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Systematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research$
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Michael Saini and Aron Shlonsky

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387216.001.0001

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Methods for Aggregating, Integrating, and Interpreting Qualitative Research

Methods for Aggregating, Integrating, and Interpreting Qualitative Research

(p.23) 2 Methods for Aggregating, Integrating, and Interpreting Qualitative Research
Systematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research

Michael Saini

Aron Shlonsky

Oxford University Press

We argue for a nonhierarchical approach to systematic reviews, where each method within the broad family of systematic reviews (e.g., meta-analysis, qualitative synthesis, rapid evidence assessments) is understood to have a complementary, unique approach based on the type of question being asked and the needs of the researcher. In this chapter, current methods for conducting qualitative syntheses are explored by presenting various models of aggregation, integration, and interpretation of qualitative findings across studies. The common link among these different models is that they all attempt to draw out findings across qualitative studies to generate new insights and understandings. Within the presentation of these models, we draw out the epistemological frameworks and underlying assumptions of each of these models to provide the reader with some direction for choosing methods for specific types of questions and purposes.

Keywords:   qualitative synthesis, systematic reviews, evidence-based practice, qualitative research, qualitative methods, implementation science, social work

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