Skip to main content

Preparing for a Comprehensive Literature Review

Review Examples

The accepted guidelines for comprehensive reviews is PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses).  While the guidelines were developed for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the guidelines have been frequently adapted by authors of other types of reviews, e.g. scoping reviews, integrative reviews.  Following PRISMA guidelines and including a PRISMA Flow Diagram in a manuscript will increase the chances of the review being published.   Likewise, indicating that your team will be following PRISMA guidelines will strengthen any proposals you make to granting agencies.  

The PRISMA Checklist provides a list of elements that should be included in the review manuscript.  The PRISMA Flow Diagram provides a standard means of illustrating the review process.

Below are examples of different reviews.  These examples were selected as being examples of reviews that conform to the standard formats for the review types they represent.

Systematic Review

Müller, C., Lautenschläger, S., Meyer, G., & Stephan, A. (2017). Interventions to support people with dementia and their caregivers during the transition from home care to nursing home care: A systematic review. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 71139-152. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.03.013

Additional examples of systematic reviews can be found in the Cochrane Library and the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.

Scoping Review

Olson, K., Hewit, J., Slater, L.G., Chambers, T., Hicks, D., Farmer, A., & ... Kolb, B. (2016). Assessing cognitive function in adults during or following chemotherapy: A scoping review. Supportive Care In Cancer, 24(7), 3223-3234. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3215-1

Hyshka, E., Karekezi, K., Tan, B., Slater, L. G., Jahrig, J., & Wild, T. C. (2017). The role of consumer perspectives in estimating population need for substance use services: a scoping review. BMC Health Services Research, 171-14. doi:10.1186/s12913-017-2153-z

Integrative/Mixed Method Review
Tobiano, G., Marshall, A., Bucknall, T., & Chaboyer, W. (2015). Review: Patient participation in nursing care on medical wards: An integrative review. International Journal Of Nursing Studies, 521107-1120. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.02.010
Wood, B., Van Katwyk, S. R., El-Khatib, Z., McFaul, S., Taljaard, M., Wright, E., & ... Little, J. (2016). Eliciting women's cervical screening preferences: a mixed methods systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews5(1), 136. doi:10.1186/s13643-016-0310-9
Qualitative Systematic Review/Meta-Synthesis

Lee, H., Tamminen, K. A., Clark, A. M., Slater, L., Spence, J. C., & Holt, N. L. (2015). A meta-study of qualitative research examining determinants of children's independent active free play. International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity, 121-12. doi:10.1186/s12966-015-0165-9