Unlike a clinical trial, a literature review does not recruit participants to test a treatment or compare treatments. Instead, researchers take a second look at earlier studies. A literature review consolidates known information about a given topic. This unique research design offers learning opportunities not available from clinical trials.
A literature review can:
- confirm results, call results into question, or shed light on the relative strength of each individual study
- offer valuable insight that leads to new areas of inquiry in future studies
- clarify the relative strength or weakness of scientific support for the treatment or concept being reviewed