What type of research design is a literature review

Meta-analysis is a form of systematic review. It combines the findings of multiple scientific studies and statistically analyzes them. This method is based on a premise that similar studies will have a common truth, but that individual studies have a degree of error.

Qualitative researchers TEND to:

Therefore, by combining the studies and applying statistic methods, you reach a higher statistical power than you would with a single study. For this type of analysis, studies that fit the research question are identified. The studies in a meta-analysis are usually quantitative in design, with a preference for randomized-controlled trials. It is important that the studies in a meta-analysis are very similar in their topic, hypothesis and design, so they can be aptly compared.

Systematic Reviews in the Health Sciences

Once determined the identified studies are synthesized, codified and entered into a quantitative database for statistical analysis. The result of the meta-analysis can, for instance, tell us about the efficacy of a certain approach or treatment.

Cochrane is considered the gold standard for meta-analysis. It is probably the most distinguished source of research that relates to medical sciences and can help practitioners make evidence-based decisions.

This type of literature review potentially provides the best evidence in the hierarchy of reviews. A note for those looking to publish: editors often lean towards accepting a meta-analysis article, as it will likely yield more citations for their journal for more details on this subject, see the article on impact factor. Integrative Review might be the least known form of literature review at least is seems to not be mentioned as often as others.

However, some consider it to be one of the most comprehensive methodological approach of reviews. It includes experimental and non-experimental studies, as well as data from theoretical literature hence the name integrative or inclusive.


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It can be used to define concepts, analyze problems and review theories. Review: extensive; may significantly influence a particular study. Setting: controlled to the degree possible. Measurement: standardized, numberical; "at the end".

Doing a literature review — University of Leicester

Design and Method: Strongly structured, specified in detail in advance; involves intervention, manipulation and control groups; descriptive, correlational, experimental. Data Collection: via instruments, surveys, experiments, semi-structured formal interviews, tests or questionnaires. Data Analysis: raw data is numbers; at end of study, usually statistical. Data Interpretation: formulated at end of study; stated as a degree of certainty. This page on qualitative and quantitative research has been adapted and expanded from a handout by Suzy Westenkirchner.

Used with permission. Literature Reviews A brief guide for various disciplines, including social work, other social sciences, human environmental sciences, and related disciplines.

Steps in a systematic review

Getting Started Finding articles Primary sources? What is an Integrative Review? What is an Overview of Reviews? What is a Review of Complex Interventions? What is a Diagnostic Test Accuracy Review? What is a Network Meta-Analysis? What is a Living Systematic Review? Sample Integrative Review 1 Depression and suicide risk among Nursing professionals: an integrative review.

Volume: Issue: 6. Page: Luckett, Tim. American journal of kidney diseases.

Systematic Reviews: the process: Types of Reviews

Issue: 5. Limitations of an Integrative Review The combination and complexity of incorporating diverse methodologies can contribute to lack of rigor, inaccuracy, and bias. Methods of analysis, synthesis, and conclusion-drawing remain poorly formulated.

Issues related to combining empirical and theoretical reports. Report a problem.