Thus, if we acknowledge the unique importance of qualitative research, we need also to recognise that methods are required to bring its findings together for a wide audience — at the same time as preserving and respecting its essential context and complexity.
As issues relating to the secondary analysis of primary data have already been discussed, the rest of this section will focus on the secondary analysis of interpretations, and specifically on issues of validity and reliability arising from such an analysis. However, it is hoped that the flow chart Figure 1 and explanations in the previous section provide enough detail to allow other researchers to try out the meta-interpretation procedure if they are minded to do so.
The use of computer software can facilitate this method of synthesis; detailed guidance is given on how this can be achieved. Social Research Update, 22, Educational Research, 5, Furthermore, such reviews have rarely shown the deficiencies of many traditional literature reviews discussed in the previous paragraph.
As the aim in this paper is to develop a method underpinned by an interpretivist epistemology, any such method is not constrained by the accolade of science. In essence, this method involves identifying key concepts from studies and translating them into one another. Extracting data from studies One issue which is difficult to deal with when synthesising 'qualitative' studies is 'what counts as data' or 'findings'?
Does Megan's Law work? In the language of statistics, context is the independent variable. Planning Theory and Practice, 3 1 Such an ideographic approach, where the place of studies in the synthesis is determined in the analysis, allows for the quality control of the synthesis procedure.
Journal of Travel Research, 39, The interpretation of cultures. Wright Mills, Charles In later reviews, we were able to refine these methods and began to apply thematic analysis in a more explicit way. British Medical Journal, In making such linkages, a number of the tools of the grounded theory approach may be used, not least theoretical sampling and constant comparison.
We note, however, that a strong case has been made for qualitative research to be valued for the potential it has to inform policy and practice [ 1128 - 30 ].
In fact, it could be argued that any synthesis with a main conclusion that more research is needed has been pointless. This enabled us to see whether the understandings we had gained from the children's views helped us to explain differences in the effectiveness of different interventions: In response to this, methods for undertaking these syntheses are currently being developed.
This may mean that the "what works in which situations and for whom? Firstly, the exclusion criteria from the previous analysis is considered.
Consequently, whilst many of the principles of meta-ethnography are congruous with those of meta-interpretation, the reductivist nature of the approach is a clear point of difference. Public Money and Management, 18 1 Thus, principles such as aiming for 'conceptual saturation' might be more appropriate when planning a search strategy for qualitative research, although it is not yet clear how these principles can be applied in practice.
Consequently, syntheses conducted in these areas are often carried out with the aim of recommending or establishing the most appropriate policy or clinical procedure.
Secondly, some studies, whilst perhaps being methodologically flawed in part, or with overall findings that do not appear important or relevant, may still be able to offer important insights into phenomena, or may contain important findings in parts of their investigations which are not reflected in the results of such studies as a whole.
Here, the meta-interpretations of the synthesiser are added to those of the original researcher and the research participant. As the approach focuses on the detailed experience and understanding of research participants, it implies a commitment to fully analyse individual cases before attempting to analyse a group of interviews as a whole.
At the same time, IPA also recognises that the research exercise is a dynamic process. The underlying assumption of synthesis is that such procedures can add to the body of knowledge. We therefore experimented with a variety of techniques borrowed from standard systematic review methods and methods for analysing primary qualitative research [ 15 ].
Mission drift in qualitative research, or moving toward a systematic review of qualitative studies, moving back to a more systematic narrative review. However, alongside the meta-interpretation findings, a statement of applicability is written, which clearly identifies the boundaries of applicability PAWSON, of the findings.
In our example review we assessed our studies according to 12 criteria, which were derived from existing sets of criteria proposed for assessing the quality of qualitative research [ 46 - 49 ], principles of good practice for conducting social research with children [ 50 ], and whether studies employed appropriate methods for addressing our review questions.
The Qualitative Report 9 1 This paper identifies the particular issues that relate especially to reviewing qualitative research systematically and then to describing the activity of thematic synthesis in detail. A theory-driven systematic review.
Our approach concurs with this conceptualisation of thematic analysis, since the method we employed draws on other established methods but uses techniques commonly described as 'thematic analysis' in order to formalise the identification and development of themes.To interpret and integrate findings from these studies, a meta-synthesis, 15 could contribute to practice-based the- ory and insight into improving the quality of professional practice.
Jul 10, · Some may argue against the synthesis of qualitative research on the grounds that the findings of individual studies are de-contextualised and that concepts identified in one setting are not applicable to others.
However, the act of synthesis could be viewed as similar to the role of a research user when reading a piece of qualitative research and deciding how useful it is to their own situation. Qualitative metasynthesis is an intentional and coherent approach to analyzing data across qualitative studies.
It is a process that enables researchers to identify a specific research question and then search for, select, appraise, summarize, and combine qualitative evidence to address the research question.
The aim of this paper is to develop a method for the interpretive synthesis of qualitative research which, given the focus on interpretation, is termed meta-interpretation. As such, the various issues outlined above will be returned to in the next section of the paper, which reviews eight research methods or approaches that include some form of synthesis.
Indeed, a number of approaches to synthesis of qualitative research have been proposed, including: qualitative meta-analysis, meta-ethnography, meta-theory, meta-study, meta-summary, meta-interpretation, meta-aggregation, narrative metasynthesis, thematic synthesis, textual narrative synthesis, qualitative research integration, and qualitative evidence synthesis.
11 Britten N. The aim of this study was to gain a higher level of theoretical understanding of the longitudinal process of students' learning to be a physiotherapist across the curriculum.Download