Protocol for a thematic synthesis to identify key themes and messages from a palliative care research network

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Background: Research networks that facilitate collaborative research are increasing both regionally and globally and such collaborations contribute greatly to knowledge transfer particularly in health research. The Palliative Care Research Network is an Irish-based network that seeks to create opportunities and engender a collaborative environment to encourage innovative research that is relevant for policy and practice. The current review outlines a methodology to identify cross-cutting messages to identify how dissemination outputs can be optimized to ensure that key messages from this research reaches all knowledge users. Methods/design: Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocol guidelines will inform the search and analysis plan to ensure that the synthesis of the data is as rigorous as possible. An approach based on critical interpretative synthesis will be adapted to include a thematic synthesis for the identification of higher-order themes and messages from a body of dissemination products generated by the Palliative Care Research Network. Discussion: The thematic synthesis outlined in the present protocol offers a novel method of synthesising data from a focused research network that employs a variety of dissemination materials as a means of identifying key themes and messages from a specific body of research. The high-level themes and messages will be identified from the thematic synthesis, widely disseminated and targeted towards a range of stakeholders and knowledge users such as carers, health and social care professionals, policy makers and researchers.




Nicholson, E., Murphy, T., Larkin, P., Normand, C., & Guerin, S. (2016). Protocol for a thematic synthesis to identify key themes and messages from a palliative care research network. BMC Research Notes, 9(1).

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