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Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews

Thomas, James and Harden, Angela (2008) Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8 (45). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1471-2288

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: There are few established methods for synthesising qualitative research in systematic reviews. This paper outlines an approach that was developed by the authors and has been tried and tested in several of their reviews. Methods for synthesising qualitative research are needed in order to: a) ensure the insights gained from this type of research are present in reviews that inform policy and practice; and b) ensure that such syntheses are perceived as rigorous and systematic by the wider research community. The methods outlined draw on methods commonly used to analyse primary research, but have not been used in systematic reviews before. They also demonstrate how software can enhance a synthesis and how concepts often employed in statistical meta-analysis can be translated into different situations. These methods have had widespread impact, with many thousands of downloads of the paper (> 10,000 at last count) and invitations to the authors to speak at international conferences. We have continued to use the methods ourselves for systematic reviews that have informed policy at the Department of Health. © 2008 Thomas and Harden; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Controlled Keywords: Qualitative analysis, Systematic review
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Social Science Research Unit
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 09:29
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 12:01
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/5258
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