Critical Review of Social Science Research on Parental Relocation Post-Separation/Divorce

Appendix C: Rapid Evidence Assessment Methodology

Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) provide a systematic structure to identify and control for different types of bias in existing studies and to establish the comparability (or incomparability) of different studies to consider the potential cumulative effect of what the existing evidence is telling us (Davies, 2003).

Undertaking a systematic review takes time, typically two years. Users of research and evaluation evidence often need quicker access to what the existing evidence is telling them. To this end, REAs have been developed for use in public policy research and evaluation. REAs are based on the principles of a systematic review.

The functions of an REA (Davies, 2003) are to:

  1. Search the electronic and print literature as comprehensively as possible within the constraints of a policy or practice timetable;
  2. Collate descriptive outlines of the available evidence on a topic;
  3. Critically appraise the evidence;
  4. Provide an overview of what the evidence establishes

The benefit of conducting the REA for this project is that it will allow the Principal Investigator to quickly determine the inclusion of studies so that a stronger emphasis can be placed on developing a thorough and systematic appraisal of these included studies to assess the reliability and validity of the studies and to determine issues of generalizability and applicability.

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