Step 1: Research Question

The first step is to define your research question. A concise research question is the back-bone for a good search strategy, as it determines the structure and sequence for your literature searches.


For preclinical reviews, a research question typically contains the following components:

(a) treatment/intervention

(b) disease or condition of interest

(c) animal species/cell population studied

(d) outcome measures


An ideal format for a preclinical research question could then be:

‘What is the effect of [treatment/intervention] on [outcome measures] in [animal species/cell population studied] for [disease or condition of interest]?'


For examples of preclinical systematic review research questions see published protocols in the SyRF Protocol Registry and the journal, Evidence-based Preclinical Medicine.


Before you start on your systematic review make sure the your systematic review question has not been investigated before, check the Systematic Review Library.  


References & Resources:

Evidence-based Preclinical Medicine

SyRF Protocol Registry

Leenaars et al (2012) A step-by-step guide to systematically identify all relevant animal studies


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