Rapid reviews seek to balance meeting time-sensitive information needs with methodological rigor. They are often conducted with a high amount of stakeholder input, and produce a review that is geared towards relevance to decision-makers in situations that require faster action than is usually possible with a full systematic review.
They are often faster than a systematic review, but the streamlining of the systematic review process may introduce bias in ways that are still being researched. Therefore, it is critical that the methods are transparent and reproducible.
A rapid review is not necessarily easier than a systematic review.
Based on the Cochrane Rapid Reviews Methods Group guidance on conducting rapid reviews
Some similarities between systematic reviews and rapid reviews:
Some differences between systematic reviews and rapid reviews: