identify, evaluate, and summarize the findings of quality, relevant, and individual studies on a topic systematically, thereby relieving the end user of this time-consuming task.

Introduction

you were required to write a research proposal for a scoping review based on any public health issue of your choice. This week, we will focus on the essentials of the research protocol to help you refine your theme for the project dissertation. One of the major differences between scoping review and a traditional literature review is that the scoping review is guided by a protocol / proposal. The protocol serves as a blueprint to clearly and succinctly describe how the review is done, why it is important that the review be done, what methods will be used to conduct the review, and how the findings of the review might be used. The essential elements of the proposal include: The review question; specific inclusion and exclusion criteria; the search strategy, including the databases to be searched; methods for assessing bias; and methods for combining the data. Failure to construct a detailed plan may bias the review making the results less valuable to decision makers hence the need to review your research proposal from feedback provided by your supervisor. Unlike scoping reviews, narrative articles typically do not use explicit, systematic approaches in the review process and are more subjective. In narrative reviews, concepts of the review questions and search strategies are not clearly described in the protocol, reasons for inclusion and exclusion of studies are often not specified, and methods for synthesizing evidence are not clearly defined. Transparency is missing. Consequently, narrative reviews are more biased with a higher likelihood for inaccurate or unsubstantiated conclusions. Systematic scoping reviews, on the other hand, are a form of research that aims to identify, evaluate, and summarize the findings of quality, relevant, and individual studies on a topic systematically, thereby relieving the end user of this time-consuming task.

Research

you may need to take when revising your proposal with regards to a suitable theme, which are outlined above. If you are any more ambitious than this, you are likely not to be able to answer any of the questions satisfactorily. The literature must contain the information that you require to answer the review question. While it is theoretically possible to undertake a scoping search of the literature, find that there is very little on your topic and write this up successfully, this is likely to be a frustrating process. Equally, it is theoretically possible to undertake a superficial overview of a vast amount of literature, in which case your critical analysis would be minimal. It is important to demonstrate that you carried out a systematic and comprehensive process in your review. If you have an unmanageable amount of literature, it is unlikely that you will be able to demonstrate a thorough synthesis of your literature. For these reasons, it is better to do an initial literature search to assess the scope and variety of literature that has been written on your topic, with special regard to the amount of primary empirical data there are. This will ensure that you are likely to have enough literature to answer your question and will avoid the review becoming an extended essay. If, after carrying out an initial search, there appears to be very little literature on your topic, or if there is extensive literature,