Using rapid reviews: an example from a study conducted to inform policy‐making
Abstract Aim A discussion of the potential use of rapid review approaches in nursing and midwifery research which presents a worked example from a study conducted to inform policy decision‐making. Background Rapid reviews, which can be defined as outputs of a knowledge synthesis approach that involves modifying or omitting elements of a systematic review process due to limited time or resources, are becoming increasingly popular in health research. This paper provides guidance on how a rapid review can be undertaken and discusses the strengths and challenges of the approach. Design Data from a rapid review of the literature undertaken in 2015 is used as a worked example to highlight one method of undertaking a rapid review. Implications for nursing Seeking evidence to inform health policy‐making or evidence based practice is a process that can be limited by time constraints, making it difficult to conduct comprehensive systematic reviews. Rapid reviews provide a solution as they are a systematic method of synthesizing evidence quickly. Conclusions There is no single best way to conduct a rapid review but researchers can ensure they are adhering to best practice by being systematic, having subject and methodological expertise on the review team, reporting the details of the approach they took, highlighting the limitations of the approach, engaging in good evidence synthesis and communicating regularly with end users, other team members and experts.
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