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Should you decide to register a scoping review, per PRISMA protocols you will need at least one official search strategy conducted on any one database. For a systematic review, you will require official search strategies for all databases used.
Question: Is a home exercise program as effective as supervised occupational therapy for fatigue after a stroke?
Your search is only as strong as your synonyms, as you want to make sure you gather all possible resources on the topic.
Both keywords and subject headings should be included in search terms. Keyword searches will look through the text of an article for whatever word(s) you have specified; a subject heading search will search for articles on a given subject rather than by keywords.
Synonyms will be connected using OR; concepts will be connected using AND.
(stroke OR CVA OR "cerebrovascular accident") AND "home exercise program"
Note that the string of synonyms for the population is placed in parentheses. Think of this as a mathematical equation, where the terms for the population need to be gathered before being added to the intervention.
Each intervention/comparison will be searched separately, to help track how many resources are found on each topic.
Scoping and systematic reviews require exhaustive searches: in theory, they should include searches for everything available on a given subject. This means a search strategy should include:
Searches should seek high sensitivity, which may result in low precision. This means that searches should be as broad as possible in order to capture as many results as possible. This may result in lots of extraneous articles that are not pertinent to the topic and which will end up being eliminated.
One commonly asked question is whether or not you can include other systematic reviews in your review. The answer is yes -- BUT you can only use its citation page, i.e., you can use previous reviews that relate to your topic as a way to identify primary literature on that topic from their reference page(s).
You CANNOT use anything from the review itself. To do so would be to introduce that researcher's bias and quality of work into your own work, e.g., what conclusions they drew, what quotes or statistics they selectively chose to include or exclude.
Simply put, gray literature is scholarly material that hasn't been published, like government reports, student dissertations, or conference proceedings and minutes. Finding these studies can be difficult, but there are a few online resources that can be used to discover this type of unpublished research.