SEDL Monthly: An e-bulletin of SEDL / January 2010 /

Upcoming Systematic Reviews
Another DRP project, SEDL's Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders, is conducting two systematic reviews, "Effectiveness of Adult Employment Assistance Services for Persons With Autism Spectrum Disorders" and “Effective School-Based Transition Programs Including Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Staff members on the project are working with the Campbell Collaboration, an international organization that supports systematic reviews in the areas of education, crime and justice, and social welfare.

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Finding What Works: Systematic Reviews
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Conducting Systematic Reviews
Systematic reviews have become increasingly useful in fields such as medicine, education, and disability and rehabilitation. Practitioners in these areas base their work on scientific evidence, and systematic reviews typically deal with research studies to determine the effectiveness of particular interventions. Service providers can identify “what works” through high-quality systematic reviews that use a clearly described protocol in order to eliminate bias in examining all the evidence around a focused question.

To help more disability researchers learn how to conduct systematic reviews, the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) in SEDL’s Disability Research to Practice (DRP) program is continuing a Web-based distance education series called Conducting Systematic Reviews of Evidence-Based Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
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Anatomy of a Systematic Review
A high-quality systematic review uses transparent procedures to identify, assess, and synthesize results of research on a particular topic. These procedures are defined in advance, are explicit so that others can replicate the review, and include

  • clear inclusion and exclusion criteria specifying the study designs, populations, interventions, and outcomes that will be covered in the review;
  • an explicit search strategy developed and implemented to identify all published and unpublished studies that meet the inclusion criteria;
  • a systematic coding and analysis of included studies' methods, intervention and comparison conditions, sample characteristics, outcome measures, and results; and
  • a meta-analysis (when possible) to estimate pooled effect sizes and moderators of effect sizes.

Source: What Is a Systematic Review? The Campbell Collaboration.


Registry of Systematic Reviews of Disability and Rehabilitation Research
NCDDR has created a registry of systematic reviews of research studies on disability and rehabilitation topics relevant to researchers, persons with disabilities and their families, and service providers. You can search by keyword, author, journal, and type of review.

Learn more about the registry.
Search the Registry of Systematic Reviews.

NCDDR Task Force Papers
NCDDR task forces have recently released new publications on evidence-based research and knowledge translation:

Learn more about the publications on the NCDDR Web site.



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