6.5 SYNTHESIS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

Reflections on synthesis methods
What is clear from the above discussion is that we are currently in a period of rapid conceptual and methodological development of synthesis methods for both quantitative and qualitative research. While many of the methodological issues (but certainly not all) for systematic reviews of effectiveness questions have been worked through, this is not the case for other syntheses addressing different questions and types of evidence. As a result, teams undertaking these syntheses often have to consider and acknowledge the limits of our current methodological understanding of how to best conduct syntheses and plan their synthesis accordingly.

Synthesis | Qualitative Research | Paradigm

Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research: ENTREQ.

the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews.

Scoping reviews
Scoping reviews 'aim to map rapidly the key concepts underpinning a research area and the main sources and types of evidence available'.(80) CIHR defines scoping reviews as 'exploratory projects that systematically map the literature available on a topic, identifying key concepts, theories, sources of evidence and gaps in the research' and notes 'They are often preliminary to full syntheses, undertaken when feasibility is a concern - either because the potentially relevant literature is thought to be especially vast and diverse (varying by method, theoretical orientation or discipline) or there is a suspicion that not enough literature exists.'(81)

Meta-synthesis of qualitative research: the challenges …

Synthesis methods for broad and diverse bodies of research evidence
The synthesis methods discussed above largely focus on synthesizing the results of primary studies. In this section we briefly describe synthesis approaches to broad and diverse bodies of research evidence.

vii. Preparing a structured report of the researchSee Reporting syntheses section below.
Wolf FM. Meta-Analysis: Quantitative Methods for Research Synthesis. Sage; 2008.

Evidence Synthesis of Qualitative & Mixed Methods …

Systematic reviews of other types of questions utilizing largely quantitative evidence
The basic approach of systematic reviews can be applied to a broad range of research questions although the conceptual and methodological issues (for example optimal search strategies for different study designs, methods for appraising quality of included studies and methods of synthesizing results) have in general not been worked through to the same extent as systematic reviews of effectiveness questions. Fortunately, there is growing guidance covering different types of research questions. Tetzlaff and colleagues highlight these variations in questions and methods for different types of systematic review.(62) The Cochrane Collaboration is developing guidance on systematic reviews of diagnostic performance.(32) The Cochrane Handbook also includes chapters on special topics such as including non randomized trials, considering adverse effects, incorporating economic evidence, etc.(28) The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination provides guidance on systematic reviews of clinical tests, public health interventions, adverse effects and economic evaluations.(29) The Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGeNet) provides guidance on systematic reviews of gene-disease association studies.(63;64) However for many topics, synthesis teams will still need to carefully consider how to operationalise systematic reviews to their specific question.

"Multimethod Research: A Synthesisof Styles." Sage Library of Social Research 175.

Systematic Synthesis Of Qualitative Research - …

In the majority of research studies, inconsistencies between triangulatedestimates are either ignored (the most common approach) or explained awayin an unconvincing manner; and it is unusual to find a systematic treatmentof inconsistent findings.

Data collection is the area inwhich the procedures and benefits of integrated approaches are best understood.

Systematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research (Pocket …

This has givenrise to a number of methodological questions regarding how to present qualitativeresearch findings so as to increase their legitimacy in the eyes of quantitativelyoriented policy makers and planners who wish to know whether the findingsof specific cases can be generalized to wider populations.