _________________________________________________

Statistical software: _________________________________________________

    1. How will the findings of the review be disseminated?

Target audience: _________________________________________________

Publication type: _________________________________________________

Communication media: _________________________________________________

  1. Timetable

Completion date Lead reviewer

Draft protocol for internal review _________________________________________

Protocol for external review _________________________________________

Searching and study selection _________________________________________

Data extraction _________________________________________

Quality assessment _________________________________________

Draft report for peer review _________________________________________

Submit for publication _________________________________________

Celebrate publication _________________________________________

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