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Evidence-based evaluation of information: the centrality and limitations of systematic reviews
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg.
2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 42, no 13 suppl, 3-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This introductory paper considers the value and limitations of the methodology of systematic reviews especially according to the evidence-based movement. It explains some terms and organisations producing systematic reviews. It also discusses controversies. The first concerns the criteria by which the quality of individual studies is assessed, the second the possible effects of the affiliation of some reviewers, and the third the value of formalisation of procedure (i.e. the tensions between formal tools and professional judgments). The article contrasts the evidence-based formalism with other formalisms as those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It discusses systematic reviews in social science where interventions are complex, difficult to blind, and depend on context. Systematic reviews in working life research are often focusing on prevention. The formal evidence-based process may devaluate or disregard findings from mechanistic and observational studies. Hence such reviews may falsely conclude that existing knowledge about the risk of the factor is limited or nonexistent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 42, no 13 suppl, 3-10 p.
Keyword [en]
IARC, IPCC, social work, working life research
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-86280DOI: 10.1177/1403494813516713ISI: 000331466700001PubMedID: 24553849OAI: diva2:698290
Available from: 2014-02-21 Created: 2014-02-21 Last updated: 2014-07-03Bibliographically approved

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