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UCQ

Study Selection/ Screening

Screening results for a literature review

PRISMA Flow Chart

Step 1:  Preparation

To complete the PRISMA diagram, print or save a copy of the diagram to use alongside your searches. A template can be downloaded from the PRISMA website.  

UCQ MN students can download the following templates:

"PRISMA 2020 flow diagram for new systematic reviews which included searches of databases, registers and other sources"

Prisma Flowchart 2009 - (simpler than the 2020 version)

Step 2:  Conduct Database Search

Conduct the search in selected databases by searching each concept until you are satisfied with the results from the individual searches. Combine the searches using boolean operators and apply filters according to your inclusion/exclusion criteria. 

Repeat the process for other databases individually.

Once you complete your searches, note down the number of citations obtained from individual databases. If you have already imported the results into Covidence, you can obtain the number from individual imports under "import history." 

You should add the the total number of results from all databases, including duplicate records in the first box after Databases (n = ) .  If you have included trial registers like ClinicalTrails.gov, enter the number of results after Registers (= )

 

If you need assistance with conducting searches or translating a search to another database, speak with your Librarian. You can also use the search strategies guide for more information.

Step 3: Remove Duplicate Records

To avoid reviewing the same article more than once, you need to remove the duplicates. You will need to go through all records retrieved from the databases and manually remove duplicates. Resources like Covidence or any citation management tool can automatically remove the duplicates to make this process easier. If you are not using a tool,  manually scan through individual titles to identify and remove potential duplicates. Record both the number of articles removed and the number selected after this stage.

Step 4: Hand Searching or Additional Sources

If you have identified potential articles from other sources through hand searching through reference lists, citations, websites, or grey literature, note down the number of records obtained from individual sources.

 

Step 5:  Records Screened -- Title/Abstract Screening

The next step is to add the number of articles that you will review in title and/or abstract screening. This is the number you identified after removing the duplicates.

 

Step 6: Records Excluded -- Title/Abstract Screening

The next stage is to note the records excluded after title and/or abstract screening. You will be screening the article for its relevancy against your research question. Any article which may help you answer your research question will be included. The screened article should satisfy your inclusion and exclusion criteria. Record the number of articles excluded with a short reason for exclusion.

 

Step 7: Reports Sought for Retrieval (Database)

This is the number of articles you found through your database search that you will prepare for full text screening. You will have to subtract the number of excluded articles in Step 6 from the total number of articles in Step 5. Record the number as the full text articles assessed for eligibility.  You will be reviewing the full text of all selected articles in this stage.

 

Step 8: Reports Not Retrieved (Database)

Record the number of articles, whose full text could not be obtained.

Please note that you can use the inter library loan facility to obtain articles that are not accessible though the UCQ collection.

 

Step 9: Reports Sought for Retrieval (Other Sources)

This is the number of records found through other sources that you will prepare for full text screening.

 

Step 10: Reports Not Retrieved (Other Sources)

Record the number of records, whose full text could not be obtained.

Please note that you can use the inter library loan facility to obtain articles that are not accessible though the UCQ collection.

 

Step 11: Reports Assessed for Eligibility -- Full Text Screening

In this stage, you will note the number of articles prepared for full text review. The number can be obtained by subtracting the reports not retrieved in Step 8 from the reports sought for retrieval in Step 7.

 

Step 12: Reports Excluded 

After reviewing the full text of all selected articles for eligibility, list the exclusion criteria and total number of articles excluded for each particular criterion. Example exclusion criteria may be wrong intervention, wrong population, or wrong study setting.

 

Step 13: Reports Assessed for Eligibility -- Full Text Screening

Note the number of reports prepared for full text review, which were obtained from sources other than the databases. The number can be obtained by subtracting the reports not retrieved in Step 10 from the reports sought for retrieval in Step 9.

 

Step 14: Reports Excluded 

After reviewing the full text of all selected reports for eligibility, list the exclusion criteria and total number of articles excluded for each particular criterion. Example exclusion criteria may be wrong intervention, wrong population, or wrong study setting.

 

Step 15: Included Studies 

The final step is to subtract the number of excluded articles during the eligibility review of full-text screening in Step 12 and Step 14 from the total number of articles reviewed for eligibility in Step 11 and Step 13. Enter this number in the final box. Assess the studies and identify if there are multiple reports/articles published for a primary study. Record the numbers accurately.

Record the primary studies included in the "studies included in review" section. Record the total number of reports out of all the primary studies in the "Reports of included studies" section.

 You have now completed your PRISMA flow diagram.

 

Adapted from UNC Health Science Library and Glasgow Caledonian University