Systematic reviews are the gold standard of evidence synthesis, but as we mentioned, they are expensive and can take years to complete. What happens when decision-makers are faced with important questions and can’t wait for, or don’t have the resources for, a systematic review?
Is an accelerated and imperfect review better than using no evidence at all? That’s where rapid reviews come in.
Put simply, rapid reviews follow the basic structure of a systematic review, but take shortcuts along the way to speed up the process. They usually take about 1-4 months to complete (although this can vary), which makes them more appealing to decision-makers.