FAQs

Are there any restrictions on the use of the data/content of this website?

We highly encourage researchers to use the content of this website!  However, we do ask that you include proper citation (see “How do I cite the online database?”) Also, when downloading the database file, we require the first and last name, email address and institutional affiliation of the person downloading. This information is used to track interest in our data. There is a possibility that we will contact you in the future to follow up on your usage of the data.

Who funded this project?

This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or polices of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations to imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

What is a "Systematic Review"?

A systematic review attempts to collate all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question. It uses explicit, systematic methods that are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made. Key characteristics of a systematic review are:
  1. a clearly stated set of objectives with pre-defined eligibility criteria for studies
  2. an explicit, reproducible methodology
  3. a systematic search that attempts to identify all studies that would meet the eligibility criteria
  4. an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies, for example through the assessment of risk of bias
  5. a systematic presentation, and synthesis, of the characteristics and findings of the included studies.

Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org

Why isn't our study included in your database?

The 600 studies included in our database are a representative sample of the studies from 2000-2014 that meet our selection criteria. Since these criteria encompass a broad range of studies, it was not feasible to include each one.

Three separate literature searches were performed within defined time periods (2000-2004, 2005-2009, 2010-2014). Within each time-period group, search results were randomly ordered using the RAND function in Microsoft Excel (2013). The study selection process was performed on the randomly ordered results until the desired number of studies for extraction meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria was identified (200 per time period for a total of 600 articles). Selection was stratified by time period to ensure that an adequate number of studies per time period were selected to allow for analysis over time.

How should I cite this work?

Please use the following citation:

Stoll C, Izadi S, Colditz G, Systematic Reviews to Inform Research and Treatment for Multi-Morbidities. Prepared by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis under Subagreement 14X262 of Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. Frederick, MD: Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc; October 2015.