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How to review and assess a systematic review and meta-analysis article: a methodological study (secondary publication)  
Seung-Kwon Myung
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2023;20:24.   Published online August 27, 2023
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  • 128 Download
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have become central in many research fields, particularly medicine. They offer the highest level of evidence in evidence-based medicine and support the development and revision of clinical practice guidelines, which offer recommendations for clinicians caring for patients with specific diseases and conditions. This review summarizes the concepts of systematic reviews and meta-analyses and provides guidance on reviewing and assessing such papers. A systematic review refers to a review of a research question that uses explicit and systematic methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research. In contrast, a meta-analysis is a quantitative statistical analysis that combines individual results on the same research question to estimate the common or mean effect. Conducting a meta-analysis involves defining a research topic, selecting a study design, searching literature in electronic databases, selecting relevant studies, and conducting the analysis. One can assess the findings of a meta-analysis by interpreting a forest plot and a funnel plot and by examining heterogeneity. When reviewing systematic reviews and meta-analyses, several essential points must be considered, including the originality and significance of the work, the comprehensiveness of the database search, the selection of studies based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, subgroup analyses by various factors, and the interpretation of the results based on the levels of evidence. This review will provide readers with helpful guidance to help them read, understand, and evaluate these articles.
Research article
Journal clubs in Australian medical schools: prevalence, application, and educators’ opinions  
Damian James Ianno, Kelly Mirowska-Allen, Stephen Anthony Kunz, Richard O’Brien
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2020;17:9.   Published online February 26, 2020
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  • 206 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Medically-focused journal clubs have been used as an educational tool for over 100 years, with research indicating that they improve knowledge, reading behaviour, and critical appraisal skills. However, it is unknown how widespread they are in Australian medical schools, nor the opinions of medical education leaders as to their value.
A nationwide cross-sectional study was performed among academic leaders from every Australian medical school. Individuals were asked to complete a survey detailing their attitudes towards journal clubs using single- or multiple-answer questions, Likert scales, and ranked data. They were asked whether students at their institutions were able to partake in journal clubs, and if so, provided details on their implementation.
At least 1 response was collected from 18 of 19 Australian medical schools. The response rate was 40.8% (60 of 147), and 36 responses (60.0%) were from heads of clinical schools. Respondents from 15 of 18 institutions (83.3%) stated that their institution had a journal club. Of these, 23 (65.7%) were metropolitan institutions and 12 (34.3%) were rural institutions. Eighteen (51.4%) journal clubs were clinician-led, 13 (37.1%) were run through specific hospital departments, and 23 (65.7%) occurred during clinical years. Most respondents (20 [57.1%]) stated that the primary aim of the journal club was to develop critical appraisal skills.
Journal clubs are a highly regarded educational tool in the armoury of medical school educators, with significant heterogeneity in their structure, geographic prevalence, and intended purpose. Further studies of their efficacy in teaching evidence-based medicine is warranted.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Using a journal club to navigate a maze of COVID-19 papers in a front-line hospital service
    Rachel Wenke, Paulina Stehlik, John Gerrard, Sharon Mickan, David Henry
    BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.2023; 28(3): 210.     CrossRef
  • Club bibliográfico de la Sociedad Española de Radiología Médica: Historia, análisis y perspectivas tras 10 años de trayectoria
    D. Herrán de la Gala, C. Biosca Calabuig, J. Miranda Bautista
    Radiología.2023; 65(4): 376.     CrossRef
  • Spanish Society of Medical Radiology Journal Club: History, analysis and perspectives after ten years of experience
    D. Herrán de la Gala, C. Biosca Calabuig, J. Miranda Bautista
    Radiología (English Edition).2023; 65(4): 376.     CrossRef
  • Assessing Medical Students’ Perception of Implementing Journal Club Activities: A Qualitative Study
    Roaa Aljumaa, Reem Elmokattaf, Mohammad Aljumaa, Haifa Almuhanna , Marukh Rashid , Ismail A Abdullah, Abdul Rahman Sukar
    Cureus.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Medical students’ attitudes towards the teaching of cervical and ovarian cancer screening protocols in Ireland: a qualitative study
    Paul McHugh, Donal Brennan, Mary F. Higgins
    Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -).2022; 191(1): 469.     CrossRef

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions