Synthesizing qualitative research: reflections and lessons learnt by two new reviewers

Dia Soilemezi, Skaiste Linceviciute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Systematic synthesis of qualitative studies is widely used in health and social care. Regardless of the topic area, researchers need to consider several decisions when it comes to the planning and implementation of qualitative synthesis. As junior reviewers, we reflect on potential challenges and pitfalls in planning and conducting a synthesis of qualitative evidence. This article aims to elaborate on a number of key issues in order to provide insights and options on how to avoid or minimize these issues, especially for new reviewers and research students. This article examines difficulties in different stages and presents some examples of how intellectual and technical issues can be approached and resolved, including how to ensure effective identification of the relevant research to answer the review question? What are the potential pitfalls during the screening and evaluation process? The implications of different issues are examined and potential directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Issue number1
Early online date11 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • systematic review
  • evidence synthesis
  • quality appraisal
  • qualitative methods
  • health policy


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