The following steps should be done when selecting relevant studies for inclusion into your review:
Key steps to consider when appraising studies include:
Critical appraisal tools
The following table presents a selection of appraisal tools (this is not meant as an exhaustive list).
|Study design||Critical appraisal tool|
Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) is a 37-item assessment tool used to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews.
|Randomized control trials (RCTs)||
Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool
|Non-randomized control trials||TREND statement (PDF)
The TREND statement complements the widely adopted CONSORT statement developed for randomized controlled trials.
The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) was developed to assess the quality of non-randomized studies with its design, content and ease of use directed to the task of incorporating the quality assessments in the interpretation of meta-analytic results. The goal of this project is to develop an instrument providing an easy and convenient tool for quality assessment of non-randomized studies to be used in a systematic review.
|Cohort studies||CASP: Cohort Studies (PDF)
Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP): Cohort Studies is a methodological checklist which provides key criteria relevant to cohort studies.
|Case control studies||CASP: Case Control Studies (PDF)
Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP): Case Control Studies is a methodological checklist which provides key criteria relevant to case control studies.
|Clinical practice guidelines||
|Qualitative studies||CASP: Qualitative Research (PDF)
Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP): Qualitative Research is a methodological checklist which provides key criteria relevant to qualitative research studies.
McMaster Critical Review Form - Qualitative Studies (PDF)
McMaster Critical Review Form for Qualitative studies contains a generic quantitative appraisal tool, accompanied by detailed guidelines for usage.
For more critical appraisal tools, see the following resources:
There are different types of systematic review software that you can consider, depending on the type of review you are conducting.