Method guidelines for Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group systematic reviews.
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The Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group (CMSG), one of 50 groups of the not-for-profit international Cochrane Collaboration, prepares, maintains, and disseminates systematic reviews of treatments for musculoskeletal diseases. To enhance the quality and usability of systematic reviews, the CMSG has developed tailored methodological guidelines for authors of CMSG systematic reviews. Recommendations specific to musculoskeletal disorders are provided for various aspects of undertaking a systematic review, including literature searching, inclusion criteria, quality assessment, grading of evidence, data collection, and data analysis. These guidelines will help researchers design, conduct, and report results of systematic reviews of trials in the following fields of musculoskeletal health: gout, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, pediatric rheumatology, rheumatoid arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, spondyloarthropathy, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and vasculitis. Systematic reviews need to be conducted according to high methodological standards. These recommendations on developing and performing a systematic review will help improve consistency among CMSG reviews.
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