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Nursing Resources: A Self-Paced Tutorial and Refresher: 2.9 Specialized Databases: Syntheses and Systematic Reviews

An online instructional tool to orient users to the NYU virtual environment: books, databases, articles, more.

Specialized Databases that Synthesize Evidence

Specialized databases of evaluated abstracts, commentary, and systematic reviews are another source for high levels of evidence and best studies.

Authors of a systematic review ask a specific clinical question, perform a comprehensive literature search, eliminate the poorly done studies and attempt to make practice recommendations based on the well-done studies. A meta-analysis is a systematic review that combines all the results of all the studies into a single statistical analysis of results.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews consists of detailed, structured topic reviews of hundreds of articles. Teams of experts complete comprehensive literature reviews, evaluate the literature, and present summaries of the findings of the best studies. Published by the International Cochrane Collaboration.

The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)  Full-text database containing structured abstracts of systematic reviews from a variety of medical journals. DARE is produced by the National Health Services' Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (NHS CRD) at the University of York. DARE records cover topics such as diagnosis, prevention, rehabilitation, screening, and treatment.

  • Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database This comprehensive database covers a wide range of medical, nursing, and health science specialties and includes a unique suite of information that’s been analyzed, appraised, and prepared by expert reviewers at JBI.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses are also searchable in MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Proquest, and other databases, using filters:

  • MEDLINE via Ovid: Enter your search query. Click on the "Limits" icon; select "Systematic Reviews" under "Subject Subsets." OR limit your search to publication type: meta-analysis.  (Caution: the "systematic review" subset in Medline also includes literature reviews, narrative reviews, etc.)
  • MEDLINE via PubMed:  Click on "Clinical Queries" (under "PubMed Tools"); select "Find Systematic Reviews" and enter your search query. (Caution: the "systematic review" subset in Medline also includes literature reviews, narrative reviews, etc.)
  • CINAHL Plus via Ebsco: Use Search Options  to limit by Publication type: Systematic Review.


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