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Because some research syntheses form the top of the evidence pyramid, they can greatly improve your professional practice. However, given that these studies have methods of their own, you must understand those methods before you can apply the studies to your questions. Most importantly, research must be synthesized in a way that minimizes bias and maximizes practical application to your practice. Additionally, Chapter 10 will show you that not all research is created equal. Because the scientific method is not "rigid," researchers make educated decisions on the planning and interpretation of their studies. These decisions affect the quality of the research, and you must be able to discern where the studies you read fall on the continuum of research quality.

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