How can we synthesize qualitative and quantitative evidence for healthcare policy-makers and managers?
ABSTRACT Interest in synthesizing the findings of qualitative and quantitative evidence is increasing in response to the complex questions being asked by healthcare managers and policy-makers. There is a wealth of evidence available from many sources--both formal research and non-research based (e.g., expert opinion, stakeholder, and user views). Synthesis offers the opportunity to integrate diverse forms of evidence into a whole. We categorize the current approaches to the synthesis of qualitative and quantitative evidence into four broad groups: narrative, qualitative, quantitative, and Bayesian. Many of the methods for synthesis are emergent; some have been used to integrate primary data; few have a long history of application to healthcare. In the healthcare context, synthesis methods are less well developed than methods such as systematic review. Nonetheless, synthesis has the potential to provide knowledge and decision support to healthcare policy-makers and managers.
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ABSTRACT: Methods for systematic reviews are well developed for trials, but not for non-experimental or qualitative research. This paper describes the methods developed for reviewing research on people's perspectives and experiences ("views" studies) alongside trials within a series of reviews on young people's mental health, physical activity, and healthy eating. Reports of views studies were difficult to locate; could not easily be classified as "qualitative" or "quantitative"; and often failed to meet seven basic methodological reporting standards used in a newly developed quality assessment tool. Synthesising views studies required the adaptation of qualitative analysis techniques. The benefits of bringing together views studies in a systematic way included gaining a greater breadth of perspectives and a deeper understanding of public health issues from the point of view of those targeted by interventions. A systematic approach also aided reflection on study methods that may distort, misrepresent, or fail to pick up people's views. This methodology is likely to create greater opportunities for people's own perspectives and experiences to inform policies to promote their health.Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 10/2004; 58(9):794-800. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although the family history is increasingly used for genetic risk assessment of common chronic diseases in primary care, evidence suggests that lay understanding about inheritance may conflict with medical models. This study systematically reviewed and synthesized the qualitative literature exploring understanding about familial risk held by persons with a family history of cancer, coronary artery disease, and diabetes mellitus. Twenty-two qualitative articles were found after a comprehensive literature search and were critically appraised; 11 were included. A meta-ethnographic approach was used to translate the studies across each other, synthesize the translation, and express the synthesis. A dynamic process emerged by which a personal sense of vulnerability included some features that mirror the medical factors used to assess risk, such as the number of affected relatives. Other features are more personal, such as experience of a relative's disease, sudden or premature death, perceived patterns of illness relating to gender or age at death, and comparisons between a person and an affected relative. The developing vulnerability is interpreted using personal mental models, including models of disease causation, inheritance, and fatalism. A person's sense of vulnerability affects how that person copes with, and attempts to control, any perceived familial risk. Persons with a family history of a common chronic disease develop a personal sense of vulnerability that is informed by the salience of their family history and interpreted within their personal models of disease causation and inheritance. Features that give meaning to familial risk may be perceived differently by patients and professionals. This review identifies key areas for health professionals to explore with patients that may improve the effectiveness of communication about disease risk and management.The Annals of Family Medicine 2(6):583-94. · 4.61 Impact Factor
- Health Economics 06/1999; 8(3):187-9. · 2.23 Impact Factor