An integrative review is a specific review method that summarises past empirical or theoretical literature to provide a greater comprehensive understanding of a particular phenomenon or healthcare problem (Broome 1993). Thus, integrative reviews have the potential to build upon nursing science, informing research, practice, and policy initiatives.
An integrative review method is an approach that allows for the inclusion of diverse methodologies (i.e. experimental and non-experimental research) and has the potential to play a greater role in evidence-based practice for nursing (Whittemore et al., 2005).
A research scope focused more broadly at a phenomenon of interest rather than a systematic review and allows for diverse research, which may contain theoretical and methodological literature to address the aim of the review
Supporting a wide range of inquiry, such as defining concepts, reviewing theories, or analyzing methodological issues
Examining the complexity of nursing practice more broadly by using diverse data sources
A review method that summarises past empirical or theoretical literature to provide a more comprehensive understanding of a particular phenomenon or healthcare problem
An integrative review is best designed for nursing practice
The problem must be clearly defined
The aim of the review is to analyze experimental and non-experimental research simultaneously in order to:
Review evidence/point out gaps in the literature
Analyze methodological issues
Best designed for nursing research
Evidence produced from well-conducted integrative reviews contributes to nursing knowledge by clarifying phenomena, which in turn informs nursing practice and clinical practice guidelines
The combination and complexity of incorporating diverse methodologies can contribute to a lack of rigour, inaccuracy, and bias
Methods of analysis, synthesis, and conclusion-drawing remain poorly formulated
Combining empirical and theoretical reports can be difficult
There is no current guidance on reporting
The following resources are considered to be the best guidance for conduct in the field of integrative reviews.
METHODS & GUIDANCE
Hopia, H., Latvala, E., & Liimatainen, L. (2016). Reviewing the methodology of an integrative review. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 30(4), 662–669. https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.12327
Russell C. L. (2005). An overview of the integrative research review. Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 15(1), 8–13
Toronto, & Remington, R. (2020). A Step-By-Step Guide to Conducting an Integrative Review (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing AG.
Whittemore, R., & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: updated methodology. Journal of advanced nursing, 52(5), 546–553. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03621.x
There is currently no reporting guideline for integrative reviews.
Gerstein Science Information Centre
9 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A5
About web accessibility. Tell us about a web accessibility problem.
About online privacy and data collection.
© University of Toronto. All rights reserved.