The impact of database choices on systematic review results: a case study using Cochrane cardiac rehabilitation reviews and implications for future rapid reviews
2School of Health & Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland., Scotland
3Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; META Group, Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Montreal, Canada, Canada
Background: The necessity of delivering evidence synthesis products in a time-effective and resource-limited way, emphasized by the COVID pandemic, has led to an increased interest in Rapid Reviews (RRs). Although they can be built systematically, the impact of following streamlined rapid approaches to develop a systematic review is not yet well understood.
Objectives: To assess the impact of selective database searching on the study inclusiveness and outcome findings of systematic reviews.
Methods: The study is using a set of six Cochrane cardiac rehabilitation (CR) reviews as a case study. The original libraries of each database from each review will be used to understand where each included study was indexed. When access to the original libraries is not possible, the search strategy will be re-run using reverse engineering. The general characteristics of each study will be recorded, as well as the outcomes and the meta-analysis results each included reference contributed to. The quality of each included study will also be mapped, using the risk of bias assessments already performed on each one of the reviews. Different search approaches will be tested (i.e., the different possible combinations of databases), and the studies that are not found when we limit the number of databases will be identified. Based on the search approach, we will determine how the meta-analysis and overall conclusions of the review would be affected, as well as the quality of the studies that would be potentially lost. Expected results: The study is ongoing, and the results will be available and presented at the time of the conference. Our study seeks to understand the impact of how bibliographic database choices can impact the results and conclusions of systematic reviews. Relevance and importance to patients: It is important to guarantee the validity and robustness of any findings RRs might generate, which can ultimately impact the policy and clinical decisions that they support. Being able to generate accurate evidence syntheses in a timely and cost-efficient manner can lead to faster uptake of new evidence, thus potentially positively impacting patients. Patient, public, and/or healthcare consumer involvement: No involvement.