Protocol for a systematic review of living labs in healthcare

Mandy Archibald, Sandra Wiebe, Kendra Rieger, Janice Linton, Roberta Woodgate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction Healthcare is increasingly challenged to meet the demands of user involvement and knowledge mobilisation required by the 21st-century patient-centred and knowledge-based economies. Innovations are needed to reduce problematic barriers to knowledge exchange and improve collaborative problem solving. Living labs, as open knowledge systems, have the potential to address these gaps but are underexplored in healthcare. Methods and analysis We will conduct the first systematic review of living labs across healthcare contexts. We will comprehensively search the following online databases from inception to 31 December 2020: Scopus, the Cochrane Library (Wiley), Medline (OVID), Embase (OVID), Web of Science, PsycINFO (OVID) and EBSCOhost databases including Academic Search Complete, Business Source Premier, Canadian Reference Centre, CINAHL, MasterFILE Premier, SPORTDiscus, Library & Information Science Source, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, AgeLine, EconLit, Art Full Text, Women's Studies International and Social Work Abstracts. We will search for grey literature using Google advanced techniques and books/book chapters through scholarly and bibliographical databases. We will use a dual-reviewer, two-step selection process with pre-established inclusion criteria and limit to English language publications. Empirical studies of any design examining living lab development, implementation or evaluation in health or healthcare will be included. We will use the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) for methodological quality appraisal and Covidence software for review management, and we will extract data on pre-established variables such as lab context and technological platforms. We will create evidence tables and analyse across variables such as focal aim and achievement of living lab principles, such as the use of cocreation and multimethod approaches. We will tabulate data for descriptive reporting and narrative synthesis to identify current applications, approaches and promising areas for living lab development across health contexts. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was not required for this review. This review will inform research into living labs in health environments, including guidance for a living lab in paediatric rehabilitation. Academic publications shared through collaborative networks and social media channels will provide substantive knowledge to the growing tech-health development sector and to researchers, practitioners and organisations seeking enhanced patient/stakeholder engagement and innovations in knowledge translation and evidence-based practice. PROSPERO registration number CRD42020175275

Original languageEnglish
Article number039246
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • health services administration & management
  • information technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Protocol for a systematic review of living labs in healthcare'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this