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 Review Typology to help you decide.

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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 GUIDE

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NARRATIVE REVIEWS:
THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS
(JGME PUBLICATION)

NARRATIVE REVIEWS:
HOW-TO GUIDE
(JGME PUBLICATION)

Business Plan

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Narrative Reviews

 
Navigating in Woods

HOW-TO/REPORTING GUIDES

Green BN, Johnson CD, Adams A. Writing narrative literature reviews for peer-reviewed journals: secrets of the trade. J Chiropr Med. 2006;5(3):101-117. doi:10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60142-6


Gregory AT, Denniss AR. An introduction to writing narrative and systematic reviews—tasks, tips and traps for aspiring authors. Heart Lung Circ. 2018;27(7):893-898. doi:10.1016/j.hlc.2018.03.027


Murphy CM. Writing an effective review article. J Med Toxicol. 2012;8(2):89-90. doi:10.1007/s13181-012-0234-2

Doctor's Desk

MEDED SPECIFIC GUIDES

Ferrari R. Writing narrative style literature reviews. Med Writing. 2015;24(4):230-235. doi:10.1179/2047480615Z.000000000329

Book of Laws

EXAMPLES OF NARRATIVE REVIEWS

Coming Soon

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

 

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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