When searching for EBP information, one should select the highest level of evidence possible. Clinicians must understand the types of evidence and their relative quality in the hierarchy of research evidence. The Pyramid of Evidence below represents the relative quality of types of evidence with the least clinically relevant at the bottom and the most clinically relevant at the top.
PYRAMID OF EVIDENCE
Image source: Triton College Library
Systematic Reviews summarize the results of a systematic literature search on a specific clinical question to develop clinical recommendations. They assess the methodology, sample size, and quality of the studies, using the highest quality data available to answer specific clinical questions and develop practice recommendations.
Meta-Analysis takes this process one-step further, reviewing a clinical question for which multiple systematic reviews exist and