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Systematic Reviews: Scoping Reviews

A Guide to Conducting Systematic Reviews

Scoping Review Documents

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., … Straus, S. E. (2018). PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and Explanation. Annals of Internal Medicine, 169(7), 467–473.

What is a Scoping Review?

A scoping review attempts to synthesize ALL of the evidence on a topic and assess the scope of literature avilable. 

"Researchers may conduct scoping reviews instead of systematic reviews where the purpose of the review is to identify knowledge gaps, scope a body of literature, clarify concepts or to investigate research conduct. While useful in their own right, scoping reviews may also be helpful precursors to systematic reviews and can be used to confirm the relevance of inclusion criteria and potential questions."

Munn, Z., Peters, M. D. J., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 18(1), 143.

  • To identify the types of available evidence in a given field

  • To clarify key concepts/ definitions in the literature

  • To examine how research is conducted on a certain topic or field

  • To identify key characteristics or factors related to a concept

  • As a precursor to a systematic review

  • To identify and analyse knowledge gaps

Examples of Scoping Reviews

PRISMA for Scoping Reviews

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