Asignificant increase in nursing research is being conducted as the nursing profession shifts from "ritual" clinical decisions to practice based on research evidence. Evidence-based practice is now an accepted, essential foundation for high-quality patient care. Initially, best practice was based on a few randomized, controlled trials that reflected similar clinical problems. However, with the plethora of nursing research to date, evidence-based nursing practice currently is grounded in summaries of research or research reviews, resulting in robust findings used in the development of clinical guidelines. Several terms exist for reviews, such as literature, integrative, systematic, meta-analysis, and metasynthesis. Similarities can be noted among the types of reviews; however, the objectives and goals of each method differ and the terms should not be used synonymously. This article will define each of the literature and research reviews and discuss methodologic procedures for conducting each method.
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