There are different methods to synthesize evidence depending on the type of study (randomized controlled trial, ethnography), the type of data collected (quantitative or qualitative). The follow three sections provide a list and brief summaries of evidence synthesis methods based on these criteria. The third subsection provides a listing of theoretical method typologies that can be applied to different types of synthesis.
In this page, you will find resources and information about types of studies that use evidence synthesis as a step in the review process (systematic reviews) as well as types of studies that can be used to develop an evidence synthesis (primary literature).
Synthesized literature aims to collect the evidence from multiple primary studies and synthesize the results in order to make recommendations for practice. When well done, these types of articles are often considered to be a high level of evidence. The following are common types of synthesized literature:
|Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline||
The following resources are a good place to start when looking for synthesized literature:
If you cannot locate any high-level syntheses of evidence, you can try searching the primary literature for research articles. Remember to consider what type of study is being presented and its methods when selecting primary literature. See Appraise the Evidence for more information about different study types. The following are some common study designs that you may see in the primary literature:
|Randomized Controlled Trial||
The following resources are a good place to start when looking for primary literature; however, you always want to consider your subject as well. If you are researching an inter-disciplinary topic (e.g. psychological effects of a disease, effective patient education methods), you may want to consider looking in another subject-specific database as well.