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Too Many Systematic Reviews?

September 21, 2010

Press release from PLoS Medicine

There are now 75 clinical trials and 11 systematic reviews of trials published every day, with no signs this pace is slowing. How will we ever cope?, ask Hilda Bastian, Paul Glasziou, and Sir Iain Chalmers in this week’s PLoS Medicine, who also decry the continued poor quality of many of these studies.

Analysing the history and growth of reviews of evidence, the authors recommend that we must now reduce unnecessary trials and prioritise truly systematic review of the literature, so that the needs of patients, clinicians, and policymakers are met. “Streamlining and innovation in methods of systematic reviewing are necessary to enable valid answers to be found for most patient questions,” argue the authors, and “clinicians and patients require open access to these important resources.”

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