Comparative effectiveness research is designed to inform health-care decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries, or ways to deliver health care. (AHRQ, http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/what-is-comparative-effectiveness-research1/.)
A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular clinical issue. The researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may also include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis. (AHRQ, http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/glossary-of-terms/?pageaction=showterm&termid=70.)
Tutorials from the Yale Medical Library that demonstrate how to search the health science literature in a systematic manner to create a comprehensive, methodical, transparent, & reproducible search, so that your conclusions are as unbiased & close to the truth as possible.