Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria: You need to identify the criteria that will be used to determine which research studies will be included. These inclusion and exclusion criteria must be decided before you start the review. This is to ensure that your search targets articles that will provide an answer to your review question, allowing you to exclude any irrelevant ones. Criteria that should be considered include:
Type of studies: It is important to select articles with an appropriate design for the research question.
Type of participants: If focusing on a patient population, it is important to define their age, gender, diagnosis, as well as any other relevant factors.
Types of intervention: Describe the intervention that you are investigating. You may want to consider whether to include interventions carried out all over the world or just in the US. The Cochrane Collaboration recommends finding all available studies from all over the world. As before, the interventions that are to be excluded may also need to be described here.
Types of outcome measures: Outcome measures usually refer to measurable outcomes or ‘clinical changes in health’. For example, these could include body structures and functions like pain and fatigue, activities as in functional abilities and participation or quality of life questionnaires.
Some useful ways to do this include: