Criteria for considering studies for this review
Cochrane Training resource: defining the review question
Cochrane Interactive Learning: module 2 - writing the review protocol
|Standard||Rationale and elaboration||Resources|
|R27||Eligibility criteria for types of study: study designs||Mandatory|
|State eligible study designs, and provide a justification for the choice.||
It is not necessary to explain why randomized trials are eligible (if that is the case), although it may be important to explain why other types of study meet the eligibility criteria of the review.
MECIR conduct standard 9: Define in advance the eligibility criteria for study designs in a clear and unambiguous way, with a focus on features of a study's design rather than design labels.
MECIR conduct standard 11: Justify the choice of eligible study designs.
|R28||Eligibility criteria for types of study: study reports||Mandatory|
|If studies are excluded on the basis of publication status or language of publication, explain and justify this.||
Studies should be included irrespective of their publication status and language of publication, unless explicitly justified.
MECIR conduct standard 12: Include studies irrespective of their publication status, unless exclusion is explicitly justified.
|R29||Eligibility criteria for types of participants||Mandatory|
|State eligibility criteria for participants, including any criteria around location, setting, diagnosis or definition of condition and demographic factors, and how studies including subsets of relevant participants are addressed.||
Any notable restrictions on the eligibility criteria of the review should be given and explained (e.g. exclusion of people under or over a certain age, specific settings of intervention).
MECIR conduct standard 5: Define in advance the eligibility criteria for participants in the studies.
MECIR conduct standard 6: Define in advance how studies that include only a subset of relevant participants will be addressed.
|R30||Eligibility criteria for types of interventions||Mandatory|
|State eligibility criteria for interventions and comparators, including any criteria around delivery, dose, duration, intensity, co-interventions and characteristics of complex interventions.||
MECIR conduct standard 7: Define in advance the eligible interventions and the interventions against which these can be compared in the included studies.
|R31||Role of outcomes||Mandatory|
|If measurement of particular outcomes is used as an eligibility criterion, state and justify this.||
Studies should never be excluded from a review solely because no outcomes of interest are reported. However, on occasion it will be appropriate to include only studies that measured particular outcomes. For example, a review of a multi-component public health intervention promoting healthy lifestyle choices, focussing on reduction in smoking prevalence, might legitimately exclude studies that do not measure smoking rates.
MECIR conduct standard 8: Clarify in advance whether outcomes listed under 'Criteria for considering studies for this review' are used as criteria for including studies (rather than as a list of the outcomes of interest within whichever studies are included).
|R32||Outcomes of interest||Mandatory|
|State primary and secondary outcomes of interest to the review, and define acceptable ways of measuring them.||
Explain how multiple variants of outcome measures (e.g. definitions, assessors, scales, time points) are addressed.
MECIR conduct standard 14: Define in advance which outcomes are primary outcomes and which are secondary outcomes.