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Article Alert

The free Article Alert service delivers a weekly email to your inbox containing the most recently published articles on all aspects of systematic review and comparative effectiveness review methodologies.

  • Medical, psychological, educational, etc., methodology research literatures covered
  • Curated by our seasoned research staff from a wide array of sources: PubMed, journal table of contents, author alerts, bibliographies, and prominent international methodology and grey literature Web sites
  • Averages 20 citations/week (pertinent citations screened from more than 1,500 citations weekly)
  • Saves you time AND keeps you up to date on the latest research

Article Alert records include:

  • Citation information/abstract
  • Links: PMID (PubMed ID) and DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
  • Free Full Text: PubMed Central or  publisher link (when available)
  • RIS file to upload all citations to EndNote, RefWorks, Zotero, or other citation software

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The Article Alert for the week of August 24, 2015 (sample articles)

Robinson KA, Chou R, Berkman ND, Newberry SJ, Fu R, Hartling L, Dryden D, Butler M, Foisy M, Anderson J, et al. Twelve recommendations for integrating existing systematic reviews into new reviews: EPC guidance. J.Clin.Epidemiol. Epub 2015 Aug 7. PMID: 26261004.

Objectives: As time and cost constraints in the conduct of systematic reviews increase, the need to consider the use of existing systematic reviews also increases. We developed guidance on the integration of systematic reviews into new reviews.
Methods: A workgroup of methodologists from Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs) developed consensus-based recommendations. Discussions were informed by a literature scan and by interviews with organizations that conduct systematic reviews.
Results: Twelve recommendations were developed addressing selecting reviews, assessing risk of bias, qualitative and quantitative synthesis, and summarizing and assessing body of evidence.
Conclusions: We provide preliminary guidance for an efficient and unbiased approach to integrating existing systematic reviews with primary studies in a new review.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Hartling L, Guise JM, Kato E, Anderson J, Belinson S, Berliner E, Dryden DM, Featherstone R, Mitchell MD, Motu'apuaka M, et al. A taxonomy of rapid reviews links report types and methods to specific decision-making contexts. J.Clin.Epidemiol. Epub 2015 Aug 13. PMID: 26278023.

Objectives: Describe characteristics of rapid reviews and examine the impact of methodological variations on their reliability and validity.
Study Design and Setting: We conducted a literature review and interviews with organizations that produce rapid reviews or related products to identify methods, guidance, empiric evidence, and current practices.
Results: We identified 36 rapid products from 20 organizations (production time, 5 minutes to 8 months). Methods differed from systematic reviews at all stages. As timeframes increased, methods became more rigorous; however, restrictions on database searching, inclusion criteria, data extracted, and independent dual review remained. We categorized rapid products based on extent of synthesis. "Inventories" list what evidence is available. "Rapid responses" present best available evidence with no formal synthesis. "Rapid reviews" synthesize the quality of and findings from the evidence. "Automated approaches" generate meta-analyses in response to user-defined queries. Rapid products rely on a close relationship with end users and support specific decisions in an identified timeframe. Limited empiric evidence exists comparing rapid and systematic reviews.
Conclusions: Rapid products have tremendous methodological variation; categorization based on timeframe or type of synthesis reveals patterns. The similarity across rapid products lies in the close relationship with the end user to meet time-sensitive decision-making needs.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


McPheeters M, Butler M, Maglione M, Viswanathan M, O'Neil M, Epstein R, Anderson A, Guise J, Gozu A, Kondo K, et al. Challenges in Conducting EPC Reviews of Behavior Change Interventions. AHRQ Methods Research Report AHRQ Publication No. 15-EHC029-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. August 2015. PMID: 26290922.

Objective: This report describes the challenges faced by systematic reviewers in the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) program when reviewing behavior change interventions, and considers whether current guidance is specific enough to address these challenges.
Methods: A workgroup of members from EPCs, the Scientific Resource Center (SRC), and AHRQ was convened to describe systematic review methods for behavior change interventions in the EPC program and similar programs, and identify gaps in guidance. Complementary methods including a literature scan and key informant interviews were undertaken to reach the objectives. A literature scan was conducted to identify current guidance and methods literature on the inclusion of behavior change literature in systematic reviews. Interviews were held with thought leaders in the field to identify current practices and opinions on using behavior change literature. Workgroup members summarized information from the literature and interviews.
Results: We identified specific challenges related to study selection (particularly in using single subject experimental designs), data extraction, risk of bias, strength of evidence, presentation and quantitative analysis. Challenges are particularly acute when fields are focused on identifying and describing heterogeneity in populations and treatment effects rather than identifying generalizable effects. Guidance is available, but the sources of guidance most used by the EPC program (EPC, Cochrane, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) lack specificity in addressing these challenges.
Conclusions: Challenge of reviewing behavior change literature exists at each step of EPC systematic reviews. A larger discussion is needed about how EPC program methods can meet the evidentiary needs and questions of decision makers, consistent with the program's aim to provide accurate, independent, and scientifically rigorous information. Any methods approaches moving forward should address the specific needs of decision makers for using reviews of behavior change literature.