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Nursing: Integrative Reviews

Nursing resource guide


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What is an Integrative Review?

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

Purpose - Critical analysis of empirical, methodological, or theoretical literature, which draws attention to future research needs.


  • Two or more reviewers and librarian involvement recommended for rigor, especially if you plan to publish the review
  • Expected timeline – 6-12 months
  • Use of a systematic search methodology that can be replicated
  • Clearly stated eligibility (inclusion and exclusion) criteria for study selection
  • Inclusion of a search flow diagram (PRIMSA)
  • Critical appraisal
  • Data extraction
  • Narrative and/or thematic analysis with descriptive and qualitative synthesis (Toronto, 2020)

Resources to help you get started

Resources to get your started (and to cite in your own methods section):

Toronto, C. E., & Remington, R. (Eds.). (2020). A step-by-step guide to conducting an integrative reviewSpringer.

Dhollande S, Taylor A, Meyer S, Scott M. (2021). Conducting integrative reviews: a guide for novice nursing researchers. Journal of Research in Nursing, 26(5):427-438. doi: 10.1177/1744987121997907.

Grant, & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108.

Whittemore, & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: updated methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52(5), 546–553.

Additional Resources

Da Silva, Brandão, M. A. G., & Ferreira, M. de A. (2020). Integrative Review as a Method to Generate or to Test Nursing Theory. Nursing Science Quarterly, 33(3), 258–263.

Hopia, Latvala, E., & Liimatainen, L. (2016). Reviewing the methodology of an integrative review. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 30(4), 662–669.

Westlake. (2012). Practical Tips for Literature Synthesis. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 26(5), 244–249.

Example Integrated Review Articles

Lerret. (2009). Discharge Readiness: An Integrative Review Focusing on Discharge Following Pediatric Hospitalization. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 14(4), 245–255.

Luckett, T., et al. (2014). “Advance Care Planning for Adults With CKD: A Systematic Integrative Review.” American Journal of Kidney Diseases, vol. 63(5): 761–70,

Silva, Tavares, N. V. da S., Alexandre, A. R. G., Freitas, D. A., Brêda, M. Z., Albuquerque, M. C. D. S. de, & Melo, V. L. de N. (2015). Depression and suicide risk among nursing professionals: an integrative review. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da U S P, 49(6), 1027–1031.

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