What is a rapid review?

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.

Rapid reviews

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.