Other types of review

YHEC offers a range of other types of review, as shown below


Rapid Review

 What is a rapid review?

A rapid review aims to provide a detailed description and synthesis of a body of literature, whilst making concessions to the breadth and depth of the standard systematic review process, in order to accommodate a shorter time frame or limited budget.

Rapid reviews adopt a range of strategies to reduce the time required for completion including:

  • A brief protocol
  • A simplified and pragmatic search strategy
    • Emphasising precision as well as sensitivity
    • Using date and language limits if necessary
    • Other techniques to introduce a focused search
  • Limited search resources – i.e. 1 or 2 key databases
  • Single reviewer screening and data extracting with a sample checked by a second reviewer
  • Omitting risk of bias assessment (if necessary)
  • Focused data extraction of key data elements
  • High level reporting of results and less detailed descriptions of eligible studies


When do you need a rapid review?

Rapid reviews are gaining in popularity due to time constraints particularly if there are no regulatory requirements for a systematic review.

Rapid reviews can be particularly useful:

  • During the discovery and product development phases and also as stand alone pieces of research
  • When working to a limited budget and time frame

Scoping review

 What is a scoping review?

A scoping review is a form of synthesis that addresses a broad or exploratory research question.  A scoping review can be useful when a research area is very wide and an overall feel for the size and features of the available literature is required before a specific focused research objective can be formed.

The scope of this type of review is generally quite broad and consequently has less restrictive eligibility criteria.  The search approach is generally extensive, as with a systematic review, but some aspects of the search can be adapted in a similar way to a rapid review.

When do you need a scoping review?

  • Scoping reviews are often useful in the discovery and early stage development of the product lifecycle
  • They are useful when the goal is to categorise or map the evidence base rather than answer a specific question

Burden of Illness Review

 What is a burden of illness review?

A burden of illness (BOI) review seeks to identify literature reporting on the burden of a particular condition, often with a specific geographic focus. “Burden” can encompass one or more of the following:

  • Disease incidence and prevalence
  • Morbidity and mortality data
  • Impact of the condition on health-related quality of life (HRQoL)
  • Data on lost productivity and absenteeism arising from the condition
  • Data on the frequency of clinical events such as exacerbations and severe symptoms
  • Data on monetary costs to society

Dependent on the condition of interest, the volume of literature available for burden of illness reviews can be substantial. Given the volume of literature and the number of questions which may be being answered, conducting a systematic review for burden of illness is likely to be expensive and time consuming. As a result, methods used to conduct a burden of illness review tend to be similar to those for rapid reviews. They typically seek to be transparent, replicable and reasonably extensive in terms of searches, but to be pragmatic in terms of one or more of the following elements;

  • Record selection
  • Data extraction
  • Risk of bias assessment
  • Synthesis

When do you need a burden of illness review?
Burden of illness reviews can be helpful when:

  • Exploring a new clinical area
  • Writing a global value dossier (GVD)
  • Establishing the clinical need for an intervention or approach
  • Identifying research gaps

 Review of reviews

 What is a review of reviews?

If there are already multiple systematic reviews conducted in your area of interest, you can make use of research that has already been conducted.  A review of reviews is a method for collating evidence from multiple systematic reviews.

 When do you need a review of reviews?

  • When the volume of primary literature is large and there are already existing reviews assessing the intervention or condition of interest
  • When you want to evaluate different interventions for a particular condition or problem and each intervention has been explored in separate reviews


Contact us today if you would like to enquire about this service