Rapid reviews ‘are literature reviews that use methods to accelerate or streamline traditional [systematic review] processes’ in order to meet the needs and timelines of the end-users (e.g., ‘government policymakers, health care institutions, health professionals, and patient associations’).” They may require engaging more often with the nominator/end-user to assure the review meets their needs compared to a traditional systematic review.
Systematic reviews are comprehensive, often use substantial resources, and may take up to one to two years to complete. In contrast, rapid reviews shorten the process while maintaining methodological rigor and transparency. Decisions made about the methods should include clear rationales for any limits placed on the literature search, study selection and abstraction, risk of bias assessments, and decisions about synthesizing results. Rapid review reports may take up to six months to complete