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The Systematic Review: An Overview

Aromataris, Edoardo PhD; Pearson, Alan PhD, RN

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: March 2014 - Volume 114 - Issue 3 - p 53–58
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000444496.24228.2c
Systematic Reviews, Step by Step
Continuing Education

This article is the first in a new series on systematic reviews from the Joanna Briggs Institute, an international collaborative supporting evidence-based practice in nursing, medicine, and allied health fields. The purpose of the series is to show nurses how to conduct a systematic review—one step at a time. This first installment provides a synopsis of the systematic review as a scientific exercise, one that influences health care decisions.

This first article in a new series from the Joanna Briggs Institute provides a synopsis of the systematic review as a scientific exercise, and introduces nurses to the steps involved in conducting one.

Edoardo Aromataris is the director of synthesis science at the Joanna Briggs Institute in the School of Translational Health Science, University of Adelaide, South Australia. Alan Pearson is the former executive director and founder of the Joanna Briggs Institute. Contact author: Edoardo Aromataris, The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The Joanna Briggs Institute aims to inform health care decision making globally through the use of research evidence. It has developed innovative methods for appraising and synthesizing evidence; facilitating the transfer of evidence to health systems, health care professionals, and consumers; and creating tools to evaluate the impact of research on outcomes. For more on the institute's approach to weighing the evidence for practice, go to

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