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Korean J Helicobacter  Up Gastrointest Res > Volume 15(2); 2015 > Article
The Korean Journal of Helicobacter  and Upper Gastrointestinal Research 2015;15(2):73-79.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7704/kjhugr.2015.15.2.73    Published online June 10, 2015.
Critical Appraisal of Systematic Review/Meta-analysis
Hyun Jung Kim, Hyeong Sik Ahn
Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. ahnhs@korea.ac.kr
체계적 고찰/메타분석 연구 비판적으로 바라보기
김현정, 안형식
고려대학교 의과대학 근거중심의학연구소
In recent years, the number of systematic review and meta-analysis literatures has markedly increased. Systematic reviews can give important information about clinical decision making when studies show different or even contradictory results. By utilizing systematic reviews, clinicians can get unbiased summaries of the estimates, which are a reliable source of clinical information. Contrary to the narrative review, the systematic review conducts a comprehensive research of relevant studies on a defined clinical question, and critically appraises the risk of bias in included studies. The systematic review usually includes meta-analysis which summarizes the quantitative estimates by using statistical methods. Most meta-analyses aggregate data from primary studies, but individual data are also commonly used. Explaining heterogeneity among included studies and subsequent subgroup analysis are often required. Systematic review and meta-analysis depend on the quality of included studies, and subsequently cannot overcome the limitations of primary studies. Also, meta-analysis is prone to publication biases and methodological flaws. Despite these limitations, systematic review has definitive strengths. Maximizing these strengths require reliable second-hand data and a comprehensive analysis.
Key Words: Review literature as topic; Meta-analysis; Evidence-based medicine

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