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n Journal of Minimum Intervention in Dentistry - SYSTEM Research note on : the modified Ottawa method for updating systematic reviews
Background : Systematic reviews aim to answer clearly formulated questions by using systematic and explicit methods for identifying, selecting, and critically appraising relevant research. However, as research progresses, the content of a systematic review may become obsolete. The modified Ottawa method was developed in order to identify qualitative and quantitative signals indicating the need to update a systematic review. The aim of this study was to investigate how well signals identified by the modified Ottawa method correspond with actual differences in key findings of an original systematic review and its subsequent update.
Method : The modified Ottawa method was applied to key findings of an original systematic review report concerning the longevity of tooth restorations placed according to the atraumatic restorative treatment (ART) approach in comparison to conventional restorative treatment using amalgam as gold standard.
Results : One qualitative and one quantitative signal were identified which corresponded well with the comparison results of the systematic review update and its predecessor.
Conclusions : Signals identified by the modified Ottawa method corresponded with actual differences in key findings (or lack thereof) of an original systematic review and its subsequent update. These results suggest that the modified Ottawa method is a useful tool in identifying update needs of original systematic reviews. However, as this conclusion is derived from the investigation of only one systematic review, further studies are needed in order to confirm the applicability for systematic reviews in general.
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