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Frequently Asked Questions about Our Systematic Reviews

Q iconWhat is a systematic review?

Systematic reviews are comprehensive reports that aim to evaluate and summarize existing research evidence to advance our understanding of the effectiveness and safety of health care interventions. Systematic reviews differ from other reviews based on the explicit and transparent methodology used to identify, appraise, and synthesize research studies to answer specified key questions. Best practices for conducting systematic reviews were outlined by the Institute of Medicine in 2011 in Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews, Cochrane, and other organizations.

Q iconHow does the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) produce systematic reviews?

Systematic reviews are produced internally by a team of skilled PHCoE investigators or by a sponsored Evidence-based Practice Center (see next FAQ). Review topics are solicited and identified from key stakeholder groups and other sources throughout the year. Depending on the scope of the topic, resource demands, and goals for the final report, a topic may be refined for development into a systematic review or other type of evidence synthesis report. Many of our systematic reviews are conducted in partnership with EPCs to effectively manage potential biases and intensive resource demands.

Q iconWhat is an Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC)?

EPCs are designated by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Program to produce high-quality, unbiased evidence reviews on a spectrum of clinical and health services topics. PHCoE currently sponsors a team of RAND Corporation researchers at the Southern California EPC to conduct a federally-funded series of systematic reviews focused on topics aimed at improving psychological health care practices in the MHS.

Last Updated: August 18, 2021

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