Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

EBP Pyramid

Filtered Resources

Filtered resources appraise the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice.

Systematic Reviews / Meta-Analyses

A systematic review is a comprehensive search of all of the studies, papers, research, and literature revolving around a specific question. Systematic reviews are the second-highest form of evidence because the process to develop a review requires close examination and appraisal of the studies included. Systematic reviews do not include statistical analysis.

A meta-analysis is a systematic review that combines all the results of all the studies into a single statistical analysis of results. This is the highest form of evidence as both close review and appraisal and statistical analysis are performed.



The following databases include systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Critically-Appraised Topics & Evidence Syntheses

A critically appraised topic (or CAT) is a short summary of evidence on a topic of interest, usually focussed around a clinical question. Defined as a brief summary of the literature related to a focused clinical question (EBEM, n.d.). While the search is not comprehensive, the review of literature is followed by a critical appraisal process to assess the quality of research.

Learn more about CATs on Physiopedia.



Critically-Appraised Individual Articles & Article Synopses

Authors of critically-appraised individual articles evaluate and synopsize individual research studies. Instead of conducting large reviews or writing a summary of several articles on a given topic, this approach involves a physician or researcher providing an in-depth review/analysis of one particular research article.