The next step in the process is to assess the quality of the included studies. There are a number of checklists available to assist you with this. A checklist should be chosen to assess sources of bias that are likely to affect results in relation to the research question . If your review is for publication or submission to a particular organisation, make sure you check if they have any requirements regarding checklist selection.
There are several different checklists or tools available to you:
At a minimum, your systematic review should state what types of studies should be included and the minimum threshold for inclusion (e.g. RCTs with full randomisation) to reduce the likelihood of including studies with poor quality evidence. A risk of bias assessment also helps to inform the interpretation of the review's results.
When establishing protocol, you should have ensured that you identified any thresholds for inclusion relating to the quality of evidence that would be considered.
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