The demand for rapid reviews has exploded in recent years. A rapid review is an approach to evidence synthesis that provides timely information to decision-makers (eg, health care planners, providers, policymakers, and patients) by simplifying the evidence synthesis process. A rapid review is particularly appealing for urgent decisions.
JBI is a world-renowned international collaboration for evidence synthesis and implementation methodologies. The principles for JBI evidence synthesis include comprehensiveness, rigor, transparency, and a focus on applicability to clinical practice. As such, JBI has not yet endorsed a specific approach for rapid reviews.
In this paper, we compare rapid reviews versus other types of evidence synthesis, provide a range of rapid evidence products, outline how to appraise the quality of rapid reviews, and present the JBI position on rapid reviews. JBI-affiliated Centers conduct rapid reviews for decision-makers in specific circumstances, such as limited time or funding constraints. A standardized approach is not used for these cases; instead, the evidence synthesis methods are tailored to the needs of the decision-maker.
The urgent need to deliver timely evidence to decision-makers poses challenges to JBI’s mission to produce high quality, trustworthy evidence. However, JBI recognizes the value of rapid reviews as part of the evidence synthesis ecosystem. As such, it is recommended that rapid reviews be conducted with the same methodological rigor and transparency expected of JBI reviews. Most importantly, transparency is essential, and the rapid review should clearly report where any simplification in the steps of the evidence synthesis process have been taken.
Correspondence: Andrea C. Tricco, Andrea.Tricco@unityhealth.to
CG and ACT are co-directors of a JBI Collaborating Centre, but have no conflicts of interest to declare. ACT is on the editorial board of JBI Evidence Synthesis. ZM, DP, TB, AM, and EA are employed by JBI, an evidence-based healthcare research and development organization situated within The University of Adelaide. EA is the editor-in-chief of JBI Evidence Synthesis. The other authors declare no conflict of interest.
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