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Systematic and Scoping Reviews

What is a Systematic Review

A systematic review is a comprehensive literature search and synthesis project that tries to answer a well-defined question using existing primary research as evidence. A protocol is used to plan the systematic review methods prior to the project, including what is and is not included in the search.

A scoping review seeks to present an overview of a potentially large and diverse body of literature pertaining to a broad topic.

Systematic reviews are often used as the foundation for a meta analysis (a statistical process that combines the findings from individual studies) and to re-evaluate clinical guidelines.

Systematic reviews and meta analyses are both types of evidence synthesis methods. Read more about evidence synthesis on the Types of Reviews page of this guide.