Journal Club Summary
Harnan SE, Pickering A, Pandor A, Goodacre SW.
J Trauma. 2011 Jul;71(1):245-51
This systematic review compared the diagnostic accuracies of clinical decision rules for adults with minor head injury and found that the Canadian CT head rules to be the most sensitive and specific rule [sensitivity 99-100%, specificity 48-77%] for injury requiring neurosurgical intervention. We felt this was a useful paper since it was quite rigorous in its article selection and quality assessment and despite the fact that only a narrative synthesis of results could be done.
By: Dr. Lisa Fischer
(Presented November 2012)
Epi Lesson: Systematic review versus meta-analysis
To avoid the biases of an unsystematic review (i.e. review article), a systematic review incorporates explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria, a comprehensive search for the evidence, and a summary of the results according to explicit rules. When a systematic review pools data across studies to provide a quantitative estimate of the treatment effect, this is called a meta-analysis. When the data cannot be pooled, the systematic review will provide a narrative synthesis of the evidence.
By: Dr. Ian Stiell