Systematic Review versus Meta-Analysis

Systematic Review versus Meta-Analysis

Clinical decisions are sensitive matters that should be based on the best evidence and not speculation or results obtained from individual research studies. Clinical decisions touch the lives of the people, and they should be taken seriously considering the evidence used for the final decisions. The results obtained from meta-analysis or systematic review of patient care should not be ignored when making clinical decisions. Clinicians should conduct an assessment on such results to determine the credibility of the methods used when systematic review or meta-analysis was conducted. In the previous years, clinicians were relying on results obtained from unstructured article reviews when making clinical decisions in the health facilities (Murad et al., 2014). Based on the results from the unstructured article reviews, clinicians were not confident that evident adopted would provide an unbiased and reliable answer to the clinical question. The results obtained from the systematic reviews are considered to be credible when it offers a solution to a sensible clinical question, adopted after exhaustive literature search, demonstrates reproducibility, and results presented in a useful manner. When the systematic results are presented to the clinicians after determining their credibility, it is their responsibility to determine the level of reliability and confidence that the results will help them to make useful and fruitful decisions.

I agree with this article in the manner that the clinicians should determine the credibility of the results before relying on them when making clinical decisions. Clinical decisions made determine the future health life of the people. The best evidence should be used when making clinical decisions. Results of systematic reviews or meta-analysis of patient care can be used based on the confidence of the clinicians after determining the credibility of the methods used when conducting systematic reviews (Murad et al., 2014). The best evidence and results obtained from credible methods when conducting systematic reviews will assure the clinicians that unbiased and reliable answers will be provided to sensible clinical questions.


Murad, M. H., Montori, V. M., Ioannidis, J. P., Jaeschke, R., Devereaux, P. J., Prasad, K., … & Meade, M. O. (2014). How to read a systematic review and meta-analysis and apply the results to patient care: users’ guides to the medical literature. Jama, 312(2), 171-179.

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