Our vision is to be the world leader in global mental health evidence synthesis
Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of people with an emphasis on mental health by promoting evidence-informed health decision making by producing high quality, relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence.
Collaboration – by fostering global and national co-operation, teamwork, and open and transparent communication and decision-making.
Enabling wider participation – by reducing barriers to contribution and by involving, supporting, and training people of different skills and backgrounds.
Keeping up-to-date – by a commitment to ensure that Systematic Reviews are maintained through the identification and incorporation of new evidence.
Striving for relevance – by promoting the assessment of health questions using outcomes that matter to people making choices in health and health care.
Ensuring quality – by applying advances in methodology, developing systems for quality improvement, and being open and responsive to criticism.
Minimizing bias – through a variety of approaches such as extensive scientific methodology, ensuring broad participation, and avoiding conflicts of interest.
Promoting access – by wider dissemination of our outputs, taking advantage of our national and international collaborations.
Systematic reviews aim to address the problems by identifying, critically evaluating, and integrating the findings of all relevant, high-quality individual studies addressing one or more research questions.
A review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review (Cochrane Collaboration, 2014).
Why Systematic Reviews?
An efficient way to access the body of research
Systematic Reviews are efficient, bringing together the whole body of research answering a specific question, and saving readers the time and expertise required to locate, appraise, and interpret the results.
|Explore differences between studies. Unlike a single study, a systematic review can help us explore the differences between studies, identifying those factors that influence the effect of an intervention.|
A reliable basis for decision making
|A way to identify research gaps in our current understanding of a field|
|A way to find methodological concerns which need to address in the future research|
|It also provides insight into a relevant question whether there is any need for further research or not, if needed what should be done.|
|The process of conducting a review itself is beneficial for the new researchers as it refines their knowledge on the area of interest, helps in developing new research ideas, provides a chance to learn critical analysis and how to synthesize the existing literature.|
Expertise and Team
1- A subject expert to clarify the issues related to the topic
2- A librarian to help in the development of an extensive search strategy and to identify the relevant databases
3- Reviewers for data screening such as abstracts, titles and full-text articles
4- A statistician if Meta-analysis is involved
5- A project lead for managing data and writing up the final report
- How much time does each author have?
- What tasks need to be done? by whom?
- How long will each task take?
- Up to 1-2 years in total
- A clear Gant Chart
Office Supplies and Technology
Computers, internet access, phone calls/conferences, printing, photocopying
Questions to ask in the Preparation Phase
- What research has already been conducted?
- What theories have guided to extend research?
- What hypotheses have been tested?
- What kinds of research designs have other researchers used?
- What measures have been developed and used?
- How were participants tested in these previous research studies?
- What participant populations were sampled?
- What mistakes have other researchers made?
- What suggestions have been made for future research?
A clearly defined question: A clearly defined question mentioning population, Intervention, comparison groups, and outcomes of interest (PICO) is required for your systematic review. A well-defined review question is essential to your review. It’s important that you’re clear about what your review will cover, as the question will define many of the subsequent steps of the review:
- Eligibility criteria for the studies which will be included or excluded
- The search strategy will be depended upon the research question, what types of studies are needed to answer the question.
- Analysis of the results of the studies will be determined by the research question again – which outcomes do you want to measure, are there specific issues you want to explore, what information do you need to find in the included studies?
A written protocol: A written protocol outlining the study methodology is required. The protocol should include the rationale for the systematic review, key questions guided by PICO, inclusion/exclusion criteria, search strategy to locate published/unpublished literature, data management plan, assessment of the methodological quality of individual studies (risk of bias), data synthesis, and grading the evidence for each key question.
A systematic review protocol must be pre-registered before continuing the systematic review.
A registered protocol: After you write the protocol, you should register it with PROSPERO, an International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. Registration is free and open to anyone undertaking systematic reviews of the effects of interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions, for which there is a health-related outcome.
Comprehensive literature searches: First, do a scoping search then, find relevant databases and conduct comprehensive and detailed literature searches that are reproducible and well documented.
Citation management: A working knowledge of EndNote to help manage citations retrieved from literature searches will be helpful.
Follow reporting guidelines: Use appropriate guidelines for reporting your review for publication such as PRISMA guidelines or Cochrane.
Published Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
1. A systematic review of the evidence supporting mobile and internet based psychological interventions for self-harm. Read here
2. An examination of the relationship between shame, guilt and self-harm: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Read here
Session on “Introduction to Systematic Review”, conducted by Ms. Farhat-ul-ain and Mr. Usman Arshad at Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University for MPhil students.