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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Methods of synthesizing qualitative research studies for health technology assessment
Author(s): Ring, Nicola A
Jepson, Ruth
Ritchie, Karen
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Keywords: Qualitative research
Patient-centered care
Review literature
Health technology assessment
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Date Deposited: 21-Jan-2013
Citation: Ring NA, Jepson R & Ritchie K (2011) Methods of synthesizing qualitative research studies for health technology assessment. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 27 (4), pp. 384-390.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES Synthesizing qualitative research is an important means of ensuring the needs, preferences, and experiences of patients are taken into account by service providers and policy makers, but the range of methods available can appear confusing. This study presents the methods for synthesizing qualitative research most used in health research to-date and, specifically those with a potential role in health technology assessment. METHODS To identify reviews conducted using the eight main methods for synthesizing qualitative studies, nine electronic databases were searched using key terms including meta-ethnography and synthesis. A summary table groups the identified reviews by their use of the eight methods, highlighting the methods used most generally and specifically in relation to health technology assessment topics. RESULTS Although there is debate about how best to identify and quality appraise qualitative research for synthesis, 107 reviews were identified using one of the eight main methods. Four methods (meta-ethnography, meta-study, meta-summary, and thematic synthesis) have been most widely used and have a role within health technology assessment. Meta-ethnography is the leading method for synthesizing qualitative health research. Thematic synthesis is also useful for integrating qualitative and quantitative findings. Four other methods (critical interpretive synthesis, grounded theory synthesis, meta-interpretation, and cross-case analysis) have been under-used in health research and their potential in health technology assessments is currently under-developed. CONCLUSIONS Synthesizing individual qualitative studies has becoming increasingly common in recent years. Although this is still an emerging research discipline such an approach is one means of promoting the patient-centeredness of health technology assessments.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0266462311000389
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, Volume 27, Issue 04, October 2011, pp 384-390. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011. The original publication is available at DOI:

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