The expansion of evidence‐based practice across sectors has lead to an increasing variety of review types. However, the diversity of terminology used means that the full potential of these review types may be lost amongst a confusion of indistinct and misapplied terms. The objective of this study is to provide descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews, with illustrative examples from health and health information domains.
Targeted to beginners interested in conducting their own systematic reviews and users of systematic reviews looking for a brief introduction, this primer (1) highlights the differences between review types; (2) outlines the major steps in performing a systematic review; and (3) offers a set of resources to help authors perform and report valid and actionable systematic reviews.
"A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular clinical issue. The researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may also include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis."
-- AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality