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SCOPING REVIEWS

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SCOPING REVIEWS

Scoping reviews are conducted to map the depth and breadth of a topic based on diverse literature sources (i.e., not limited to peer-reviewed literature). Scoping reviews are well-suited as an exploratory methodology (e.g., to identify concepts or definitions of a topic; uncover types of evidence and/or gaps about a topic) that can be used as a starting point for other empirical inquiries.

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STRENGTHS + WEAKNESSES

Scoping Reviews

Strengths

  • Produces a synthesis of an existing and evolving body of literature

  • Identify gaps in the literature 

  • Identify areas for future empirical work

  • Well-suited to the exploratory research questions 

  • Include grey literature such as dissertations, papers in practice journals, editorials, position statements, and websites

  • Provide an opportunity for stakeholder consultation, such as with practitioners, students, and educators

  • Multiple methodological frameworks have evolved from and expanded upon Arksey and O'Malley's seminal paper on scoping reviews

Weaknesses

  • Selecting terms for a comprehensive search strategy, especially when the literature is emerging and less well-known

  • Some topics are ill-defined, which can lead to different terms and definitions for the same topic

  • Resource intensive

  • Heterogeneity of the data and team members' differing perspectives will likely require reflection and discussion to allow for collaborative decision-making and to produce meaningful results

  • Possible misconceptions related to the purpose, scope, and rigor of scoping reviews

SCOPING REVIEWS:

Supporting Documents to Download

SCOPING REVIEWS:
6-Steps Downloadable How-To Guide

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

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

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

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ALIKI THOMAS, PhD, OT(C), erg

Aliki Thomas is Associate Professor at School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and associate member  at the Institute of Health Sciences Education, , Faculty of Medicine and health Sciences, McGill University. Dr. Thomas' research is on health professions education and knowledge translation. She is interested in the development and assessment of advanced clinical competencies including evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, decision-making and the development of professional expertise

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SUSANNE MAK, MSc, OT(c), erg.

Susanne Mak is an Occupational Therapist, an Assistant Professor (professional), Associate Director of the Occupational Therapy program (School of Physical and Occupational Therapy), and an Associate Member of the Institute of Health Sciences Education. She earned both her BSc. Occupational Therapy and MSc. in Rehabilitation Sciences from McGill. She is currently a PhD candidate in Rehabilitation Sciences (McGill) investigating the phenomena of attrition and retention in the rehabilitation professions.

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