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Reflections on the process of using systematic review techniques to evaluate the literature regarding the neurotoxicity of low level exposure to organophosphate pesticides

Mackenzie Ross, Sarah; McManus, Chris; Harrison, Virginia and Mason, Oliver (2015). Reflections on the process of using systematic review techniques to evaluate the literature regarding the neurotoxicity of low level exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Environment International, 92-93 pp. 569–573.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2015.10.009
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Abstract

We undertook a systematic review (incorporating meta-analysis) of the literature concerning the neurotoxicity of cumulative low level occupational exposure to organophosphate pesticides, which was published online by the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology in 2012. As far as we are aware, we were the first research team to attempt quantitative evaluation of study findings on this topic, using meta-analysis. We wish to encourage others to apply systematic review techniques in chemical risk assessment to reduce bias, increase transparency and better inform public policy. We thought it would be useful to share our experience of undertaking a systematic review in the hope of dispelling misconceptions about the complexity, time and resource issues involved along with the view that meta-analysis is meaningless when studies are not homogeneous. In this commentary paper we reflect on aspects of the process which were relatively straightforward; aspects which were more challenging; the advantages of using systematic review techniques; and the advantages and limitations of using statistical techniques such as meta-analysis in this context.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 1873-6750
Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; organophosphates; low-level exposure; neurobehavioural function
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL)
Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Item ID: 45183
Depositing User: Virginia Harrison
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 10:02
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2016 14:21
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/45183
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