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Based on the “Data sources and search criteria” and “Study selection” sections of the article, the study selection process appears to have several strengths and weaknesses.
- Search criteria were extensive, using a variety of databases. The authors also used multiple terms in their search to find relevant studies.
- It was clear that the inclusion/exclusion criteria matched with the research questions.
- Two reviewers conducted the selection process, improving the quality of the process.
- This detailed documentation allows transparency of the study selection and replication.
- This may have led to a bias in the language of studies.
- Search criteria were too specific, since the authors included only studies reporting on results related to one particular intervention.
- There was no mention of the reliability between the judges of the selection procedure, an important factor to consider when assessing consistency.
- There was no consideration of the possibility that publication bias could be a factor, and this may have caused relevant studies to be excluded from academic journals.
While the selection of studies had its strengths, it also had several limitations which may have affected the generalizability and comprehensiveness of the results.