Evidence Synthesis with Literature Reviews

Choosing the right type of literature review depends on the research question, the available literature, and the specific goals of the review. Here are some common types of literature reviews and when they may be appropriate:

Systematic reviews with meta-analysis

This type of review involves synthesizing data from multiple studies and using statistical methods to generate a summary estimate of the effect size. This type of review is appropriate when the goal is to quantitatively summarize the available evidence and generate a precise estimate of the treatment effect.

Scoping reviews

Scoping reviews are used to map the available literature on a particular topic, identify research gaps, and clarify key concepts and terminology. This type of review is appropriate when the goal is to provide an overview of the available literature and identify areas where further research is needed.

Rapid reviews

Rapid reviews are a streamlined version of a systematic review that use a truncated search and data extraction process to provide a quick answer to a specific research question. This type of review is appropriate when time and resources are limited, and a quick answer is needed.

Umbrella reviews

Umbrella reviews involve synthesizing the findings of multiple systematic reviews on a related topic. This type of review is appropriate when there are multiple systematic reviews on a particular topic, and the goal is to synthesize the findings of these reviews to generate a comprehensive summary of the available evidence.

Mixed-methods reviews

Mixed-methods reviews incorporate both quantitative and qualitative evidence and are appropriate when the research question requires a more comprehensive understanding of the available evidence, including both numerical and narrative data.