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Research questions for systematic reviews must be unambiguous from protocol stage

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 06 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1265
  1. Gunther Eysenbach, researcher (
  1. University of Heidelberg, Department of Clinical Social Medicine, Unit for Cybermedicine, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany

    EDITOR—The systematic review of Walton et al aimed to “identify all comparative studies in which computers were used to help determine the most appropriate drug dose,”1 including studies in which participants are “patients receiving drug therapy based on advice from a computer.”2 According to this protocol, the authors clearly should have included studies in which advice is given direct to patients, nurses, or intermediates, such as in software applications for diabetes management.3 Such studies, however, were …

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