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TutorialOfficial Guidance Document

Suggested Exercise
(~10 minutes)

Assume you’re a health researcher who wants to understand the current state of research on a topic. You plan to read some systematic reviews, but want some help understanding the quality of the methods in the review. You decide to use AMSTAR 2 to help guide your reading of the systematic review.

Find a systematic review of RCTs on a health topic. Open the AMSTAR 2 checklist or use the downloaded version. Read the systematic review and see if you can answer the first question in the AMSTAR 2 checklist: “Did the research questions and inclusion criteria for the review include the components of PICO?”

As you find a PICO component in your systematic review, select the checkmark next to that component in the checklist. If all components are included, then your systematic review has met this criteria and you can select “Yes” for this question. If any of the components are missing, then select “No”.

When a systematic review is missing methodological information from their published paper, what assumptions do you make about the study? How might you find missing methodological information?

Helpful Literature
Author(s)Shea et al.

Shea BJ, Reeves BC, Wells G, Thuku M, Hamel C, Moran J, Moher D, Tugwell P, Welch V, Kristjansson E, Henry DA. AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both. BMJ. 2017 Sep 21;358:j4008.