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Systematic Searching Support

What is a Meta-Synthesis?

Aim: To synthesize qualitative studies to better understand a condition or phenomenon, or to generate models/frameworks

Synonyms and Subtypes: qualitative synthesis, thematic synthesis, critical-interpretative synthesis, grounded theory synthesis, meta-ethnography

Notes about Methodology

  • Approach to the search depends on subtype (may not be systematic if goal is to be interpretive)

  • ENTREQ (Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research) statement is available to provide a checklist similar to PRISMA

Methodology Guidance

Barbour, R. S., & Barbour, M. (2003). Evaluating and synthesizing qualitative research: the need to develop a distinctive approach. J Eval Clin Pract, 9(2), 179-186. View full text

Barnett-Page, E., & Thomas, J. (2009). Methods for the synthesis of qualitative research: a critical review. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 9, 59 View full text

Tong, A., Flemming, K., McInnes, E., Oliver, S., & Craig, J. (2012). Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research: ENTREQ. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 12, 181. View full text


Below is a reference hat may serve as and example of a quality project.  

Seaman, A. T., Steffen, M., Doo, T., Healy, H. S., & Solimeo, S. L. (2018). Metasynthesis of patient attitudes toward bone densitometry. J Gen Intern Med. View full text