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DHYG 135 (Ganas)

DHYG 135 (Ganas)

Types of Scientific Articles

Finding Articles with Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

There are several types of articles frequently found in the literature for medical and health sciences. Below are definitions of the most common types you will find while searching through the databases, and how to find systematic review and meta-analysis articles. 

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are considered to be stronger forms of evidence and will be the most desirable for your final paper.

  • Systematic review – An approach that involves capturing and assessing the evidence by some systematic method, where all the components of the approach and the assessment are made explicit and documented.  Some systematic reviews include a meta-analysis 
  • Meta-analysis - A method of synthesizing the data from more than one study, in order to produce a summary statistic
  • Case report – a description of a particular service or event, often focusing on unusual aspects of the reported situation or adverse occurrences.
  • Case series – a description of more than one case.
  • Case-control study – An observational study in which the cases have the issue of interest but the controls do not.
  • Cohort study – An observational study of a particular group over a period of time.
  • Randomized Controlled Trial – An experimental study in which users are randomly allocated to one of two or more options, where some get the option of interest and others get another option (e.g. a standard service).

Source:  Booth A & Brice A (2004) Evidence-Based Practice for Information Professionals: A Handbook. London: Facet Publishing.

Examples of Systematic Review

A systematic review will address a specific clinical question (for example: what is the effectiveness of rinsing after brushing to reduce plaque and gingivitis?) and also list what articles will be included and excluded in the review. Some systematic review articles will also include a meta-analysis.

Tips on finding these articles:

  • Systematic Review may appear in the title or abstract, so you can add "systematic review" to your keyword search to make sure you are finding an article that includes this kind of review. 
  • When using the databases, there is often an option on the left side to limit by subject. Look for the option to limit results by systematic review or meta-analysis as a keyword.

Examples of Meta Analysis

Meta-analysis looks at data from multiple sources to determine whether a clinical intervention is statistically significant. For example, for your poster, you will not be performing your own study, but you may want to know for your topic whether pre-rinsing before treating a patient is significant in reducing bacteria and aerosols. 


Tips for finding these articles

  • Include "meta analysis" or "meta-analysis" as one of your search terms.
  • In the abstract or results section, look to see if there is a mention of a meta analysis.
  • Databases like PubMed, CINAHL, and Science Direct, will have these types of articles, but also check Academic Search Complete, the Onesearch, and Google Scholar. 

Types of Reviews

Examples of Reviews

Source: University of West Florida Evidence-Based Nursing Libguide by Hilary Fox