Scoping Meta-Review: Introducing a New Methodology

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Clinical and Translational Science, 2015, 8 (1), pp. 77 - 81
Issue Date:
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© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. For researchers, policymakers, and practitioners facing a new field, undertaking a systematic review can typically present a challenge due to the enormous number of relevant papers. A scoping review is a method suggested for addressing this dilemma; however, scoping reviews present their own challenges. This paper introduces the "scoping meta-review" (SMR) for expanding current methodologies and is based on our experiences in mapping the field of consumer engagement in healthcare. During this process, we developed the novel SMR method. An SMR combines aspects of a scoping review and a meta-review to establish an evidence-based map of a field. Similar to a scoping review, an SMR offers a practical and flexible methodology. However, unlike in a traditional scoping review, only systematic reviews are included. Stages of the SMR include: undertaking a preliminary nonsystematic review; building a search strategy; interrogating academic literature databases; classifying and excluding studies based on titles and abstracts; saving the refined database of references; revising the search strategy; selecting and reviewing the full text papers; and thematically analyzing the selected texts and writing the report. The main benefit of an SMR is to map a new field based on high-level evidence provided by systematic reviews.
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