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Joseph E. Bellis Medical Library: Evidence Quality

​Providing Evidence Based Knowledge to Save Lives - Proud to Serve St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach, CA

Evidence Quality

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Systematic Reviews

Literature Search


Terms to Know

The following definitions are from the Glossary on the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM), University of Oxford, website & Walden University Library website: 
  • Systematic Review
    The application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic and research question. 
  • Critically-Appraised Topics (CAT) [Evidence Syntheses]
    Short summaries of articles from the literature, created to answer a specific clinical questions.
  • Critically-Appraised Individual Articles [Article Synopses] 
​​Authors evaluate and synopsize individual research studies.
  • Randomized Control Clinical Trial (RCT)
    A group of patients is randomized into an experimental group and a control group. These groups are followed up for the variables/outcomes of interest.
  • Cohort Study
    Involves the identification of two groups (cohorts) of patients, one which did receive the exposure of interest, and one which did not, and following these cohorts forward for the outcome of interest.
  • Case-control study [Case Series/Reports]
    Involves identifying patients who have the outcome of interest (cases) and control patients without the same outcome, and looking to see if they had the exposure of interest.
  • Background Information/Expert Opinion
Not necessarily backed by research studies. Include point-of-care resources, textbooks, etc.
  • Meta-analysis
    A systematic review which uses quantitative methods to summarise the results

Developed by Judy Kraemer, MLIS, MBA, Medical Librarian, Esmeralda Herrejon, Library Intern at St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach