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A synthesis that collates all empirical evidence fitting pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to answer a specific research question.
Note 1: Systematic reviews are conducted according to a pre-specified protocol. The methods used are selected with a view to minimizing bias, thus providing more reliable findings from which conclusions can be drawn and decisions made.
Note 2: Many systematic reviews contain meta-analyses. A meta-analysis is the use of statistical methods to summarize the results of independent studies.