I want to write a dissertation in the above topic which will be a systematic Review.
The writer can follow below suggested outline:
Background: You need to present the background literature as a logical discussion, if necessary using sub-headings for clarification. In a systematic review it should include a description of the condition or the phenomenon, the size or scale of the problem and uncertainty about dealing with it
The Objectives/Review Question: Question Structure PICOD:
Develop the objectives as well the research question using PICOD. The provided handbook has more guidance on that.
Methodology/Conducting the review: This involves:
- Justifying utilising the systematic review approach taken: Why a systematic review? Why a quantitative or a qualitative systematic review?
- Identification of research: It should be clear to the reader how PICOD/PIC helped determine key words, subject headings, wildcards, acronyms, synonyms, transatlantic terms that were used in your search strategy.
- Selection of studies: It should be clear to the reader how PICOD/PIC helped determine if a primary study was to be included or excluded from the review.
- Study quality assessment: It should be clear to the reader the processes used to determine the methodological quality of the included primary studies Their quality can be appraised using tools such as the Cochrane risk of bias tool or the CASP checklists for example.
- Data Extraction: It should be clear here the process by which you obtained necessary information about study characteristics and findings from the included studies.
Data Synthesis: A description of how data synthesis was managed should be included. You must be able to discuss the approach you are using, as well as demonstrating that you can apply it in a detailed synthesis of the included studies’ findings.
Results/Findings: This section should be organised in a meaningful way based on the objectives of the review. This section should include:
- the results of the search (preferably showing a PRISMA flow chart),
- which studies fulfilled the selection criteria (PICOD/PIC) and were therefore included/excluded from the review,
- detailed descriptions of the included studies indicating the study details, outcomes/phenomena of interest and how they were measured/documented
- the included studies’ study quality and
- the actual results and syntheses
Discussion of findings– Your discussion will be led by your key findings. It should start with a simple statement summarising the major finding(s) from your review e.g. is the weight of evidence in favour of a treatment having a beneficial effect or not? You should set the results in the context of other knowledge on the topic e.g. compare your work with previous systematic reviews or current opinions/perspectives and guidelines.
Critique: There should also be a critical review of the review itself – what limitations or shortcomings were there? Was it an exhaustive search? Was the appraisal tool fit for purpose? Was the analysis suitable? Was there any conflict of interest?
Implications for practice- Implications for practice should be detailed, but must be based on the evidential conclusions not an opinion. Can interventions or policy be designed to address issues specific to the population of interest; are there wider policy implications?
Implications for research – It is customary to provide a summary of no more than two sentences that inform the reader of the current state of knowledge and understanding on the subject.
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