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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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Clarifying Methodological Issues: A Way Forward

Clarifying Methodological Issues: A Way Forward

(p.64) 4 Clarifying Methodological Issues: A Way Forward
Systematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research

Michael Saini

Aron Shlonsky

Oxford University Press

Although there are a number of qualitative researchers who support the development of methods that integrate knowledge across studies, these same authors also acknowledge that the broad term qualitative research includes vastly different disciplinary, philosophical, theoretical, social, and political commitments (Sandelowski & Barroso, 2003, p. 785), and that these differences can create epistemological and ontological tensions when attempts are made to build common frameworks for the purpose of integration. Paying heed to these debates, our overall contention is that care must be taken not only when considering the different types of methods used in the studies that are synthesized, but to consider the various controversies framing questions of assessing the quality of studies to be included. In this chapter, we briefly highlight key methodological challenges that are worthy of consideration for any researcher, policy maker and practitioner interested in engaging in this type of research.

Keywords:   methodological challenges, transferability, applicability, information retrieval, qualitative methods, systematic reviews

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