Evidence synthesis is a type of secondary research created for use in evidence-based practice, specifically when primary research studies and grey literature are combined to create a synthesis of evidence.
According to the Royal Society, "‘evidence synthesis’ refers to the process of bringing together information from a range of sources and disciplines to inform debates and decisions on specific issues. Decision-making and public debate are best served if policymakers have access to the best current evidence on an issue. An accurate, concise and unbiased synthesis of the evidence is therefore one of the most valuable contributions the research community can offer policymakers."
This type of synthesis goes beyond a traditional literature review, advocating for strong methods and unbiased information gathering, to ensure that all available scholarly research is included.
The following are some examples of evidence syntheses:
For further reading:
Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91-108. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x
Temple University Libraries. (2020, Aug 5). Systematic reviews & other review types. https://guides.temple.edu/c.php?g=78618&p=3879604
Cornell University Library. (2020, Aug 6). Types of evidence synthesis. https://guides.library.cornell.edu/evidence-synthesis/types
Cornell University Library. (n.d.). What type of review is right for you? https://guides.library.cornell.edu/ld.php?content_id=52561085
Sutton, A., Clowes, M., Preston, L., & Booth, A. (2019). Meeting the review family: Exploring review types and associated information retrieval requirements. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 36(3), 202-222. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12276
Loong, D., Bonato, S., Barnsley, J., & Dewa, C. S. (2019). The effectiveness of mental health courts in reducing recidivism and police contact: A systematic review. Community Mental Health Journal, 55, 1073-1098. doi: 10.1007/s10597-019-00421-9
Brack, P., & Shields, N. (2019). Short duration clinically-based interprofessional shadowing and patient review activities may have a role in preparing health professional students to practice collaboratively: A systematic literature review. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 33(5), 446-455. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2018.1543256
Loomis, A. M., Feely, M., & Kennedy, S. (2020). Measuring self-reported polyvictimization in foster youth research: A systematic review. Child Abuse & Neglect, 107, 104588. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104588
Xie, Q.-W., Dai, X., Tang, X., Chan, C. H.-Y., & Chan, C. L. W. (2019). Risk of mental disorders in children and adolescents with atopic dermatitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01773
Gonzalex, F. R., Benuto, L. T., & Casas, J. B. (2018). Prevalence of interpersonal violence among Latinas: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1524838018806507
Guo, M., & Stensland, M. (2018). A systematic review of correlates of depression among older Chinese and Korean immigrants: What we know and do not know. Aging & Mental Health, 22(12), 1535-1547. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1383971
Olcoń, K., Gilbert, D. J., & Pulliam, R. M. (2020). Teaching about racial and ethnic diversity in social work education: A systematic review. Journal of Social Work Education, 56(2), 215-237. doi: 10.1080/10437797.2019.1656578
Somogyi, B. K., Barker, M., MacLean, C., & Grischkan, P. (2015). Inuit elderly: A systematic review of peer reviewed journal articles. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 58(5), 484-502. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2015.1032469
Sumalinog, R., Harrington, K., Dosani, N., & Hwang, S. W. (2017). Advance care planning, palliative care, and end-of-life care interventions for homeless people: A systematic review. Palliative Medicine, 31(2), 109-119. doi: 10.1177/0269216316649334
Rumping, S., Boendermaker, L., & de Ruyter, D. J. (2019). Stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration among youth social workers: A scoping review. Health & Social Care, 27(2), 293-305. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12589
Campbell, J., Theodoros, D., Hartley, N., Russell, T., & Gillespie, N. (2019). Implementation factors are neglected in research investigating telehealth delivery of allied health services to rural children: A scoping review. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1357633X19856472
Fernando, T., & Bennett, B. (2019). Creating a culturally safe space when teaching Aboriginal content in social work: A scoping review. Australian Social Work, 72(1), 47-61. doi: 10.1080/0312407X.2018.1518467
Langevin, R., Marshall, C., & Kinsland, E. (2019). Intergenerational cycles of maltreatment: A scoping review of psychosocial risk and protective factors. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1524838019870917
Villarreal-Otálora, T., Jennings, P., & Mowbray, O. (2019). Clinical interventions to reduce suicidal behaviors in Hispanic adolescents: A scoping review. Research on Social Work Practice, 29(8), 924-938. doi: 10.1177/1049731519832100
Wirth, T., Mette, J., Prill, J., Harth, V., & Nienhaus, A. (2019). Working conditions, mental health and coping of staff in social work with refugees and homeless individuals: A scoping review. Health & Social Care, 27(4), e257-e269. 10.1111/hsc.12730
Cassidy, A., & Weng Cheong Poon, A. (2019). A scoping review of family-based interventions in drug and alcohol services: Implications for social work practice. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 19(4), 345-367. doi: 10.1080/1533256X.2019.1659068
Chan, C. (2016). A scoping review of social media use in social work practice. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(3), 263-276. doi: 10.1080/23761407.2015.1052908
Mantell, A., Simpson, G. K., Vungkhanching, M., Jones, K. F., Strandberg, T., & Simonson, P. (2018). Social work-generated evidence in traumatic brain injury from 1975-2014: A systematic scoping review. Health & Social Care, 26(4), 433-448. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12476
Wittenberg, Y., Kwekkeboom, R., Staaks, J., Verhoeff, A., & de Boer, A. (2018). Informal caregivers' views on the division of responsibilities between themselves and professionals: A scoping review. Health & Social Care, 26(4), e460-473. 10.1111/hsc.12529
Sethi, B. (2016). Health experiences of immigrant visible minority women: A literature review. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(6), 523-534. https://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2015.1089205
Burgess, D., & Shier, M. L. (2018). Food insecurity and social work: A comprehensive literature review. International Social Work, 61(6), 826-842. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872816672519
Lee, M. Y., Wang, X., Liu, C., Raheim, S., & Tebb, S. (2018). Outcome literature review of integrative body-mind-spirit practices for mental health conditions. Social Work Research, 42(3), 251-266. doi: 10.1093/swr/svy018
It is common to see an evidence synthesis be pre-registered with a protocol. For the purposes of this assignment, this is not required - the following is only a quick overview.
Locations to Pre-Register a Protocol:
Why Pre-Register a Protocol?
Protocol Reporting Guidelines