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Exercise and Wellness: REVIEW articles = Secondary Resources

A guide to research and resources in health promotion, healthy lifestyles, wellness, and sport science.

Differences between types of reviews

 

Differences between a systematic review and other types of reviews from the Cochrane Library.

"A systematic review identifies an intervention for a specific disease or other problem in health care, and determines whether or not this intervention works. To do this authors locate, appraise and synthesize evidence from as many relevant scientific studies as possible. They summarize conclusions about effectiveness, and provide a unique collation of the known evidence on a given topic, so that others can easily review the primary studies for any intervention.

Systematic reviews differ from other types of review in that they adhere to a strict design in order to make them more comprehensive, thus minimizing the chance of bias, and ensuring their reliability. Rather than reflecting the views of the authors, or being based on a partial selection of the literature, (as is the case with many articles and reviews that are not explicitly systematic), they contain all known references to trials on a particular intervention and a comprehensive summary of the available evidence. The reviews are therefore also valuable sources of information for those receiving care, as well as for decision makers and researchers."

 

Review -  PubMed definition

 

"An article or book published after examination of published material on a subject. It may be comprehensive to various degrees and the time range of material scrutinized may be broad or narrow, but the reviews most often desired are reviews of the current literature. The textual material examined may be equally broad and can encompass, in medicine specifically, clinical material as well as experimental research or case reports. State-of-the-art reviews tend to address more current matters. A review of the literature must be differentiated from HISTORICAL ARTICLE on the same subject, but a review of historical literature is also within the scope of this publication type."

 

Systematic Review | Example

Obes Rev. 2009 Jan;10(1):110-41. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Systematic review of school-based interventions that focus on changing dietary intake and physical activity levels to prevent childhood obesity: an update to the obesity guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Brown T, Summerbell C.

School of Health and Social Care, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK.

To determine the effectiveness of school-based interventions that focus on changing dietary intake and physical activity levels to prevent childhood obesity. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched (January 2006 to September 2007) for controlled trials of school-based lifestyle interventions, minimum duration of 12 weeks, reporting weight outcome. Thirty-eight studies were included; 15 new studies and 23 studies included within the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence obesity guidance. One of three diet studies, five of 15 physical activity studies and nine of 20 combined diet and physical activity studies demonstrated significant and positive differences between intervention and control for body mass index. There is insufficient evidence to assess the effectiveness of dietary interventions or diet vs. physical activity interventions. School-based physical activity interventions may help children maintain a healthy weight but the results are inconsistent and short-term. Physical activity interventions may be more successful in younger children and in girls. Studies were heterogeneous, making it difficult to generalize about what interventions are effective. The findings are inconsistent, but overall suggest that combined diet and physical activity school-based interventions may help prevent children becoming overweight in the long term. Physical activity interventions, particularly in girls in primary schools, may help to prevent these children from becoming overweight in the short term.

PMID: 18673306 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

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Meta-analysis | Example

What is a meta-analysis?  Meta-analysis [pt]

Click to see a sample full-text of a meta-analysis article

"Works consisting of studies using a quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc. It is often an overview of clinical trials. It is usually called a meta-analysis by the author or sponsoring body and should be differentiated from reviews of literature." (PubMed LIMIT)

 "Many systematic reviews contain meta-analyses. Meta-analysis is the use of statistical methods to summarize the results of independent studies (Glass 1976). By combining information from all relevant studies, meta-analyses can provide more precise estimates of the effects of health care than those derived from the individual studies included within a review (see Chapter 9, Section 9.1.3). They also facilitate investigations of the consistency of evidence across studies, and the exploration of differences across studies."  Cochrane Library

 

Annu Rev Public Health. 2009 Apr 29;30:253-72.

School-based interventions for health promotion and weight control: not just waiting on the world to change.

Katz DL.

Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, Griffin Hospital, Derby, Connecticut 06418, USA. david.katz@yale.edu

Controversy persists regarding the utility of school-based interventions for obesity prevention and control and for related health promotion. This article reviews the pertinent evidence, based partly on a recent systematic review and meta-analysis by the author and colleagues. Of 64 relevant papers, 21 papers representing 19 distinct studies met quality criteria; half of these were published since 2000. Despite marked variation in measures, methods, and populations that handicap interpretation of this literature, evidence clearly demonstrated that school-based interventions had significant effects on weight. Thus available research evidence does present a case for school-based interventions. Despite the fact that such evidence is limited to date, the urgency of the obesity and diabetes epidemics cries out for action. Intervention is warranted on the basis of both extant evidence and common sense, with methodologically robust evaluation concomitantly to test our assumptions and verify our intuition.

PMID: 19705560 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

Cochrane Systematic Review | Example

  Cochrane Handbook  |  1.2.2  What is a systematic review?

"A systematic review attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.  It  uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made (Antman 1992, Oxman 1993). The key characteristics of a systematic review are:

  • a clearly stated set of objectives with pre-defined eligibility criteria for studies;

  • an explicit, reproducible methodology;

  • a systematic search that attempts to identify all studies that would meet the eligibility criteria;

  • an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies, for example through the assessment of risk of bias; and

  • a systematic presentation, and synthesis, of the characteristics and findings of the included studies.

Many systematic reviews contain meta-analyses. Meta-analysis is the use of statistical methods to summarize the results of independent studies (Glass 1976). By combining information from all relevant studies, meta-analyses can provide more precise estimates of the effects of health care than those derived from the individual studies included within a review (see Chapter 9, Section 9.1.3). They also facilitate investigations of the consistency of evidence across studies, and the exploration of differences across studies."

 

 

 

Click to see a sample full-text of a Cochrane Systematic Review article 

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD002969.

Interventions for improving communication with children and adolescents about their cancer.

Ranmal R, Prictor M, Scott JT.

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, UK, WC1X 8SH.

Update of:

 

BACKGROUND: Communication with children and adolescents with cancer about their disease and treatment and the implications of these is an important aspect of good quality care. It is often poorly performed in practice. Various interventions have been developed that aim to enhance communication involving children or adolescents with cancer. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of interventions for improving communication with children and/or adolescents about their cancer, its treatment and their implications, updating the 2003 version of this review. SEARCH STRATEGY: In April 2006 we updated searches of the following sources: CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library, issue 1 2006); MEDLINE (Ovid), (2003 to March week 5 2006); EMBASE (Ovid) (2003 to 2006 week 13); PsycINFO (Ovid) (2003 to March week 5 2006); CINAHL (Ovid) (2003 to March week 5 2006); ERIC (CSA) (earliest to 2006); Sociological Abstracts (CSA) (earliest to 2006); Dissertation Abstracts: (2002 to 6 April 2006).In 2003 we conducted searches of CENTRAL; MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts and Dissertation Abstracts.For the initial (2001) publication of this review we also searched the following databases: PsycLIT; Cancerlit; Sociofile; Health Management Information Consortium; ASSIA; LISA; PAIS; Information Science Abstracts; JICST; Pascal; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts; Mental Health Abstracts; AMED; MANTIS.We also searched the bibliographies of studies assessed for inclusion, and contacted experts in the field. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, and before and after studies, evaluating the effects of interventions for improving communication with children and/or adolescents about their cancer, treatment and related issues. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data relating to the interventions, populations and outcomes studied and the design and methodological quality of included studies were extracted by one review author and checked by another review author. We present a narrative summary of the results. MAIN RESULTS: One new study met the criteria for inclusion; in total we have included ten studies involving 438 participants. Studies were diverse in terms of the interventions evaluated, study designs used, types of people who participated and the outcomes measured.One study of a computer-assisted education programme reported improvements in knowledge and understanding about blood counts and cancer symptoms. One study of a CD-ROM about leukaemia reported an improvement in children's feelings of control over their health. One study of art therapy as support for children during painful procedures reported an increase in positive, collaborative behaviour. Two out of two studies of school reintegration programs reported improvements in some aspects of psychosocial wellbeing (one in anxiety and one in depression), social wellbeing (two in social competence and one in social support) and behavioural problems; and one reported improvements in physical competence. One newly-identified study of a multifaceted interactive intervention reported a reduction in distress (as measured by heart rate) related to radiation therapy.Two studies of group therapy, one of planned play and story telling, and one of a self-care coping intervention, found no significant effects on the psychological or clinical outcomes measured. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Interventions to enhance communication involving children and adolescents with cancer have not been widely or rigorously assessed. The weak evidence that exists suggests that some children and adolescents with cancer may derive some benefit from specific information-giving programs, from support before and during particular procedures, and from interventions that aim to facilitate their reintegration into school and social activities. More research is needed to investigate the effects of these and other related interventions.

PMID: 18843635 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

 

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