Synthesising qualitative research
Mays N., Pope C.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This chapter looks at some of the main methods of synthesis that have been applied to qualitative research in the health care field, as well as methods for synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research. Synthesis can be conducted for different reasons with different sorts of outputs in mind. It can be conducted to summarise the implications of the qualitative evidence as part of a broader review process that includes a systematic review or other analyses of quantitative evidence. The chapter considers four main methods that can be used to synthesise qualitative research: narrative synthesis; framework synthesis; cross-case analysis; and meta-ethnography. These are followed by a brief overview of methods for mixed, qualitative, and quantitative synthesis. In general, qualitative synthesis is more iterative and less strictly linear in execution than quantitative synthesis. However, all the methods depend on a number of generic synthesis activities.