This blog focuses on scoping reviews, an approach to reviewing the literature in a particular topic. This blog presents a description of scoping reviews, purposes, differences between scoping reviews and systematic reviews, available frameworks for scoping reviews, and examples of some scoping reviews in the field of pain management.
There are more than 10 different types of reviews (The Joanna Briggs Institute, 2015). Examples are: scoping review, systematic review; meta-analysis; rapid review; traditional literature review; narrative review; research synthesis; integrative review; and structured review (Arksey and O’Malley, 2005). The consistency of definitions between these different kinds of reviews is unclear. Scoping review is relatively new methodology (Peters, Godfrey, Khalil, McInerney, Parkere and Soares, 2015). It has no distinctive definition or methodology (Peters et al., 2015). It has been utilized to map an existing literature in a particular field (it is called a mapping review) (Arksey and O’Malley, 2005; Peters et al., 2015). It can provide a useful approach to collect and organize background information and develop a picture of an existing literature on a particular topic (Arksey and O’Malley, 2005; Armstrong, Hall, Doyle, and Waters, 2011).
Uses of Scoping Review
Scoping reviews can be used to: (1) investigate the nature, extent, methodology and range of a research in a field of interest; (2) determine the feasibility of conducting a full systematic review; (3) categorize, summarize, and disseminate research findings; (4) identify research gaps in the field of interest; and (5) make recommendations for future research (Arksey & O’Malley, 2005; Peters et al., 2015). A scoping review can be a stand-alone research project that results in a new knowledge or part of a reviewing process (Arksey and O’Malley; the Joanna Briggs Institute, 2015).
Differences between Scoping Review and Systematic Review
Systematic review can be defined as ″a review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyze and summarize the results of the included studies.″ (Moher, Libeirat, Tetzlaff, and Altman, 2009, P. 1). There are many differences between a scoping review and a systematic review: (1) a scoping review addresses a broader topic, and can includes many different study designs, whereas a systematic review focuses on a well-defined question including specific study designs that are identified beforehand (apriori), (2) a scoping review tends to answer a broader research question in the field of interest, while a systematic review tends to answer a very specific research question, and (3) regardless of the quality of the studies, a scoping review summarizes all of the literature within a defined set, whereas a systematic review assesses the quality of the studies as a basis for inclusion (Arksey and O’Malley, 2005). A scoping review could inform a systematic review (Armstrong, Hall, Doyle, and Waters, 2011). For example, an author might be interested in physical pain treatment interventions used in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A scoping review would identify and describe many interventions used in the ICU. This would help to identify a more specific research question of interest for the systematic review, based on what was already known (or not known) for each of those interventions.
Scoping Review Frameworks
Two frameworks for scoping reviews have been identified. First, Arksey and O’Malley’s Framework (2005) consists of identifying: (1) the research question, (2) relevant studies, (3) study selection, (4) charting the data, (5) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results. Second, Joanna Briggs Institute’s Framework requires developing a review protocol before conducting a scoping review. The protocol should contain: (1) title, objective, and question of the review; (2) background for the main elements of the focus; (3) inclusion and exclusion criteria in relation to the question of the review; (4) search strategy; (5) extraction of the results; and (6) presentation of the results.
Pain Management Related Research Conducted by Using Scoping Reviews Methodology
A number of scoping reviews in the field of pain have been conducted. Four examples are presented. Duffett, Choong, Hartling, Menon, Thabane and Cook (2013) identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in Paediatric Intensive Care Units. Davison, Koncicki, and Brennan (2014) used the scoping review methodology to determine the extent, range, and nature of research about pain in chronic kidney disease. Farkas, Solodiuk, Taddio, Franck, Berberich, LoChiatto, and Solodiuk (2015) conducted a scoping review about educational videos publicly available on YouTube and Google on needle pain management in children. Finally, a scoping review focussing on complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in children and adolescents by Zernikow, Wager, Brehmer, Hirschfeld and Maier (2015) summarized the findings of 36 studies about the current evidence of invasive treatments of CRPS.
Scoping review provides a useful way to map the literature in a particular field. Pain management scoping reviews have been utilized to provide a full picture on a particular pain management related topic. Such reviews can substantially contribute to the knowledge in the field, thus providing clinicians with evidence to guide care, leading to improved pain outcomes.
Arksey, H. and O'Malley, L. (2005) Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8, 19-32.
Armstrong, R., Hall, B., Doyle, J., & Waters, E. (2011). ‘Scoping the scope’ of a cochrane review. Journal of Public Health, 33, 147-150.
Davison, S. N., Koncicki, H., & Brennan, F. (2014). Pain in chronic kidney disease: A scoping review. Seminars in Dialysis, 27(2), 188-204.
Duffett M, Choong K, Hartling L, Menon K, Thabane L, & Cook DJ. (2013). Randomized controlled trials in pediatric critical care: A scoping review. Critical Care (London, England), 17(5), R256.
Farkas, C., Solodiuk, L., Taddio, A., Franck, L., Berberich, F., LoChiatto, J., & Solodiuk, J. (2015). Publicly available online educational videos regarding pediatric needle pain: A scoping review. Clin J Pain, 31(6):591-8.Doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000197.
Moher, D., Libeirat, A., Tetzlaff, J. and Altman, D. (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis: the PRISMA statement. PLOS Med, 6(7), 1-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097
Peters, M. D., Godfrey, C. M., Khalil, H., McInerney, P., Parker, D., & Soares, C. B. (2015). Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, 13(3), 141-146. doi:10.1097/XEB.0000000000000050.
The Joanna Briggs Institute. (2015). Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers’ Manual: 2015 edition / Supplement. South Australia: The Joanna Briggs Institute.
Zernikow, B., Wager, J., Brehmer, H., Hirschfeld, G., & Maier, C. (2015). Invasive treatments for complex regional pain syndrome in children and adolescents: A scoping review. Anesthesiology, 122(3), 699-707.