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Undertaking a scoping review: a practical guide for nursing and midwifery students, clinicians, researchers, and academics.

Pollock, Danielle; Davies, Ellen L.; Peters, Micah D.J.; Tricco, Andrea C.; Alexander, Lyndsay; McInerney, Patricia; Godfrey, Christina M.; Khalil, Hanan; Munn, Zachary


Danielle Pollock

Ellen L. Davies

Micah D.J. Peters

Andrea C. Tricco

Patricia McInerney

Christina M. Godfrey

Hanan Khalil

Zachary Munn


Aim: The aim of this study is to discuss the available methodological resources and best-practice guidelines for the development and completion of scoping reviews relevant to nursing and midwifery policy, practice, and research. Design: Discussion Paper. Data Sources: Scoping reviews that exemplify best practice are explored with reference to the recently updated JBI scoping review guide (2020) and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Scoping Review extension (PRISMA-ScR). Implications for nursing and midwifery: Scoping reviews are an increasingly common form of evidence synthesis. They are used to address broad research questions and to map evidence from a variety of sources. Scoping reviews are a useful form of evidence synthesis for those in nursing and midwifery and present opportunities for researchers to review a broad array of evidence and resources. However, scoping reviews still need to be conducted with rigour and transparency. Conclusion: This study provides guidance and advice for researchers and clinicians who are preparing to undertake an evidence synthesis and are considering a scoping review methodology in the field of nursing and midwifery. Impact: With the increasing popularity of scoping reviews, criticism of the rigour, transparency, and appropriateness of the methodology have been raised across multiple academic and clinical disciplines, including nursing and midwifery. This discussion paper provides a unique contribution by discussing each component of a scoping review, including: developing research questions and objectives; protocol development; developing eligibility criteria and the planned search approach; searching and selecting the evidence; extracting and analysing evidence; presenting results; and summarizing the evidence specifically for the fields of nursing and midwifery. Considerations for when to select this methodology and how to prepare a review for publication are also discussed. This approach is applied to the disciplines of nursing and midwifery to assist nursing and/or midwifery students, clinicians, researchers, and academics.


POLLOCK, D., DAVIES, E.L., PETERS, M.D.J., TRICCO, A.C., ALEXANDER, L., MCINERNEY, P., GODFREY, C.M., KHALIL, H. and MUNN, Z. 2021. Undertaking a scoping review: a practical guide for nursing and midwifery students, clinicians, researchers, and academics. Journal of advanced nursing [online], 77(4), pages 2102-2113. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 4, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 19, 2021
Journal Journal of Advanced Nursing
Print ISSN 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN 1365-2648
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 77
Issue 4
Pages 2102-2113
Keywords Evidence synthesis; Methodology; Midwifery; Nursing; PRISMA-ScR; Reporting; Scoping review
Public URL


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