Inflexible methods to complex questions

This problem is addressed in MECIR. The design of a traditional systematic review and meta-analysis that lends itself to single pharmacological intervention may not be appropriate for more complex review questions. Over-reliance on 'tried and tested' methodology for complicated topics which require bespoke methods for data synthesis will result in misleading conclusions and research waste. This may be more likely in review teams which do not comprise clinical experts or lay representatives as well as experienced methodologists such as information resources and statisticians.

Articles that support this problem:

Outcomes in systematic reviews of complex interventions never reached “high” GRADE ratings when compared with those of simple interventions

2016 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Systematic mixed-methods reviews are not ready to be assessed with the available tools

2011 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Cluster Randomised Trials in Cochrane Reviews: Evaluation of Methodological and Reporting Practice

2016 : Plos one

Assessing the applicability of findings in systematic reviews of complex interventions can enhance the utility of reviews for decision making

2013 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Few systematic reviews exist documenting the extent of bias: a systematic review

2008 : Journal of clinical epidemiology

Validity of a Cochrane Systematic Review and meta-analysis for determining the safety of vitamin E

2017 : Bmc complementary & alternative medicine

Why are Cochrane hepato-biliary reviews undervalued by physicians as an aid for clinical decision-making?

2010 : Digestive and liver disease

Contradictory Findings of Two Recent Meta-Analyses: What Are We Supposed to Believe About Anesthetic Technique in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery?

2021 : Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia