Researcher authors Open University book on systematic reviews
A book explaining how to perform systematic reviews by a researcher at Teesside University has just been published, to critical acclaim.
Dr Josette Bettany-Saltikov
Dr Josette Bettany-Saltikov, of the Health and Social Care Institute (HSCI), became interested in systematic reviews when she was leading a dissertation module that required students to write narrative reviews. To enhance students’ end products, she redeveloped the module so that a systematic review was required as the final assessment.
A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesise all high quality research evidence relevant to that question, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Systematic reviews are usually written on, but not limited to, medicine and are quite common in other sciences, include psychology, nursing, public health, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, educational research, sociology and business management.
Josette said, 'Teaching most health care students the skills for undertaking systematic reviews over 6 years has shown that all students from 3rd year undergraduates and up can undertake these systematic reviews. They are not only reserved for high flying researchers.'
Systematic reviews are different to narrative reviews in that they are very similar to conducting a "live" research study. They are conducted in a very systematic way and thoroughly assess the methodology of the included studies.
Josette added: 'The book breaks down the process into manageable steps, is written in a conversational style with as little jargon as possible, and is also illustrated by real case studies. Although the book was initially written with nurses in mind, the steps can be applied by students from any subject or discipline.'
11 May 2012