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Table 2 Arksey and O’Malley SLR framework

From: Advancing methodology for scoping reviews: recommendations arising from a scoping literature review (SLR) to inform transformation of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Authors Aims Steps
Arksey, O’Malley (2005) [15] ▪ To map the extent, range and nature of research activities undertaken in a field of interest.
▪ To establish the need for, and a potential cost of conducting a full systematic review.
▪ To identify research gaps.
▪ To synthesis and disseminate research results.
(1) Identify research questions. The authors recommend to maintain a wide approach and initially avoid defining parameters clearly (e.g. type of intervention, population etc.) to ensure of coverage.
(2) Identify relevant studies. It is recommended that researchers focus on comprehensiveness and breadth when making a decision about which search term to use, and what sources of evidence to search.
(3) Studies selection. Unlike in systematic review, in SLR inclusion and exclusion criteria are not predefined but developed post hoc as researchers familiarise themselves with available evidence.
(4) Chart the data. The authors recommend using ‘narrative review’ or ‘descriptive analytical method’ to sort evidence according to key issues and themes that are of particular interest, as defined by research questions and purpose of the SLR.
(5) Collate, summarise and report the results. The authors suggest applying analytic framework or thematic construction to present an overview of available evidence (numerical analysis), but argue that SLR, unlike systematic review, is not meant to aggregate and synthesis findings.