Step 3 of EBP: Part 3—Meta-analysis and Systematic Reviews, Aggregating Research Results

  • James W. Drisko
  • Melissa D. Grady
Part of the Essential Clinical Social Work Series book series (ECSWS)


Step 3 of the EBP process centers on evaluating the quality and relevance of research results. This chapter examines the aggregation and evaluation of multiple research studies using a method called the systematic review. Systematic reviews locate and combine the results of multiple studies using clearly defined and transparently reported standards. The statistical results of studies are aggregated and compared using a set of techniques called meta-analysis. As terminology has evolved in this area, the shared and distinct features of systematic reviews and meta-analyses are carefully defined and distinguished. The standards for Cochrane Collaboration quality reviews are identified. A Cochrane systematic review is analyzed in detail to show the strength and limitations of such publications.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Drisko
    • 1
  • Melissa D. Grady
    • 2
  1. 1.School for Social WorkSmith CollegeNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.School of Social ServiceCatholic University of AmericaWashington, DCUSA

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