Checklist by Backdoor Survivor
It is always necessary to check whether a systematic review answering your question has already been conducted or is currently being undertaken.Checking existing reviews/protocols ensures that you are not repeating someone else's work. This may help you in choosing or refining a review topic. Look for existing systematic reviews/protocols in:
STARLITE refers to the standards for reporting literature searches (Sampling strategy, Type of study, Approaches, Range of years, Limits, Inclusion and exclusions, Terms used, Electronic sources)
Type of studies
Approaches (Approaches other than electronic subject searches e.g. hand-searching, citation snowballing)
Range of years
Limits (Functional limits that are applied for logistic reasons but do not alter the topic conceptually (e.g., human, English etc.)
Inclusion and exclusions (Conceptual limitations that mediate the scope of the topic area such as geographical location, setting, or a specific focus of study)
Electronic sources (Reports databases used and, optimally, search platforms and vendors to assist in replication)
Booth A. ‘‘Brimful of STARLITE’’: toward standards for reporting literature searches. J Med Libr Assoc 2006 Oct;94(4):421–9, e205
When searching the literature for a qualitative systematic review, all the sources below need to be considered:
Here is an example search strategy from Cochrane for the following research question:
Is cognitive behaviour therapy a useful intervention in the prevention of postnatal depression?
The strategy will search for qualitative systematic reviews of Condition OR Intervention.
Booth A. Chapter 3: Searching for Studies. In: Noyes J, Booth A, Hannes K, Harden A, Harris J, Lewin S, Lockwood C (editors), Supplementary Guidance for Inclusion of Qualitative Research in Cochrane Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
Appraising qualitative evidence requires an assessment of the quality of the research in relation to the research methodology, methods and analyses used and the interpretation of data.
The McMaster Critical Review form and guidelines are also useful for qualitative studies:
Qualitative systematic reviews: