Systematic review and Knowledge Translation: A framework for synthesizing heterogeneous research evidence
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BACKGROUND: Participatory methodologies in disability and rehabilitation research are used to capture the perspectives of people with disabilities and to recognize the agency of stakeholder groups. Existing resources for conducting systematic reviews seldom provide details about how to integrate stakeholder input into the methodological process. OBJECTIVES: This article considers how knowledge translation strategies can support and advance systematic reviews that include diverse types of research. METHODS: Lessons learned from conducting a systematic review of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) employment research are explained and contextualized within research on barriers and facilitators to successful knowledge translation. RESULTS: Steps from the research protocol are described to provide a procedural framework for integrating stakeholder feedback into the review process. Descriptive mapping, an analytical technique most commonly used in scoping reviews, was deemed necessary to provide a clearer understanding and overview of the diverse body of research evidence. CONCLUSIONS: Stakeholder feedback can address barriers to knowledge translation by engaging end-users of research products throughout the reviewprocess. Given the growing scholarly recognition of qualitative and mixed-methods techniques as suitable approaches for systematic review, there is further need for consideration on how these approaches can benefit from more participatory research processes.