Rapid Review Tutorial

This chapter provides an example of how to conduct a rapid literature review with Synthesis.

In this tutorial we will be conducting a rapid literature review. For this example we will examine "Patient Flow". We are using the topic of Patient Flow as it is a relative easy concept to understand (i.e. the movement of patients from ward to ward in a hospital) and there are relatively only a few thousand references associated with it. We will use the PubMed bibliographical database as our main source for references.

This tutorial includes the following steps to illustrate the sequence in which a rapid literature review occurs:
  • Search PubMed: Search PubMed through the embedded interface and import the associated references. If multiple searches occur, including from different bibliographical data sources, Synthesis will automatically deduplicate these references. See Search PubMed
  • Examine the references: Once the references have been imported, the next stage is to examine the references to get an overview of the literature. This can be accomploished by examining summary statistics of the references, Word Clouds of the title and abstract, Topic Clustering, and Enhanced Charts. See Examine References
  • Project Information: It is important to define the project. This includes providing some thought towards what the main purpose of the litertaure review is. This can be captured through defining the PICO (Patient/Population/Problem; Intervention; Comparison; Outcome) model. Additionally, from a tactical presepctive keywords can be added that will be highlighted in the Title/Abstract and PDF to ease in the indentification. See Define Project Information
  • Apply Inclusion/Exclusion criteria: The Inclusion/Exclusion stage is where we select which references are important to our rapid literature review. The approach with a Synthesis review is we pull in all the references into Synthesis and then through technology and enhanced workflow we identify the references of importance for our rapid review. See Apply Criteria
  • Import PDFs: PDFs of the references can be imported indivudally at any time. However, after applying the Inclusion/Exclusion criteria to the references, PDFs can be imported automatically in bulk. See Import PDFs
  • Derive Meta Data: Data Collection/Data Extraction is an approach for summarizing the information from the references. Synthesis provides several ways to automatically extract data from the references. This includes AutoTagging references from the search filter or running pre-defined scripts to AutoTag the references. See Derive Meta Data
  • Export Data: The collated information that you have now assembled can be used in a variety of manners. Whether this includes creating a bibliography, including the references in a Cite and Write application (e.g. EndNote or RefWorks), or exporting the references/data as a CSV for secondary analysis. See Export Data
  • Disseminate Results: The final stage of any literature review is to disseminate the results. The following are some approaches for seeing this happen, including some Research & Development activities (i.e. prototypes) that Synthesis Research Inc is working on. See Disseminate Results