Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Developing a reporting guideline to improve meta-ethnography in health research: the eMERGe mixed-methods study
Author(s): Cunningham, Maggie
France, Emma F
Ring, Nicola
Uny, Isabelle
Duncan, Edward AS
Roberts, Rachel J
Jepson, Ruth G
Maxwell, Margaret
Turley, Ruth L
Noyes, Jane
Keywords: Meta-ethnography
Qualitative Evidence Synthesis
Systematic review
Publication standards
Qualitative Research
Research Design
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2019
Citation: Cunningham M, France EF, Ring N, Uny I, Duncan EA, Roberts RJ, Jepson RG, Maxwell M, Turley RL & Noyes J (2019) Developing a reporting guideline to improve meta-ethnography in health research: the eMERGe mixed-methods study. Health Services and Delivery Research, 7 (4), pp. 1-116.
Abstract: Background Meta-ethnography is a commonly used methodology for qualitative evidence synthesis. Research has identified that the quality of reporting of published meta-ethnographies is often poor and this has limited the utility of meta-ethnography findings to influence policy and practice. Objective(s) To develop guidance to improve the completeness and clarity of meta-ethnography reporting. Methods / Design The eMERGe study followed the recommended approach for developing health research reporting guidelines and used a systematic mixed methods approach. It comprised of: (1) a methodological systematic review of guidance in the conduct and reporting of meta-ethnography; (2) a review and audit of published meta-ethnographies, along with interviews with meta-ethnography end-users, to identify good practice principles; (3) A consensus workshop and two eDelphi studies to agree guidance content; (4) development of the guidance table and explanatory notes. Results Results from the methodological systematic review and the audit of published meta-ethnographies revealed that more guidance was required around the reporting of all phases of meta-ethnography conduct, and in particular, the synthesis phases 4-6 (relating studies, translating studies into one another and synthesising translations). Following the guidance development process, the eMERGe Reporting Guidance was produced, consisting of 19 items grouped into the 7 phases of meta-ethnography. Limitations The finalised Guidance has not yet been evaluated in practice, therefore it is not possible at this stage to comment on their utility. However, we look forward to evaluating their uptake and usability in the future. Conclusions The eMERGe Reporting Guidance has been developed following a rigorous process in line with guideline development recommendations. The guidance is intended to improve the clarity and completeness of reporting of meta-ethnographies, to facilitate use of their findings to inform the design and delivery of services and interventions in health, social care and other fields. The eMERGe project developed a range of training material to support use of the guidance, which is freely available at Future work Meta-ethnography is an evolving qualitative evidence synthesis methodology, and future research will refine the guidance to accommodate future methodological developments. We will also investigate the impact of the eMERGe reporting guidance with a view to updating the guidance. Study registration PROSPERO registration number: CRD42015024709 for Stage 1 systematic review Funding details The National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research programme.
DOI Link: 10.3310/hsdr07040
Rights: Permission to reproduce material from this published report is covered by the UK government’s non-commercial licence for public sector information:
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
3028294.pdfFulltext - Published Version2.52 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.