How to Write a Systematic Review of the Literature

Debajyoti Pati, Lesa N. Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This article provides a step-by-step approach to conducting and reporting systematic literature reviews (SLRs) in the domain of healthcare design and discusses some of the key quality issues associated with SLRs. SLR, as the name implies, is a systematic way of collecting, critically evaluating, integrating, and presenting findings from across multiple research studies on a research question or topic of interest. SLR provides a way to assess the quality level and magnitude of existing evidence on a question or topic of interest. It offers a broader and more accurate level of understanding than a traditional literature review. A systematic review adheres to standardized methodologies/guidelines in systematic searching, filtering, reviewing, critiquing, interpreting, synthesizing, and reporting of findings from multiple publications on a topic/domain of interest. The Cochrane Collaboration is the most well-known and widely respected global organization producing SLRs within the healthcare field and a standard to follow for any researcher seeking to write a transparent and methodologically sound SLR. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA), like the Cochrane Collaboration, was created by an international network of health-based collaborators and provides the framework for SLR to ensure methodological rigor and quality. The PRISMA statement is an evidence-based guide consisting of a checklist and flowchart intended to be used as tools for authors seeking to write SLR and meta-analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Environments Research and Design Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • evidence based design
  • healthcare design
  • systematic literature review


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