This page provides basic definitions to aid in deciding the type of review to pursue and how types of evidence and study designs inform this decision process.
Literature review is an analysis of published scholarly research on a topic. It is primarily to:
Scoping reviews identify and examine the literature on a topic to provide a synthesis of a research question. A scoping review can be conducted in preparation of a systematic review. They are designed:
Systematic Reviews provide a synthesis of published studies that inform practitioners for better patient outcomes and policy makers with efficient health services. They are most useful
They require a transparent and reproducible search methodology.
When appropriate a systematic review can include a meta-analysis. This is when data from multiple studies can be statistically synthesized and represented with a forest plot. Here is a short video that explains more, https://youtu.be/qc7M1r45jwc
|Diagram created by Bradley A. Long. https://scholarsphere.psu.edu/resources/d3368641-dc10-4d6c-bf72-4ac8dec7eb96|
This video explains the Meta-Analysis of Multiple Randomized Trials (1:23); Randomized Trials (2:20); Prospective Cohort Studies (4:02); Case-Control Studies (5:00); Case Series (6:03); and Cross-Sectional Studies (6:13).
These are the Suggested Research Design(s) based on a Clinical Question