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Clinical and Research Support

Types of review

Systematic Review

Seeks to systematically search for, appraise and synthesis research evidence.

Aims for exhaustive, comprehensive searching and elimination of bias in evaluation of results.

Systematic review with additional statistical technique that combines the results of quantitative studies to provide a more precise measure of effects.

Rapid Review

Assessment of what is already known about a policy or practice issue, by using systematic review methods to search and critically appraise existing research.

Completeness of searching and quality assessment limited by time constraints.

Literature Review

Generic term for published materials that provide examination of recent or current literature. Can cover wide range of subjects at various  levels of completeness and comprehensiveness.

May or may not include comprehensive searching or quality assessment.

Narrative Review

A type of literature review in which the articles are discussed around an organising theme.

May not be comprehensive or use formal quality assessment tecniques.

Scoping review

Preliminary assessment of potential size and scope of available research literature.

No formal quality assessment.

Qualitative synthesis Synthesizes the results of qualitative research using a narrative analysis.
Mixed studies review

Synthesizes the results of experimental and non-experimental research using a statistical approach and/or a narrative analysis with integration of results.

Integrative review

Synthesizes the results of research or theory using a narrative analysis.
RE-AIM review Evaluates and synthesizes the reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of interventions.
Umbrella review Also known as  a Review of Reviews. Summarizes results from multiple systematic reviews on a topic.

adapted from 'A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies.'

Grant, M & Booth,A. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26. 2009