Article

Focus on Qualitative Methods Qualitative Metasynthesis: Issues and Techniques

Department of Women's and Children's Health, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599, USA.
Research in Nursing & Health (Impact Factor: 1.16). 09/1997; 20(4):365-71.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There has been an accumulation of qualitative studies in recent years, but little cumulation of the understandings gained from them. Qualitative research appears endangered both by efforts to synthesize studies and by the failure to do so. Techniques used have included reciprocal translations of key metaphors and concepts and qualitative and quantitative comparative analyses to produce narrative and theoretical integrations. The major problem yet to be resolved is developing usable and communicable systematic approaches to conducting metasynthesis projects that maintain the integrity of individual studies.

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    • "The meta-ethnographic synthesis includes three approaches: (1) reciprocal translation, which entails exploring key concepts from each study and then translating these concepts across studies to explore the cogency and scope of key themes; (2) refutational synthesis, which entails identifying contradictions and dissimilar concepts across studies. The " refutations' are explored to explain these contradictions; and (3) line of arguments, which entails interpreting the concepts across studies to build a general interpretation and theory across studies grounded in the concepts that emerge across studies (Dixon-Woods et al., 2006; Pope et al., 2007; Sandelowski et al., 1997; Thorne et al., 2004). "
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    • "Sandelowski et al. (p. 366) [20], for example, define qualitative metasynthesis as theories, grand narratives, generalizations, or interpretive translations produced from the integration or comparison of findings from qualitative studies. "
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