These three articles outline different approaches to typology and methodology for answering different types of clinical and non-clinical questions.
A systematic review uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research and to collect and analyze data from included studies. It traditionally brings together evidence from the quantitative literature to answer questions on the effectiveness of a specific intervention for a particular condition.
An integrative review critiques and synthesizes the literature on a topic in an integrated way to generate new frameworks or perspectives on the topic. It allows for the inclusion of several study designs (e.g. experimental/nonexperimental, theoretical studies/empirical literature). It is also known as a “comprehensive review” or a “critical overview.”
A scoping review maps the body of literature on a topic (often a broad topic) and identifies key concepts and research gaps. It may include data from any type of evidence and research methodology. It can be used as a standalone project or as a preliminary step to a systematic review.
Tricco, A.C., Lillie, E., Zarin, W., O'Brien, K.K., Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., Moher, D., Peters, M.D.J., Horsley, T., Weeks, L., Hempel, S., Akl, E.A., Chang, C., McGowan, J., Stewart, L., Hartling, L., Aldcroft, A., Wilson, M.G., Garritty, C., Lewin, S., Godfrey, C.M., Macdonald, M.T., Langlois, E.V., Soares-Weiser, K., Moriarty, J., Clifford, T., Tunçalp Ö., Straus, S.E. (2018). PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation. Annals of internal medicine, 169(7), 467-473. Link in Annals of Internal Medicine, Link in Equator
A rapid review provides a rapid synthesis of knowledge about a policy or clinical practice issue and attempts to inform an evidence-based decision as soon as possible. It follows all of the stages of a systematic knowledge synthesis but may modify a stage to shorten the timescale.
A realist review looks to identify and explain social interventions or programs and the interactions between context, mechanisms, and outcomes for policy makers. It seeks to answer the question, “What works, for whom, in what circumstances?” It embraces multiple methods (both qualitative and quantitative).
An overview of reviews, or umbrella review, summarizes the evidence from multiple research syntheses into one accessible and usable document. It is based on high-quality, reliable systematic reviews on a specific health problem or topic, and it explores the consistency of findings across reviews