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NARRATIVE REVIEWS

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NARRATIVE REVIEWS

Narrative reviews are an umbrella term for a collection of reviews that offer the opportunity to undertake an extensive description and interpretation of previously published literature. Narrative reviews are flexible yet rigorous and have five elements that are consistent across most sub-types. Reflexivity is an important component of narrative reviews, which provides readers with clear insight into how the researcher's perspectives and experiences informed interpretation.

Not sure this is the right review type to answer your research question(s)?

Click Types of Reviews to help you decide.

Collaborating at Work

STRENGTHS + WEAKNESSES

Narrative Reviews

Strengths

  • Flexible yet rigorous approach for knowledge synthesis, which is useful to many educators and researchers

  • Helpful for teaching or learning about a topic because they deliver a general overview

  • Useful for setting the stage for future research, as they offer an interpretation of the literature, note gaps, and critique research to date

Weaknesses

  • Are not often reproducible related to the influence of the authors and setting on screening, sampling, and analysis

  • Do not include an exhaustive search of all possible evidence on a given topic

  • They are selective, which may make them harder to critically appraise against strict criteria. Researchers can address this potential shortcoming by being thoughtful, purposive, and transparent about the choices they make throughout the review process, as well as being explicit in their justifications for these choices

NARRATIVE REVIEWS:

Supporting Documents to Download

NARRATIVE REVIEWS:
5-Steps Downloadable How-To Guide

NARRATIVE REVIEWS:
Theoretical Foundations
(Journal of Graduate Medical Education Publication)

NARRATIVE REVIEWS:
How-To Guide
(Journal of Graduate Medical Education Publication)

Author Spotlight

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JAVEED SUKHERA, MD PhD

Javeed Sukhera, MD PhD, is the Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute of Living and Chief of Psychiatry at Hartford Hospital in Hartford Connecticut where he has (pending) academic affiliations with Yale University and the University of Connecticut. He is an MD/PhD Scientist in Health Professions Education and researches novel approaches to addressing stigma and bias in healthcare.

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