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Levy Library Research Synthesis and Systematic Review Services: Integrative Reviews

Books on Integrative Reviews


What Is an Integrative Review?

Integrative reviews summarize literature about a healthcare problem or phenomenon, potentially utilizing both empirical and theoretical literature. These are particularly popular in nursing research literature.

Integrative reviews are useful for:

  • Defining complex concepts
  • Reviewing theories of evidence
  • Analyzing methodological issues

Limitations of integrative reviews include:

  • That combining several different methodologies and study designs may lead to problems with accuracy, bias, or rigor
  • That methodology for certain sections of an integrative review are still not well-defined


  1. Grant MJ, Booth A. A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health information & libraries journal. 2009 Jun;26(2):91-108.
  2. Whittemore R, Knafl K. The integrative review: updated methodology. Journal of advanced nursing. 2005 Dec;52(5):546-53.

PRISMA Guidelines

Although many aspects of PRISMA are intended for systematic reviews, many researchers embarking upon integrative reviews use PRISMA as a guide. In addition, many of the other extensions can be useful for these types of reviews, modifying when necessary.