Skip to main content

Systematic Review for NURS 7323

This guide covers the basics of conducting a review as assigned in NURS 7323.


  • Use key words
  • Include the term "Systematic Review"
  • Needs to clearly indicate the content


This section is very important. Most readers will decide whether your article is relevent based on a cursory review of this section, so make it count!

Include a condensed version of each of your paper's sections as applicable:

  • Background
  • Objectives
  • Data sources
  • Study eligibility criteria
  • Participants
  • Interventions
  • Study appraisal methods
  • Synthesis methods
  • Results
  • Limitations
  • Conclusions
  • Implications
  • SR Number


Sometimes called the "Background," this section highlights why your systematic review is important. It must demonstrate that no one has done what you are doing.

Discuss the:

  • Problem
  • Incidence
  • Impact on lives
  • Standard management
  • Other related SRs

You will also need to state your SRs objective in light of all of the above information. This is where you include your PICO question.


This section covers how you went about conducting your SR.

  • Review protocol and availability (for example, Cochrane or Prospero)
  • Rationale for eligibility criteria
  • Information sources and date searched
  • Study selection process
  • Data extraction method
  • How bias was assessed in individual studies
  • Principal summary measures (for example, risk ratio, difference in means)
  • How study results were combined and consistency measures (only if performing meta-analysis)
  • Detecting risk of bias across studies (for example, funnel plots)
  • Any additional analyses


This section covers how you synthesize your data.

Study Selection
For the search, the title/abstract screen, and after reading the whole paper, provide a flow diagram showing:

  • Number of studies screened
  • Number assessed for eligibility
  • Number included in the review
  • Reasons for exclusion

Study Characteristics
For each included study:

  • Tell where you extracted data (PICO question, study-size, etc.)
  • Provide citations

Risk of Bias (ROB)
For each included study:

  • Present ROB data
  • Any outcome-level assessment

Individual Study Results
For all outcomes considered in your PICO question, for each study:

  • Summary data for each intervention group
  • Effect estimates and confidence intervals (us a Forest plot)

For each meta-analysis:

  • Detail the results
  • Provide confidence intervals
  • State measures of consistency

Risk of Bias Across Studies
Will probably refer back to Methods section.

  • State results of selected method

Additonal Analysis

  • Provide results of any other analysis discussed in the Methods section


This is where you will summarize the major findings from your review.

Summary of Evidence
Make a simple and direct statement sentence at the beginning of this section. Did the evidence:

  • Favor a treatment?
  • Clearly show that one diagnostic test is better than another?
  • Indicate that there isn't enough evidence to support a decision?

Describe the limitations of your included studies and your own review. Address any questions readers might have about the validity of your results.

  • Problems with data
  • Bias
  • Quality and availablity of data

Give a general interpretation of your results and state the implications:

  • Further study
  • Knowledge gap
  • Guidelines
  • Change to current practice
  • Comparison to existing SRs


Be clear about the role funding played in your SR.

  • What is the funding source?
  • Did the funder also supply data?
  • Is there any other way funding played a part in the review?


PRISMA tells you to include your search strategy in the Methods section. If submitting for publication, it may be a requirement to include the search strategy in the appendix. Be prepared to show your work!