Discussion

You’re almost done! The discussion is the cherry on the top of your systematic review sundae. You’ve carefully described your research and your results; now you just have to explain what those results mean and why they matter.

In other words, the purpose of your discussion is to explain the nature and importance of your findings.

How? Just follow these steps:

Summarize

Summarize the study and the main results

Interpret

Interpret the results and suggest an explanation for them

Compare

Compare the results with what else is known about the problem (this might involve referencing earlier systematic reviews)

Generalize

Generalize the results to other populations or diseases if possible

Speculate

Speculate about the implications of your results on the health care delivery system


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