Using Online Survey Software to Enhance Rigor and Efficiency of Knowledge Synthesis Reviews
With the explosion of scientific literature, information technologies, and the rise of evidence-based health care, methodologies for literature reviews continue to advance. Yet there remains a lack of clarity about techniques to rigorously and efficiently extract and synthesize data from primary sources. We developed a new method for data extraction and synthesis for completing rigorous, knowledge synthesis using freely available online survey software that results in a review-specific, online data extraction, and synthesis tool. The purpose of this paper is to delineate this method using our published integrative review as an exemplar. Although the purpose of online survey software is to obtain and analyze survey responses, these software programs allows for the efficient extraction and synthesize of disparate study features from primary sources. Importantly, use of the method has the potential to increase the rigor and efficiency of published reviews bringing the promise of advancing multiple areas of health science.