Skip to main content

Two other tabs you will use to extract data from your articles: Sample Characteristics and Outcome Details.

5.5.1. Sample Characteristics 

There are a set of questions about the makeup of the sample that will apply to pretty much any systematic review project:

  • Age of the participants
  • Sex (and/or gender) makeup of the sample
  • N recruited (this is likely to be different than the N analyzed that you’ll capture in the Results tab)
  • Dropout rate

Additionally, you will likely want to add a few questions that are specific to your question or study population.What might these be? Think about what sample characteristics might possibly affect the results of the study.

For instance, if you are carrying out a Diagnostic Accuracy systematic review:

So, take some time to think about what other sample characteristics might plausibly affect the results. Best to capture those up front than wish you had later!

5.6.2. Outcome Details

Use the Outcome Details tab to collect information about (1) any covariates that the authors statistically controlled or adjusted for in the analyses, and (2) different tools that may be used to measure the same outcome.

Note that in the example above, the confounding variables question (Question 1) is free text since authors could statistically adjust for a broad range of variables. If in your project there are only one or two key confounders that should be adjusted for, then you may be able to get by with a structured question (e.g., radio button or checkbox).

In Question 2, I know ahead of time which tools are commonly used to measure body composition in this area of research. Because of this, I can use a structured question. If you are unfamiliar with a field and so don’t know the common measures, pay close attention to these as you do your full text screening. What you learn in the full text review can help you structure your template. As always, plan ahead!