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Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses: Study Selection, Data Extraction, Bias Assessment and Data Analysis

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are heavily influenced by the studies that have been identified and included in a review. To help decide which studies to include and which data a reviewer needs, we will discuss transparent methods that should be employed. The analysis and conclusions of a review are influenced by the validity of included data and results; we will demonstrate how an evaluation of bias within the included studies plays a vital role. Finally, we will introduce a framework for data synthesis using straightforward methods for statistically combining results of two or more studies when appropriate.