Use of MindMapper software for research domain mapping.
The application of concept mapping software to facilitate the first steps of the research review process is discussed in relation to other software programs currently used for research synthesis. MindMapper software was used to develop a strategy for organizing the results of a comprehensive literature search into discrete categories with relationships among concepts graphically displayed to reveal the structure of the research domain. A Mind Map was developed for the scholarly literature on Web-based consumer health information. A second Mind Map examined the subconcept of barriers to consumer use of the Internet for health information. MindMapper has many features that facilitate description of the breadth and depth of literature in a domain of inquiry. It also facilitates identification of the number and nature of studies underpinning mapped relationships among concepts, thus laying the groundwork for systematic research reviews and meta-analyses.