Name two different methods for evaluating evidence. Compare and contrast these two methods.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are two of the commonly used methods for evaluating evidence. Both systematic review and meta-analysis have high levels of evidence as reflected by the evidence-based pyramid (Tawfik et al., 2019). Therefore, they both provide the best available evidence about contemporary evidence-based medicine. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses both include a meta-analysis component, which entails applying statistical techniques to combine data from many studies into a single quantitative estimate or summary effect size (Boswell & Cannon, 2018). This is a significant commonality between the two assessment approaches. According to LoBiondo-Wood and Haber (2021), a systematic review addresses a specific research topic by systematically gathering and synthesizing all empirical data that meets pre-defined eligibility criteria. On the other hand, a meta-analysis is an evaluation process that involves using statistical methods to summarize the results of studies (Boswell & Cannon, 2018). For systematic reviews to be useful in research, they must meet certain thresholds. The systematic review should have clearly stated objectives with pre-defined eligibility criteria for studies, should have an explicit, reproducible methodology, and attempts to identify all studies.
Systematic reviews should also assess the validity of the findings of the included studies (e.g. risk of bias) and provide a systematic presentation and synthesis of the characteristics and findings of the included studies (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2021). It is important to mention that not all systematic reviews contain meta-analysis. On the other hand, meta-analysis aims at using statistical methods to summarize the results of independent studies (Boswell & Cannon, 2018). Specifically, the assessment technique entails pooling data from all relevant research, resulting in more precise estimates of health care impacts than those obtained from the individual studies included in the review. The process of doing a meta-analysis extends beyond criticism and integration to include secondary statistical examination of the results of comparative studies that have been conducted in the past (Boswell & Cannon, 2018). On the other hand, a systematic review uses quantitative techniques to synthesize and summarize the findings of the study.
Tawfik, G. M., Dila, K. A. S., Mohamed, M. Y. F., Tam, D. N. H., Kien, N. D., Ahmed, A. M., & Huy, N. T. (2019). A step-by-step guide for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis with simulation data. Tropical Medicine and Health, 47(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41182-019-0165-6.
Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2018). Introduction to nursing research. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2021). Nursing Research E-Book: Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.
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