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Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2015 Sep;13(3):141-6. doi: 10.1097/XEB.0000000000000050.

Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews.

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1The Joanna Briggs Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 2Queen's Joanna Briggs Collaboration, Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, Canada 3Monash University, School of Rural Health, The Centre for Chronic Diseases Management, Victoria, Australia 4The Wits-JBI Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 5Australian Centre for Evidence Based Community Care, The University of Queensland, Toowong, Queensland, Australia 6The Brazilian Centre for Evidence-based Healthcare, School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Reviews of primary research are becoming more common as evidence-based practice gains recognition as the benchmark for care, and the number of, and access to, primary research sources has grown. One of the newer review types is the 'scoping review'. In general, scoping reviews are commonly used for 'reconnaissance' - to clarify working definitions and conceptual boundaries of a topic or field. Scoping reviews are therefore particularly useful when a body of literature has not yet been comprehensively reviewed, or exhibits a complex or heterogeneous nature not amenable to a more precise systematic review of the evidence. While scoping reviews may be conducted to determine the value and probable scope of a full systematic review, they may also be undertaken as exercises in and of themselves to summarize and disseminate research findings, to identify research gaps, and to make recommendations for the future research. This article briefly introduces the reader to scoping reviews, how they are different to systematic reviews, and why they might be conducted. The methodology and guidance for the conduct of systematic scoping reviews outlined below was developed by members of the Joanna Briggs Institute and members of five Joanna Briggs Collaborating Centres.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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