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Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework

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International Journal of Social Research Methodology

Informa UK Limited

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      A comparison of results of meta-analyses of randomized control trials and recommendations of clinical experts. Treatments for myocardial infarction.

      To examine the temporal relationship between accumulating data from randomized control trials of treatments for myocardial infarction and the recommendations of clinical experts writing review articles and textbook chapters. (1) MEDLINE search from 1966 to present; search terms used were myocardial infarction, clinical trials, multicenter studies, double-blind method, meta-analysis, and the text word "random:"; (2) references from pertinent articles and books; and (3) all editions of English-language general medical texts and manuals and review articles on treatment of myocardial infarction. Randomized control trials of therapies for reducing the risk of total mortality in myocardial infarction (acute and secondary prevention). Review articles and textbook chapters dealing with the general clinical management of patients with myocardial infarction. Two authors read the material and recorded the results; disagreements were resolved by conference. We used the technique of cumulative meta-analysis (performing a new meta-analysis when the results of a new clinical trial are published) and compared the results with the recommendations of the experts for various treatments for myocardial infarction. Discrepancies were detected between the meta-analytic patterns of effectiveness in the randomized trials and the recommendations of reviewers. Review articles often failed to mention important advances or exhibited delays in recommending effective preventive measures. In some cases, treatments that have no effect on mortality or are potentially harmful continued to be recommended by several clinical experts. Finding and analyzing all therapeutic trials in a given field has become such a difficult and specialized task that the clinical experts called on to summarize the evidence in a timely fashion need access to better databases and new statistical techniques to assist them in this important task.
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        Including qualitative research in systematic reviews: opportunities and problems.

        Qualitative research has been increasingly recognized in recent years as having a distinctive and important contribution to make to health care research. It is capable of being used as a methodologically sufficient approach in its own right, as a precursor to quantitative studies, during or after trials to explain processes and outcomes, and as a means of enhancing the link between evidence and practice. However, qualitative research has been little used as an evidence resource for systematic reviews. We argue that formal synthesis of both qualitative and quantitative forms of research is essential, and we discuss some of the problems that need to be overcome in carrying out such syntheses. These include methodological prejudice, problems in searching for qualitative evidence, and issues in synthesizing qualitative data. We call for progress to be made on the science and methods of including qualitative research in the evidence base of medicine.
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          Evidence-based Policy: In Search of a Method

           R Pawson (2002)
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            International Journal of Social Research Methodology
            International Journal of Social Research Methodology
            Informa UK Limited
            1364-5579
            1464-5300
            February 2005
            February 2005
            : 8
            : 1
            : 19-32
            10.1080/1364557032000119616
            © 2005

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