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Systematic and Scoping Reviews

Synthesize and Show Your Results

  • Narrative Synthesis - produce a summary in text of your findings. Every systematic review requires a narrative synthesis.
  • Meta-analysis - the use of statistical techniques to combine and analyze data from the studies included in a systematic review. Not every systematic review requires a meta-analysis.

  • Submit your systematic review for publication.


The purpose of a meta-analysis is to determine statistical significance within studies that have conflicting results and to estimate the magnitude of the treatment/intervention effect. To do a meta-analysis, at least two studies must be similiar in terms of population, interventions or measured outcomes. 

Forest plots are most often used to visually summarize the important information of a meta-analysis. The forest plot presents details of each of the studies in the meta-analysis as well as the overall combined result. 



  • Stronger than a single study
  • More precise
  • Answers questions not addressed in a single study

Possible Disadvantages:

  • Not all studies can be grouped together
  • Requires expertise in statistics
  • Time consuming