A vital step in any systematic review is that of synthesizing relevant results from included studies in the review. There are a number of tools (listed below) available to help with extracting data, critically reviewing methodology, and conducting qualitative and/or quantitative (meta-analysis) analyses of the results. UAB Libraries supports UAB community members (i.e., full-time faculty, staff and students) who are initiating systematic reviews of the literature and meta-analyses by providing access to Covidence. Please see the Library Services tab for more information.
The Cochrane Handbook, Section 8.3.3, Quality Scales and Cochrane Reviews, discourages use of scales for assessing quality or risk of bias for Cochrane reviews. According to the Handbook, the use of scales "is not supported by empirical evidence" and "scales have been shown to be unreliable assessments of validity and are less likely to be transparent to users." The Cochrane Handbook recommends using "simple approaches for assessing validity that can be fully reported (i.e. how each trial was rated on each criterion)." Bottom line: perhaps it is advisable to use these scales as support for a thorough assessment of study validity and bias rather than as the sole basis for that assessment.
Lister Hill Library