Table 1 The 7-step approach to systematic reviews in empirical bioethics
1Careful definition of review questionStructured by the MIP (methodology, issues, participants) model
2Selection of relevant databasesRelated to the specific context
3Application of ancillary search strategiesReview of bibliographies from relevant references
Hand search of journals not or not completely captured by databases used
4Development of a search algorithmUse of database-specific vocabulary
Index mapping
Cluster modelling
5Relevance assessment of the retrieved referencesAt least three reviewers
Blinding of reviewers
Predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria
Predefined classification schemes
Evaluation of inter-rater reliability
Flow charts
6Quality assessment of included studiesJustification and explication of assessment tools
7Data analysis and data presentationJustification and explication of methods