Systematic Review is a tool used to summarize, evaluate and communicate the results and implications of a large quantity of research and information.
It is particularly valuable as it can be used to synthesize the results of many different studies examining the same question; studies that may have conflicting findings.
Statistical techniques may be used to summarize the results from individual studies to produce a single summary estimate for the effect of an intervention.
The purpose of a Systematic Review is to provide the best available evidence on the likely outcomes of particular actions and, if the evidence is unavailable, to highlight areas where further original research is required.
The diagram above shows a typical flow diagram for how evidence is obtained in a review and how it is examined and shifted to include only the evidence that is of (a) the correct quality and (b) the correct focus to answer the Systematic Review question.